Pleasure is a key factor in your overall well-being that truly benefits your body as you are trying to look and feel your best.
So far, we've covered a lot of ground in this seven part series. You've learned the benefits of:
Which brings us to post #7 (and the last one in this series). My final recommendation to help you feel great in your body and lose weight, regardless of the eating plan you are on, is to...
#7: PLAY MORE
For the purpose of this post, I am using the word 'play' to mean your participation in activities that bring you joy. Whether these are quiet activities (such as reading, crafting or relaxing outdoors) or more active ones (such as running, playing a sport or going out dancing), the positive benefits from experiencing the joy of play are REAL. After reading the other posts in this series, perhaps you've already tried out some of the ways that I've discussed that get your body into a more relaxed state, all of which have enormous physical benefits to your digestion. They help you more fully digest what you've eaten, and properly distribute energy and nutrients to the parts of your body where they are needed most. Does it surprise you that feeling joy does the same thing for your digestion? The joy that comes from playing more also relaxes the body in ways that allow it to function its best, whether it's to digest your food, sleep more soundly or enhance your concentration.
How 'Play' Affects Your Body
Regardless of the type of activity you engage in for your 'play time', your body relaxes and derives happiness whenever you take the time to do something pleasurable. Playing boosts your immune system, decreases stress in your body and supports longevity.
According to Dr. Diana Samuel of Columbia University Medical Center, you feel joy in your body because of the release of two types of neurotransmitters in your brain, dopamine and serotonin, which are both associated with happiness. When something makes you feel happy, these chemicals are released, and cause a physical reaction in both your circulatory system (the body's transportation system to the organs) and your autonomic nervous system (which controls digestion, breathing and the body's 'fight or flight' reaction when stressed). These 'feel good' chemicals calm your body by helping it turn off it's 'fight or flight' reaction to stress, and affect organ muscles to more effectively move food through the digestive tract. In addition, other chemical reactions are activated in your body based on the specific type of activity you do. So playing tennis will produce reactions that stem from active movement, while reading a book causes less muscle activation, but activates different parts of your brain. In either case, the very act of taking time to do something you truly enjoy greatly benefits your mind and body in important ways.
How 'Playing More' Affects Weight Loss and Well-Being
A Few Final Thoughts
I hope you enjoyed this seven part series on non-food ways to feel great and lose weight. The point was to show you that there are many (often surprising, but always effective) things you can do to support your body in feeling and looking great. When working with me, my clients often begin with the belief that weight loss is only about diet and exercise, with a generous sprinkling of struggle and deprivation throughout the process. As we work together, they begin to see that feeling and looking good is about much more than just diet and exercise decisions, and that how they live their lives every day greatly affects their overall well-being and weight loss. They also see that losing weight does not require the suffering that they previously imagined. By making small adjustments that keep them feeling great along the way, they begin to experience ease in the process, and actually want to continue to do right by their bodies. This of course, includes eating well, moving their bodies, as well as lifestyle and mindset adjustments like the ones I've outlined in this series. They begin to look at:
I believe these are just some of the things that create a healthy person, and a person who feels good on the inside is capable of creating ANYTHING else that they want in their life.
Do you feel like it's time to figure out the things you really want from life? As a coach, I will support you in reaching your health goals, so you can cross the finish line on reaching whatever else it is you desire. To do so, it all begins by taking care of YOU: body, mind and soul.
Interested in learning more about how I can help you feel great in your body in every way? I invite you to click on the link here and schedule a consultation with me to talk about what's eating you and how I can help!
In Good Health,