As I feel the longer days, the warmer weather, and the abundant life of birds flying and people walking their dogs I can’t help but feel…lighter, happier. Even in the midst of miscarriage, Carrie and I were able to go camping one evening in mid-May and have been taking the dog on very enjoyable, long walks. Although we found ourselves in the midst of a struggle, the season lightened our load, I think.
I suspect that it wasn’t just the weather. It was also activity. This is confirmed by the CDC, which reports:
…Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits….
When I’m feeling upset, depressed, or just a little bored or sad, my body tricks me. My body ‘tells me’ that I want to sit in front of the tv or eat my feelings or mope about, but what my body wants will just make my mood worse. I have found that if I get up off the couch and take a walk, even the shortest little walk around the block, my mood will improve and I will feel mentally, physically, and spiritually better than I did before.
My hope for all the people of this church is that we would take advantage of the beautiful weather, but not just watch it through the window. Let’s find safe and age-appropriate avenues for holistically strengthening our health with a little bit of activity.
*This blog has been reprinted from the Normal First United Methodist Church’s June Newsletter.