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Mind Body Soul

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By holnicole
Words 1615
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Mind, Body, and Soul: The Benefits of Exercise Do you want a live a long, happy and fulfilled life? [If so, you must learn to maintain a balanced mind, body, and soul. How does someone do that though? It’s easy, it all begins with exercise.] By exercising you will not only be able to benefit the body, but also the mind, and the spirit. This can be maintained by finding different varieties of exercises that will help enrich not only your body, but also your mind and spirit It’s common knowledge for many individuals that the body benefits from exercise. Exercise will improve your health while making you feel good. But what other benefits does it have? Exercise can help increase the muscle sizes in the body. Another benefit that I would of certainly not of known about is it helps to build up the bones in your body. Muscles are everywhere from your work place to the grocery store. No matter where you go, you will see muscles on either guys or on women, which is now of a more common thing. Most guys want to increase their muscle size, while some women want to tone the muscles in their bodies. Many men and women will benefit daily from having their muscles. Muscles can help to build a person’s confidence. Muscles can also benefit a person while at their job if they need to carry or pick up a rather heavy object. How do you develop muscle from exercise though? The most specific way to describe the way muscle is earned is through exercise is; the body breaks down and damaged the muscle as you exercise. Once the body has broken down and damaged the muscle, it will need to be repaired. The body then repairs the damaged part of the muscle, but to keep the muscle from being damaged again in the future, it will make the muscle much stronger and better this time. This will cause the muscle to get stronger and also give it a better look.
Another way that muscle is developed through exercise is it helps the flow of blood throughout the body. By helping the flow of blood throughout the body, it will allow a larger amount of oxygen to the damaged muscle. The larger amount of oxygen will then allow the muscle to re-grow at a faster rate. Another benefit of the increase of the blood flow is that after a hard workout, you will be less likely to feel fatigue (Powers). The more exercise you do, the stronger your bones will become. Bone is living tissue, which is able to adjust to different conditions. An example that comes from the article Exercise Builds Bigger Bones is about an athlete. The strong muscle the athlete has puts stress on the bone. The result of this stress is that the bone will become stronger. To put this in a simpler term, bone is already strong and light. The skeleton actually only makes up one-seventh of your body weight but yet is still as strong as steel (Globus). Even with the bones being this strong, they are still flexible due to the collagen in them. Collagen is the reason your bones do not snap when it absorbs any kind of strain for bending. Inside your bones, you will also find red-blood cells. These cells can die, but are quickly replaced. While at a young age, the new bones can be built up faster than the old ones can break down. However, as we age, this begins to change. We lose bone faster and we are unable to replace as fast as in the younger years. A benefit of exercising while young is that you will be less likely to develop bone problems in your later years. A good form of exercise to build up the bones in your body is weight training. Weight training makes the muscle work harder than normally. As a result, the added stress causes the muscle to get larger, while increasing the size of the fibers. This stress from the enlargement of the muscles and fibers will encourage the bones to grow heavier and strong. Putting your muscles through this stress will also help improve your balance and flexibility. The body is not the only part of the body than can benefit from exercise. Exercise can also help to improve the mind. The benefits from exercising for the mind all focus around the brain and the way it works. Different types of exercising can also help the brain. It all depends on which type you need for the type of problem.
Exercise causes the brain to receive an uplifting workout as well. Neuroscientist William Greenough of the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana found that aerobic exercise fuels the brain. It fills the brain with more nutrients, while skill-based exercise increases the number of synapses, or connections. The increase of connects scientists imagine make the brain better able to process information (Rowe).
Scientists have discovered that when a workout is aerobic based similar to a boot camp style or a choreographed dance routine the brain is boosted in the same way it is when learning a new language. Older adults that regularly workout will have the speed at which the brain processes information improved. The normal rate at which a brain processes information is 100 Hz (Computation in the Brain). Imagine the rate that the brain processes information in an older individual.
Exercise does not only help with older individuals. It can also help younger individuals, as in young children. Their self-esteem and confidence will increase higher from the use of exercise. Children who participate in physical activity are said to do better in school. This is due to the increase in the children’s memory and concentration from partaking in exercise. Studies have also shown that exercise in children will decrease anxiety, and depression while improving their moods and quality of sleep (Pippig).
Depending on your mood, you can decide what kind of exercise to perform that day. If you would like to quietly unwind, you can choose many different exercises. Walking, running, bicycling, or swimming will help with this. The rhythmic movements of these exercises do not require tons of interaction. In the article Mind over Muscle, Jack Raglin, a professor at Indiana University states “when people say the word "down" every time their right foot hits the treadmill and they time their movements to their breathing, they experience a state of relaxation similar to that achieved through meditation.” (Levitt).
A good exercise for your soul is meditation. Meditation is a term that refers to a group of techniques, such as mantra meditation, relaxation response, mindfulness meditation, and Zen Buddhist meditation. It is a practice of CAM, which stands for complementary and alternative medicine. Most forms of meditation originated in ancient religious and spiritual traditions. Meditation can be practiced for many reasons, such as increased calmness and physical relaxation, to improve psychological balance, cope with illness, or to simply improve overall health.
In meditation, a person learns to focus. Some instruct an individual to become mindful of thoughts and feelings. This is said to result in a greater calmness and relaxation. To get these benefits you must use the four elements of meditation. The four elements are; a quiet place, specific and comfortable posture, focuses of attention, and an open attitude.
Meditation can use for many health problems. Anxieties, pain depression, stress, insomnia along with physical or emotional symptoms that can be associated with chronic illness are all health problems meditation is commonly used for. In a 2007 national Government survey, they asked about CAM. They found that 9.4 percent representing roughly 20 million people have used meditation in the last 12 months (Meditation: An Introduction).
There are two common forms of meditation. They are known as Mindfulness meditation and Transcendental Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a component of Buddhism. In one form of mindfulness meditation, the individual is taught to bring attention to the flow of the breath. The individual learns to focus attention on what is being experienced. This is said to help the individual experience thoughts and emotions in daily life with balance and acceptance. TM technique comes from the Hindu traditions. It uses a word, sound or phrase repeated silently to prevent distractions. The goal of this form is to achieve a state of relaxed awareness.
Exercise is an important part of life. It helps keep an individual live a longer life by keeping them healthy. Exercise does not just do the body good though. Exercise is able to help the mind in many ways, for example helping the brain is the biggest benefit. Exercise can also benefit the spirit as you can practice meditation. Meditation will keep you calm and in a state of relaxation while increasing the happiness in your life. Works Cited
"Computation in the Brain." Brain. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.
Globus, Sheila. "Exercise Builds Bigger Bones." Current Health 24.5 (1998): 25. Print.
Levitt, Shelley. "Mind Over Muscle." Vegetarian Times 338 (n.d.): 27-30. LexisNexis. Feb. 2006. Web. 1 Nov. 2012.
"Meditation: An Introduction." Home Page. N.p., June 2010. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.
Pippig, Uta. "Benefits of Exercise for Children » Take The Magic Step®." Benefits of
Exercise for Children » Take The Magic Step®. N.p., 1 Apr. 2011. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.
Powers, M. "Understanding How Exercise Builds Muscle.",
n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.
Rowe, Theresa. "Exercise Works the Brain as Well as the Body: Body & Soul." LexisNexis.
Messenger-Inquirer, 08 July 2006. Web. 01 Nov. 2012.

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