Exercise is important for a person’s wellness and the body’s overall health. The body is crucial to our being as a person, so embodiment is essential. Movement is vital for one’s health as well as for happiness and the good life. Since we are embodied beings, taking care of our body is not only optional but also mandatory for us. My argument for a holistic view of the body is tied to the idea that the mind is an active bodily thing that cannot be separated from action. I believe that bodily engagement is necessary for the mind.
Understanding how our mind and body are connected will aid in understanding how exercise affects us. People typically tend to view exercise in two ways: as a chore or as a part of living life to the fullest. Viewing exercise as a chore is an inferior conception of the body and movement. This view is mechanistic and sees the act of exercise as not only a chore but also the body as instrumental. I believe the latter view, that exercise is needed for one’s wellbeing.
“Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy.” This memorable quote from the pop culture movie Legally Blonde (2001) resonates with my viewpoint. You cannot separate your body from your movements, your bodily chemicals from your brain; therefore, your brain from your body. They are interwoven and interconnected. The nature of your body when you exercise holds such power – it can help you de-stress, relax and strengthen your body. Scientific studies show reports that mental alertness and focus can improve through hand/eye coordination or different forms of movement. Research in neuromuscular junction and brain chemistry has proven movement connection. The connection between your mind and your body is vital for your daily life but especially in regard to how movement helps cultivate that connection.