By: Holly Case, Freelance Writer and Mom of Three Boys
The Thanksgiving holiday is all about being thankful for the good things in our lives. But we should make gratitude a regular part of our daily lives. Most of us know how essential gratitude is to help us live happier lives. But what you may not know is that a gratefulness habit has major benefits for your health, too! Something easy to take for granted is that even being able to exercise is a reason to feel thankful. Here are some of the best reasons to be grateful for your fitness routine.
Keep Up with the Kids
One of the best things you can do as a family is to stay active together. You can strengthen your bond as a family by biking, hiking, or even throwing a ball around the backyard. But if you can’t keep up, you’re missing out on some key chances to bond with the kids and be a good example to them. If you’re out of shape, you might not be able to keep up at first, but wanting to be healthy for the kids is a great motivation to keep trying.
Eat More When You Work Out
Who doesn’t want to eat without gaining weight? If you don’t exercise and just have a sedentary life, you can’t eat many calories without gaining weight. But when you regularly work out, it allows you to eat a little more without having to worry so much about packing on extra pounds. It’s an unfortunate fact that no amount of exercise can make up for a terrible diet. But when you’re regularly moving your body, you can feel free to take the kids for ice cream sundaes and to eat your own. The best news? The more you work out, the more calories you’ll burn—which also means the more calories you can eat.
Exercise can seem intimidating if you’re not in a regular habit of doing it. But one major reason to be thankful to be able to exercise is the fact that you can. Not everybody even has the physical strength and ability to exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 17 million adults can’t even walk a quarter mile. Celebrate the fact that your body is strong and healthy enough that you can exercise at all. And there’s no time like the present: it’s easier to maintain your mobility than to get it back once it’s lost.
Stay in a Good Mood
You’ll probably still have a bad hair day again or one of those days when everything seems to be going wrong. But another good reason to feel thankful for being active is because exercise improves your mood. When you work up a sweat, it has an almost magical way of making even the worst day feel a little more manageable. Exercise has such a powerful effect on your moods that some studies have shown it to be even more effective in treating mild depression than antidepressants! Obviously, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions and take any meds prescribed. But even if you’re on medication, getting regular exercise will make your meds more effective.
Take a few moments to feel gratitude for your body and celebrate all the amazing things it can do. Whether your fitness level is just gentle walks around the block or more extreme sports, the fact that your body is healthy enough to move is worth celebrating.