Women today are bombarded with countless images telling us what beauty is. The message we are fed is that by nipping, tucking, lifting, extending, etcetera, we just might get a little bit closer to this ideal. So how do we counter balance this toxic message pervading the minds of beautiful women everywhere? More importantly how do we instill healthy practices in Christian women who are called to an even higher standard of beauty– one that takes its root in the character.
If you haven’t heard of the acronym “NEW START” it’s a mnemonic device coined by Weimar Institute to help people remember God’s 8 natural laws of health:
– Trust in God
Though having all of these elements is essential to total health (mental, physical, spiritual and emotional) the focus on this article is on Exercise and how it benefits us girls. So without further ado, here are four (4) ways exercise improves the health of females:
1) Good for Your Heart
Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in Canada (1). Along with a shift to a plant based diet, regular vigorous cardio (i.e. elevated heart rate) is the best thing you can do to make for a happy heart! The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends a minimum of 150 minutes per week for adults (2) , so try heading out for a brisk power walk over your lunch break. Not only will your body appreciate the extra exercise, but its the perfect post-meal activity to aid in your digestion. Remember to dress warmly and change into appropriate footwear!
2) Mind Cure
Depression, though seldom discussed, is prevalent in our Christian communities and our ladies are not immune. Although depression is much more complicated than just being in a “down mood”, exercise is key in alleviating some of the common symptoms by the release of endorphins and assisting and improving your outlook (3) . Exercise is also a great way to relieve stress– far better for you than a chocolate binge or indulging in impulsive “retail therapy”!
3) The Glow!
The increased blood-flow that results from a high intensity sweat session is great for your skin! According to a recent study at McMaster University (4) , frequent exercise can combat the aging process drastically even over age 65! Your pumping of fresh oxygen enhanced red blood cells through skin all over your body gives you a natural healthy glow and younger looking skin that outmatches any cream or pill.
4) Catching zZz’s
Having trouble sleeping at night? The National Sleep Foundation suggests vigorous exercise at any time of day to help you get adequate pillow time (5). An early morning workout can give you an organic burst of energy to carry you through the day, eliminating the need for heavy stimulants and caffeinated beverages. The important thing to remember is not to sacrifice sleep in order to exercise as this defeats the purpose.
Overall, exercise is really a no brainer if you want total health. Not only will you have productive day complete with a positive thoughts, a well-rested clear mind and fresh skin, but you’ll be in GREAT shape too! And which woman doesn’t want to be as beautiful inside and out as God intended? 🙂
Mikayla is a Communications and Research specialist with a passion for Jesus Christ and spreading the beauty of The Gospel through the health message. She is a fitness enthusiast who loves to experiment with vegan and vegetarian recipes to share with her family and friends. She currently resides in Toronto and serves as a member of the programming committee for Eastern Canada Youth Conference.