What’s Good for Your Brain is Good for Your Bod

kings_canyon_0It’s August.  My favorite season is nearing its end.  Such a great time of year to ride my bike, hike, walk and swim.  Sometimes, I need to exercise earlier in the morning than I’d like, but I always feel like patting myself on the back when I’m done.  I never sure which comes first – feeling great physically or feeling great emotionally.  They’re so closely linked it’s hard to tell.  But what I know without a doubt is this: What’s good for your brain is good for your bod.  Even those days when the last thing I’m in the mood for is exercise and if I go out anyway, there’s always a sense of accomplishment, completion, and satisfaction.  Those little old endorphins begin kicking in.

It’s true that gyms are great when the weather is uncooperative.  But if the weather is cooperating, the outdoors is still the best, most relaxing and often the most beautiful environment to exercise. There’s nothing like a walk on the beach or a hike on the trail.   Taking deep breaths of fresh air clears my lungs and secondarily, my head.  It’s hard to worry about work, home and your life in general on a beautiful day out in nature – the original, drug-free tranquilizer.

To feel close to nature some enjoy camping.  Others, like us Brooklyn girls, prefer a hotel with a real floor, a real bathroom and a real bed!  Either way, sleeping in a tent, a camper or in a hotel, then waking up and stepping out into nature is always invigorating, healthy and an excellent stress reliever.  And as we all know, long term, emotional stress has a way of finding a cozy, little spot in your body to set up shop and create some serious health problems, i.e., high blood pressure, colitis/gastritis, heart attack, stroke, depression, anxiety.  No need to elaborate further about what chronic stress can do to your body. I know you know.

So, while we’re still enjoying the summer or even when fall rolls around, why not get out in nature and enjoy our exquisite national parks. Here are some suggestions:

Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska – nps.gov/kenaifjords

Sequoia National Park, California – nps.gov/seki

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia – nps.gov/shen

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming – nps.gov/grte

Apostle Island National Lakeshore, Wisconsin – nps.gov/apis

Zion National Park, Utah – nps.gov/zion

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee – nps.gov/grsm

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky – nps.gov/maca

What’s good for your brain is good for your bod.

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2 Responses to What’s Good for Your Brain is Good for Your Bod

  1. cynthia drysdale says:

    Dear Reina,
    Enjoyed both the blogs I opened this AM, particularly having just returned from two days at the beach… specifically engineered by me as a therapeutic experience. It works! Also… I also was treated for ductal carcinoma in situ. With radiation. Luck to have had no side effects, and further developments.
    Hope you guys are well, and that Asheville is moving along nicely. We are still at ground zero.
    Cynthia

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