exercise as therapyActivities like bicycle riding that serve as both exercise and fun are some of the most therapeutic there are. There are activities that are fun, but not good for us. Likewise, there are activities that have health benefits but are not enjoyable. It is very important that people find the activities for them that accomplish both, whether it is hiking, doing yoga, swimming or bicycling. The combination of something being both good for you and enjoyable is what makes it therapeutic, and therapeutic activities are essential to our health.

The first aspect of exercise being therapeutic is the good it does us physically. Exercise is one of the most highly recommended means of managing personal health. Doctors and medical professionals emphasize the importance of exercise as a way of preventing disease and staying in an optimal healthy condition. Our bodies rely on exercise for muscle building, fat burning and circulation. Muscles can only stay strong through exercise, so it is critical to follow a regular exercise regimen. The fats that we consume are stored in our bodies unless we exercise. And good circulation is dependent on regular exercise to keep our body and brain chemicals evenly distributed.

Of course all of the physical benefits of exercise translate directly to the ways exercise makes us feel good. The same circulation and chemical distribution that aids our physical bodies also helps our brain chemistry immensely, which is largely tied to our mental health. Exercise also makes the brain release “happy” chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which are indicative of pleasure. Physical activities can be enormously fun and can occupy our attention completely. Everyone is capable of finding a physical activity that is fun for them as well as beneficial.