About the Importance of Exercise

fitspiration picture

This picture has nothing to do with sea squirts! I just want to strut my new fitspiration picture because I think it turned out so well.

Just a short post today.

A tale I first learned from Spark has bobbed in and out of my mind a lot recently. I want to tell the tale because it perfectly illustrates the importance of exercise in our lives.

It’s a story of a tiny, sea-dwelling animal called sea squirt. Sea squirt happily putters around shallow waters with the help of it’s modest brain stem and a 300-neuron brain. One day the sea squirt finds a nice patch on a nearby coral and anchors into it. Then, once it’s safely attached, it proceeds to eat it’s 300-neuron brain.

The moral of the tale is this: “If you don’t move, you have no use for your brain.”

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Neurophysiologist Rodolfo Llinàs believes our brains literally evolved so we could better move around and respond to our surroundings. Not for “cool” intellectual stuff like playing chess.

That is also why exercise and the lack of it has such a far-ranging consequences on your physical and psychological well-being. It’s no accident that exercise alleviates stress and anxiety, improves learning and guards against premature deterioration of brain (like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease).

Most important of all, exercise is free and available for everyone. No need to wait till you can buy an expensive “exercise pill” or gadget in a store.

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Go for a walk today. Don’t turn into a veggie!

Comments

  1. Aimee says:

    It has taken me far too long to learn that exercise needn’t be a grueling session at the gym. It can be enjoyable activities like hiking, biking or skating. I try to get out and do something every day. I love this story for it’s simplicity and the meaning behind it.

    I work on a psychiatric unit and it is so troubling to me that our patients get nothing more than a daily walk around the hospital for activity. I know that it wouldn’t solve all of their issues but I do believe that people benefit so much from fresh air and movement.

    • Satu says:

      Hi Aimee! I think you’d really love Spark. It has entire chapters committed to what exercise can do to depression, adhd and anxiety disorders.

  2. Deb says:

    Great post Satu… You’re right. Exercise is important for SO many reasons, and not just cos of the sense of accomplishment and endorphins buzzing about after you’ve completed it!

  3. Marion says:

    Hi Satu! There really is a lot of research about how good exercise is for a person, including for brain function. But, for me, it is a chance to play. I need to play and express myself. It’s time for me to have fun focused on myself.

    :-) Marion

    • Satu says:

      I love the idea of doing exercise as a creative outlet!

      What personally bothers me is that I haven’t yet reached the level of physical strength where I could actually enjoy doing exercise. I get frustrated when I’m not able to do what I want to do – YET!

  4. Lori says:

    You definitely need to find something you like, then you want to keep doing it!

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