By Shane YoungMay 4, 2015

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a sort of a glutton for punishment. I love to push myself during each and every workout I commit to. Really… if I’m going to show up, I’m going to get after it!

And, I’m certainly not the only one! I see so many of you pushing beyond your perceived limits day in and day out at Ascend. So, why do we do this? How do we benefit from pushing ourselves when we work out?

I want to share three reasons why I personally push myself each time I lace up and hit the gym for a quality workout or stretch session.

  1. The afterglow: Like many of you, I feel absolutely incredible after a solid sweat session! When I push myself past any resistance I feel, I cultivate an inner strength that I continue to carry with me throughout the day. My core feels solid and engaged as I move through the world. I have spinal integrity and experience every discrete movement in my body; it’s a true mind-body connection.
  2. Free drugs: Yep, you read that right! One word: endorphins. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, endorphins are my body’s natural anti-depressant and I notice my mood is significantly better after an intense workout. I even feel good while I’m working out; I’m able to table my thoughts and focus intently on the task at hand. This is because when you exercise vigorously, your body releases magical chemicals called endorphins. When this happens, you experience feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, increased secretion of sex hormones, and an enhanced immune response. And, when endorphin levels are high, you actually experience less pain and fewer negative effects of stress. Sounds good to me.
  3. Disciplines of practice: Okay, so here’s what I mean by this: when I make a consistent commitment to get myself out of bed/off the couch/away from Netflix to workout, I actually realize that I become far more productive throughout the rest of my day. I recognize that pushing myself and dedicating time to working out is actually a transcendent activity which means the benefits of doing so extend far beyond the actual session. I become more committed to my meditation practice and caring for my physical and spiritual body. I cook healthier foods, maintain healthy social interaction, and fly through to-do lists!

Why do you #pushyourself? Comment below!


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