I had the battle of the two Me’s this morning-the one I have every so often. Need to exercise but don’t feel like it. It’s normal. Even the best of exercisers don’t necessarily like exercise. Heck, I don’t particularly like going to the dentist, but I always feel better afterwards. And so it is with exercise. The reason you feel better is not some vague term like “exercise high”, or endorphin release. It is much more complicated and yet simple, due to actual changes you make in your brain. We are biological moving machines-in fact the only reason that we need a brain is because of that movement. The same brain we use to tell us how to turn a key in a door or where to put the razor when shaving is the same one our ancestors used to first find food, figure out how to get it, and how to start a fire. With modern technology, we are programming that movement right out of our lives in that we basically move from one sitting position to another. As a result, movement and exercise gets harder and more uncomfortable, so we like it less. But once we do exercise, we feel better, because we tap into that ancient programming of who we are as beings.

Imaging studies on the brain actually show several areas that light up and grow with activity, and conversely shrink when not used. Without that brain function, we are pretty useless, a burden to ourselves, our loved ones, and society as a whole. Keep moving.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.