Want a prescription for free medicine that reduces pain and improves mood?

If it was possible, I’d find a way to write a prescription for every person out there who feels as though they need medicine to feel better. This medication would not come in a pill, capsule or tablet form, and the pharmacist would probably give you a very confused look after reading the prescription I scribbled down on paper. The words would simply say: EXERCISE DAILY.

I know that many of you may feel the same way I did years ago: Come on already, would you quit with the exercise nonsense and give me something that will actually do something so I don’t feel like crud anymore? I mean, seriously.

During those 20-plus years of my life when I didn’t exercise, I would have argued until the cows came home if any person, including my doctor, told me that exercising daily would make me feel better. Honestly, how in the world could constantly moving my body make it feel better or improve the way I felt about myself? That just didn’t make any sense.

But I’ve become a tad bit wiser as the years have passed and now realize the power of exercise – it’s a medicine of sorts.

That statement may be difficult to swallow, but there is actual clinical evidence that supports the idea that regular exercise increases happiness, decreases stress, lifts the mood, boosts confidence and increases a person’s self-esteem. Not only that, but exercise can also help alleviate pain, such as in the hipsknees, and back.

OK, so many will read this and possibly have the same reaction I had years ago: Yeah, OK, whatever you say, Jodi. As far as I know it’s just information shared on the Internet. It does not work in reality.

Well, I’m here to say that it does because I am living proof, along with thousands of other Michiganders. At 300 pounds, I didn’t feel good; in fact, I felt completely like crud. But once I started to exercise — or what I referred to as taking a brisk 22-minute walk each day (I didn’t like the word “exercise” back then) — I felt ten times better. My stress level was reduced significantly, I was much happier and I had a substantial increase in the self-esteem department. Oh, and any of those little aches and pains in my knee, hip or back that I used to wake up with each morning, assuming that only medicine in the form of tablets could alleviate? Well, they went away with my daily walk. The pill form of medicine was no longer needed; exercise was my medicine!

Don’t knock it until you try it. If I had it my way, everyone would briskly walk (or exercise) every single day. Have you ever stopped to consider the difference that taking a daily walk could make, let’s say, to an entire community? If everyone in the entire community felt better and enjoyed being in good health, the chances are that their self-esteem would go up, their mood would improve and life would just seem better! To me, it only makes sense that the entire community would be happier, healthier and probably a bit wealthier as well. After all, “exercise medicine” is completely FREE — it doesn’t cost a dime!

We’d love to hear how exercise has helped improve your mood and decrease pain. Please share your story in the comment area below!

Photo by Insnay

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