University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Exercise the Mind, Body, and Soul
Being in this class has helped me realize that my health, as well as others’ health, is very important. The past five weeks I have been recording my habits to see what was necessary to change. After the first three weeks, I had concluded that I really needed to increase my physical activity to do more than my average everyday walking. We were to go about our everyday lives and record exactly what we did on a regular basis. Before this, I would never have considered myself a person who exercises regularly. However, after this project I feel that I have earned the title of a person who exercises on the regular.
Once I had picked my area I wanted to increase, I picked out to goals. My first goal was to exercise a minimum of 120 minutes a week. Two objectives I had to fulfill that goal were to complete my homework by four o’ clock each afternoon so that I had time to walk for twenty minutes in the evenings. Another objective I had was to park further away so I could wake an extra ten minutes to and from my car each day of school. My final goal was to lose three pounds by October 23, 2011. The first objective I had to fulfill that goal was to ask my friend/s Karlee, Sarah, and/or Samantha to exercise with me to help me stay motivated. My last objective to reach my weight loss goal was to do Zumba at least three times a week for 30 minutes minimum.
Participating in daily physical activities such as walking or doing aerobic exercises is not only important for you physically, but it can also benefit you mentally and emotionally. A report shows that at least 60% of the global population fails to achieve the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily (Saxena, Van Ommeren, Tang, & Armstrong, 2005, p. 445). Walking is one of the most popular, easiest, and safest forms of physical activity (Sykes, 2009, p.40). Walking has many positive benefits to doing it. You have less chance of getting/having heart problems, lower blood pressure, lose body weight, stress reducer are just few good things walking can do for you. Studies have generally shown that exercise increases states of positive affect or energetic arousal, and reduces anxiety, tension, or negative affect.
Research has also demonstrated that exercise may be similarly effective in the treatment of depression (Lutz, Lochbaum, Carson, Jackson, Greenwood, & Byas, 2008, p.166). Exercise gives you something to do. It is an easy way to get your mind off negative things and makes you feel better not only physically, but also mentally. According to Sykes, et al (2009, p. 42), exercise can improve a person’s physical self-worth and other important self-perceptions such as body image. Having exercise goals that relate to personal performance and improvement is also associated with high positive emotion and improved mood.
My last two weeks of recording was difficult to say the least. Some days seemed easier than others did. Walking a couple times, a week was easy for me to get in the habit of doing. Not only did I notice that I was having a bit more energy, my dogs, that I took walking with me, we willing to walk more around the house, instead of sleeping all day. As the days went by, I noticed I was finishing my homework earlier, which allowed me more time to increase my time to do activities. My friends were extremely helpful and supportive during this whole process. They were excited to come over and do Zumba with me. They would come at least once a week and work out for at least 30 minutes.
I believe I have made a change for the better that will continue to grow. I have realized that I had just been lazy. I now have so much more energy in the days, which really helps me go to sleep earlier and longer. It was difficult at first to change my ways, but with the support of my friends, it made things a lot easier for me. With my increase in physical activity, as I mentioned, my sleeping habits have gotten better, and well as my leisure time. Now all I need to do is work on my eating habits, which are not too bad, and I will be living a much healthier life than I have been.