When you looked at the title of this article, did you get the impression that I didn’t recognize the proper use of hyphenation? Why in the world would anyone hyphenate the word ‘foxy’?
Well rest easy, there’s a very good reason – to emphasize the latter part of the word, ‘oxy’! ‘Oxy’ in ancient Greek meant ‘sharp, swift, or keen.’ And in a little bit you will see how that ancient word root figures significantly into a hormone that influences the health and well-being of every human alive.
In this post, I want to discuss the 7th way – the importance of exercise to hormonal balance. During exercise, your body releases the priceless love and bonding hormone “oxytocin” into your bloodstream and the benefits are amazing for women of all ages.
Most women who have ever given birth were informed early on by nurses and lactation experts in the hospital about the importance of breast-feeding for maternal bonding and for the health and well-being of both mother and child, and were informed that oxytocin production both stimulates and is stimulated by lactation in a kind of cyclical fashion. If, as a mother, you had the opportunity to breastfeed you can attest to the wonderful feelings of closeness and affection, relaxation, and general well-being you felt every time your child snuggled close to you and nursed.
The benefits of oxytocin are not limited to just childbirth and breastfeeding and benefit both sexes. While oxytocin is not an endorphin per se, when oxytocin is released by the posterior pituitary gland, it stimulates the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones of which most of us have already heard. Males as well as females produce oxytocin, and it has beneficial effects in both sexes. Some of its many documented benefits are feelings of connectedness and closeness to loved ones, lessening of cravings and addictions, increased sexual receptivity, facilitation of learning, faster wound healing, diminished sense of pain, lessened feelings of stress, lowered cortisol levels, and lowering of blood pressure. So from what is now known about oxytocin, it is indeed very important to social interactions of all kinds and especially to close familial bonding including sexual. So if you really do want to be ‘foxy’, then you should consider ways to produce more ‘oxy’!
One of the ways that your body produce oxytocin is through exercise! Of course everyone knows that endorphins are a beneficial byproduct of exercise. However, did you know that powerful feelings of closeness and bonding to our families, our co-workers, our fellow human beings, and the universe in general are byproducts of exercise as well, due to that ‘foxy oxy’ that we are manufacturing as we exercise! Have you ever noticed that you are more affectionate, compassionate and feel better about yourself and others when you exercise regularly – that is all because of the production of oxytocin while you are moving and exercising! Isn’t it fascinating that oxytocin is one spoke in the wheel of life, the one that starts turning with our birth and continues throughout life as we relate to all other living things in a continuous cycle? Of course movement is another spoke in the wheel and one phase of our continuous journey through the universe. We are not still and static beings, and exercise in a sense “shakes up” and activates the release of oxytocin, which in turn energizes us to move even more, in all kinds of healthy and loving ways!
So, shake it up, Baby! If you want to be foxy, shake up your oxy! You know it feels good, so get up and dance to the music. If you have a sedentary job, make the time to get up, go someplace where you feel good, and make that body move – because your oxytocin will thank you for it!
Are you producing enough oxytocin? Click here to take my Oxytocin Quiz and see how much of this amazing love and bonding hormone you are producing and ways to increase your production if you are deficient!