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Mena's Minute

Exercise is good for mind, body, and soul.

Some people exercise to reduce their rates of heart disease or to get off of blood pressure or cholesterol medications. Some people just want to rock a great pair of jeans or a bikini. Whatever your reasons and goals are for exercising, you may receive benefits that you may not have considered.

Exercise is good for your brain and soul, too. It can help you become a more productive, healthier, and happier human. And it’s a simple way to reduce stress and anxiety. Whether you’re at work or home, mental stress wreaks havoc on your body.

In addition, exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of joy and euphoria. Regardless of age or weight, you will find yourself building more confidence through exercise. Studies have shown that exercise even can help those suffering from depression. Whether you start weight-training session, hit a punching bag, or go for a hike, all it takes is 30 minutes three times a week to see your depression fade. Studies have shown that those who are clinically depressed and on medications were able to stop taking meds once they brought exercise into their lives.

As we age, we start to lose memory and become forgetful. Studies also show that exercise can help keep our brains fresh and strong as we age by creating new brain cells. This means less memory loss and more ability to learn and retain information. Studies also reveal that creativity flourishes after exercise. How often have you had writer’s block or creative dives? Take a brisk walk or hit the gym for an intense workout, and then get back to work. You will find that you feel fresh, more focused, and more creative than ever.

Exercise is an excellent way to improve your overall wellness. You get one body, one mind, and one life to live. Be good to your body, and it will repay you with years of health, confidence, happiness, and less stress. Get up and go for a walk today. And, in the meantime, try this healthy honey garlic shrimp recipe, below.

Recipe
Honey garlic shrimp
(courtesy of Mena Spodobalski. Serves 4)

⅓ cup organic local honey
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced (optional)
1 pound medium-sized uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 green onion, chopped for garnish

Whisk honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger (if using) together in medium bowl.

Place shrimp in large zip-top bag. Pour half marinade mixture on top. Shake or stir. Allow shrimp to marinate in refrigerator for 15 minutes or overnight. Cover and refrigerate rest of marinade for next step.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Place shrimp in skillet. (Discard used marinade.) Cook shrimp on one side until no longer pink — about 45 seconds — then flip over shrimp. Pour in remaining marinade and cook it all until shrimp is cooked through, about 1 more minute.

Serve shrimp with cooked marinade sauce and green onion garnish. The sauce also is excellent poured on brown rice and steamed veggies.

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