[Cross-posted on my home blog The Potato Vine]
One of the things I like best about exercising is that it keeps my head on straight. When I get out of the routine of incorporating several workouts into a week, I just get off in a lot of ways. I'm just generally not as good of a 'little one' as I am when I'm working out. Absent regular exercise, I end up drinking more alcohol and can be prone to bouts of depression. (Don't worry not super severe.)
When I am exercising though, everything seems to look a little brighter. I feel better about myself and generally more positive. Research shows that part of this can be explained by the endorphins that are released when we're working out. I think I get other benefits though as well. When I'm training, my mind can't obsess. It has to quiet down. I have to count my yards if swimming. If biking in a group, I have to be very focused on what every one else is doing around me and how safe our conditions are. If I'm running, I'm either thinking, "Okay, now sprint for this straight away, " or "high knees, high knees, high knees," or there is just silence.
You simply can't think about much else when you're pushing your body hard. Your body forces you to focus on the minute, to focus on yourself, to focus on just being there. That is something we need to do more of. We need to be in the moment more often. So, I'm grateful that exercising helps me do that and I look forward to my workouts partly because they feel like meditation sessions.