Morning Prayer, Exercise, and Positivity
We have all heard endlessly about the many benefits of prayer and exercise and why we need to do it. I am sure you heard many people say you should pray. And likely you have heard even more people tell you that you should exercise. It will improve your life, it will make you happier and healthier, and so on. Those of us who are disinclined to exercise or pray probably are not moved by these benefits, or we would already be doing it.
If you do not pray or exercise, there are strong reasons for you to consider doing it in the morning. Exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones that lift the mood and improve happiness. And continuous prayer releases the power of the Holy Spirit within you. When I started my days with prayer and exercise, I began feeling Blessed and Refreshed and Refreshed and Blessed!
I may live too far to join you for a morning workout, but you do not live too far to join me in morning prayer. Every morning I join a fantastic group of women and men who come together, over the phone, to pray and praise God. That’s how we ensure our mornings are positive and off to a great start. You are invited to do the same at 7 AM every morning. To join us at 7 AM (EST): Dial (612) 421-0947, then enter code 414650.
Now more on exercising. Studies show that the burst of mood-altering chemicals (like endorphins) released during exercise lasts almost 24 hours, which means exercising in the morning will make it last all day. Who knew a runner’s high was real and is stronger in the morning? Maybe that is why so many runners do their runs in the morning!
Exercising at any time also reduces the physical load of stress chemicals circulating in your body. It burns them out and leaves you feeling more relaxed and peaceful. That is a great way to begin your day and leads to better days overall.
The effect is cumulative as well. Exercising consistently leads to better baseline moods over the long run, even on days when you cannot exercise at all!
If you are not the exercise sort, reconsider because you do not have to become a gym rat to get these benefits. Nor do you need to begin your days with a five-mile run at your local park.
While aerobic exercise is the best for increasing positivity, any form of exercise will work. This includes low-impact forms of exercise such as walking, yoga, water aerobics, and tai chi. Even 15 minutes of gentle stretching will help you be more positive for the rest of the day.
Yoga and tai chi have additional benefits as well. They help control your mood better than most other forms of exercise. Likewise, they improve both physical and psychological markers of stress better than anything except intense aerobics and do so even in short sessions. A 10 or 15-minute session can do wonders for your health and mood.
If you are not used to exercising and wanting to introduce it to your routine, start slowly. Begin with simple low-impact exercises even if you want to move into aerobics. Always be sure to stretch before beginning. Finally, get permission from your doctor to begin exercising before you start.