The Olympics have wrapped up and armchair athletes can take a breather. Not a single athlete has been sanctioned over the use of performance-enhancing drugs. But you, Mr. and Ms. Olympic “Could Be If You Only Made an Effort” Athlete, you are fully entitled to the rush to be gained from endogenous opioid polypeptide compounds. Yes, we’re talking endorphins. No need to go to some sleazy dive, no need for illicit materials, no, the source of these is right there in your very own body. You too can have feelings of exhilaration, a sense of power and control over yourself. How, you ask?
Get out of that armchair and stop watching others exercise. Run, swim, bike, take a group exercise class, whatever, it just doesn’t matter, just move something in some direction other than sitting down. (Though of course we do want you to stop moving long enough to read this rant).
Not that you aren’t aware of this already, but the Mayo Clinic (stellar reputation as a pioneer and innovator in medicine) gives you seven reasons to exercise:
- Exercise improves your mood, in part because physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. (now that’s what we’re talking about here)
- Exercise combats chronic diseases
- Exercise helps you manage your weight.
- Exercise boosts your energy level.
- Exercise promotes better sleep.
- Exercise can be — gasp — fun!
- Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.
Really can’t argue with any of that. And may we suggest that the full range of fitness facilities available at the 16th Street J, to say nothing of the nationally-certified personal training staff, are here for you. Run on over (or walk, we’re not particular) and we’ll give you a free day pass to try it out. And if you’re already a member, mix it up a bit—swim if you usually run, take a class if you usually do the bike, try free weights one day instead of the Cybex. And if you ever have questions about membership or fitness, you can’t do better than to go to Lynda Espada, Director of the whole shebang (formally known as the Sport, Fitness & Aquatics Director).