Ever have one of those days when you are just plain grumpy, and nothing goes quite right? Yeah, me, too. Yesterday was one of those days. I just couldn't put my finger on what was wrong. I mean, I finally had a headache free day after several days dealing with with one--you know those lovely sinuses. So, that was good. But, I hadn't slept well at all the night before--maybe the stars were out of alignment (whatever that means?) I wanted to go back to bed after the dog woke me up, so I made my husband take the dog out for his morning walk. Guess what? I couldn't believe it, but I couldn't go back to sleep! Sometimes, things just aren't fair, you know? So, I proceeded through the usual Saturday morning grocery shopping and errands, trying to pull myself together. Nothing seemed to work. Finally, it struck me. I hadn't exercised the day before. Nope. I took the day off to get rid of my headache and get some other things accomplished. THAT WAS IT!
I don't get a "high" when I exercise, like many athletes do. I don't work out at that level. But I really notice it when I miss working out for a couple of days...I think my brain starts missing the endorphins. Endorphins are those lovely feel-good-happy, opiate-like neurotransmitters that like to zip through your brain when you do different things --like exercise. Endorphins really make us feel good and work in much the same way as many SSRI anti-depressants do (this is not to say that exercise can take the place of your antidepressants--always follow the advice of your doc!)
I was talking to my husband about going to see a George Clooney movie to perk me up, but once I figured out my brain needed a zip of endorphins, I suggested we take the dog out to the park for a walk instead. I told him I needed a mental health walk. We took the path through the woods, trudged through the snow, pushed hard and had a great workout for our quads. In 45 minutes, I felt great. Of course, seeing George on the big screen would have been fun, too, but wouldn't have taken care of my brain. Many years ago, when I felt like I did yesterday, that would have led to lots of overeating. Now, I am glad I can figure out what is wrong, even though it sure did take me a while!
And when I got back, I had so much energy, that I started to do a little house cleaning (not my forte.) I did some major stretching as I climbed behind the sofa and dusted the shelf of the big bow window. As I stepped to reach a little further, I forgot about the air register, and really smacked my little toe on corner. YEOW!!! So, today? It's a lovely shade of purplish-black, I'm gingerly walking on it, and thinking that I'm not going to be able to do a good power walk again today. Instead, I will hit abs and arms tonight. Ah, well, I told you it wasn't my day.
What did I learn from yesterday? I certainly learned not to skip my regular exercise routine. I need it for my endorphin fix and for my mental health. And, I think I may have learned to avoid housework...either that, or to always do it with my sneakers on!