When it’s my time to blow off steam, I cool off at the gym

Going to the gym is not for me during the hot summer months.   I like to receive my daily dose of physical activity by taking a 1.5 mile brisk walk in my neighborhood.  The thought of the going to the gym doesn’t enter my mind until I start to see the leaves changing their colors.

In fact, during the summer months, I find that walking near my home isn’t the only area I enjoy.  I like to take walks along the local beaches of Lake Michigan.   It’s not only nice to walk in the beautiful surroundings, but walking on the sandy and wet shore also serves another purpose.  It allows me to cool off.

With last week’s heat wave, it has been very enjoyable to utilize the lake to cool down while getting my daily dose of exercise.  This summer ritual has been practiced by me for several years now – it’s all I’ve ever done in order to keep my body cool when the summer heat becomes too much.

But lately, I’ve discovered that there is another way to cool off during the summer; going to the gym.

Yes, I go to the gym during the summer when the heat becomes too much.  It cools me off.

And going to the gym allows me to “cool off” in two ways; one is not what I had expected.

One way that was pretty predictable is how much my body can physically cool off since I’m in a comfortable temperature-controlled surrounding created by the ‘ever-so-lovely’ A/C unit at the gym.

But what I didn’t expect was the fact that I could blow off some steam in the gym emotionally, and cool down that way too.

We all have times of stress in our lives.  When those times occur it is not healthy to keep the stress inside.  It’s good to get it out, and what better way to do that than to “cool off” my mind and body with exercise!

I’ll be first to admit that walking works great for that, but working out on multiple pieces of equipment really does the trick too!  I’m loving it.  Well, most of me is loving it.  I’ll confess that a few of my muscles are in a tiny bit of pain from the workouts I’ve been doing, but it is a GOOD pain which motivates me to do even more!

While working out in the gym my stress not only starts to leave my body, but I temporarily forget about everything else that created the stress in the first place.  It’s really nice to just cool down and “chill” for an hour or more.

Exercise has been proven by several experts to help relieve stress, although I have presently witnessed this myself.  Exercise will help increase your energy level and optimism, allowing you to remain more calm and clear minded.  Exercise will also give you a boost, increasing your level of “feel-good” endorphins and it will help you sleep better. My favorite reason to exercise is that it has a way of increasing your self-confidence and lowering your levels of anxiety.

High levels of anxiety, stress along with a lack of sleep cause me to hit a boiling point and I don’t like that kind of heat.  Exercising in a gym makes me “chill” – I cool down when I am there.  I like that.  Actually, I deserve that!

What do you do to “cool down” when the heat becomes too much?

Photo credit: Bottled_Void

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