Gratitude Week: The unseen benefits of fitness

I wish to report that the mayor of Seattle actually pardoned a Tofurky this week. That's how we roll in Seattle. (Image courtesy of Tom Curtis at freedigitalphotos.net)
I wish to report that the mayor of Seattle actually pardoned a Tofurky this week. That’s how we roll in Seattle. I guess this guy is still waiting to be pardoned by a city mayor who represents a more carnivorous population. (Image courtesy of Tom Curtis at freedigitalphotos.net)

It’s Thanksgiving Week. Of course we’re talking about gratitude this week at Every48. Let’s dive in.

Here we go: What’s amazing about making the commitment to a regular exercise routine is that there are many, many benefits. Some are the benefits we can see (sometimes) after a few weeks or months of consistent exercise. Maybe you’ll lose a few extra pounds, maybe you’ll see muscle definition.

And then there are the benefits we can’t see at all, but that over the course of time, become the far more important benefits. Our bodies become more efficient. We grow new capillaries, improving our circulatory systems. We move a little faster, even if we don’t always notice it. We might sleep better. And we discover – eventually, if not immediately – that the actual act of movement makes us feel better psychologically, makes us think better, makes us better problem-solvers. Those are the unseen benefits of fitness, and they’re the ones I’m most grateful for today, the first day of – what else during this Thanksgiving week? – Gratitude Week at Every48.

After almost a year of blogging on the idea of getting a regular exercise routine going (every 48 hours, give or take, for an hour or so each time, give or take), I’m most grateful for these unseen fitness benefits today:

  • My energy level. It’s better than it was when I was 21 years old.
  • My running ability. Without thinking about it, I can go out for a run and feel really happy and healthy and zippy-quick. (I’m not really zippy-quick, I’m just zippy-quicker than I was before I got healthy. But I’ll take it.)
  • My ability to problem-solve. I used to let stuff get me all gummed up in the head. Now, when I have a conundrum, I go out for a walk or a run or some other type of workout, and I always feel better – and more able to deal with said conundrum – after I’m done.
  • My perspective. There are no get-fit-quick solutions out there. Making a long-term commitment to something, and then seeing how the benefits of that commitment accrue over time, teaches us how to make commitments in other areas of our lives. I like that.

Those are my “unseen” gratitudes for today, this Monday of Thanksgiving Week 2014. What are yours?

Recent Every48 workouts: Full report on the last week and a half coming soon. Let’s just say it involved some really fun stuff, like snorkeling and hiking and swimming and spending a whole lotta time outdoors in a warm, warm place.

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