CEO: There Is A Silver Bullet To How You Feel

Jan 2, 2020, 10:08 AM by Chris Coker

In 1835, Alexis De Tocqueville wrote one of his most famous works entitled Democracy in America. The world was fascinated by the American Experiment in Democracy, so this work by De Tocqueville was extremely popular by modern measures. However, he postulated that Americans are driven to succeed by a desire for comforts and security in maintaining those comforts. He stated it much more eloquently, but the gist is still the same.  

That search for security and creature comforts is evident today: We have a great standard of living, but we also have a significant disparity in wealth. What we also have — because we are not fighting for survival as much as our ancestors were — is an increase in physical and mental health issues. 

An alarming increase.  

Good news! We now know what foods are better for us, and we teach health and nutrition to grade-schoolers. We now know that exercise combined with a semi-reasonable diet leads to better physical health and … wait for it … better mental health. Yes, exercise is the silver bullet. You can even have a pretty mediocre diet, and exercise will moderate its effects and improve your mental health. There is so much peer-reviewed data on this that it should be common knowledge at this point. 

Soooo, why are we bigger and more depressed? Well, it is those creature comforts.  

child in red shirt lays on the top of a couch looking bored

It is easier to binge-watch TV and go out to eat and drink with our friends than to go for a walk. Seriously, how many times do you need to watch an episode of Friends, Seinfeld or Star Trek? Skip them and go for a walk. For the love of God, just go for a walk. A long walk. Listen to an audiobook and take a walk (download Audible onto your smartphone and time will fly by). Get a dog and take it for a walk (studies also show that people with dogs live longer. They provide love... and you have to walk them. It's a win-win.). If the weather is bad, come to the Y and walk on our track or on a treadmill. Find a class and make a few new friends. Make it a habit. Try it for one month and objectively see if you feel better.

My bet is that you will feel better mentally and physically. You may even begin to consider those classes or those walks to be a creature comfort.

Person walks on trail wearing black sneakers

So here is my shameless plug, come join the Y and see if it works for you. If you are already a member, ask yourself if you are using that membership enough. Are you meeting your personal goals? If not, ask one of us for help, and we will hook you up with a great class, personal trainer or just a simple routine.  

Lastly, when you join us at the Y, you are helping thousands, literally thousands, of people who are on scholarships.  When you join the Y, you support the community!  

CEO Chris CokerChris Coker
YMCA of Northern Colorado

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