Exercise Offers an Unexpected Bonus


By Amy Van Liew

If you’ve ever felt that “ahhhh” feeling after an exercise session or a nice walk around the neighborhood, you probably already know—exercise doesn’t just make you look and feel great, it also clears your mind and boosts your emotional well-being.   When you exercise you release endorphins and other “feel good” chemicals linked to mood enhancement.   Simply put: When you get moving, you get happy!

In teaching both group classes and my one-on-one sessions, I’ve noticed an unexpected bonus—social well-being and a sense of community.

My friend and one of my first personal training clients recently sent me a note that said: “You are such a blessing in my life, both as a friend and as a trainer. I enjoy every aspect of my exercise program, including social. I’m more in tune with and part of the community thanks to the ladies I’ve become friends with, and the news that people mention at the classes.”

I felt the unexpected bonus again recently in my morning group class.  We not only got the latest neighborhood news as we warmed up, I learned that Wendy, whose son is getting married in March, found the perfect dress for the occasion thanks to the generosity of Jackie, a fellow exerciser. Several weeks prior, Jackie had overheard that Wendy needed a dress for her son’s wedding and took it upon herself to look through her closet at home. Sure enough, amongst her wedding dress collection was the one that ended Wendy’s labored search.   The story brought a smile to my heart!

We have not only been getting stronger and healthier together, we have been building social well-being and a sense of community.

Don’t just read this article and do nothing.   While it can be hard to find the time, it is essential to make a concerted effort to get fit.   You don’t have to come to my classes (although I would love to have you).   You can clear your mind, boost your emotional and social well-being by texting a neighbor and going for a walk or joining the Yoga or Exercise Group at the Pavilion.

TODAY find some time to exercise and see what unexpected bonuses you uncover!