This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Exercise and Fitness After Spinal Cord Injury. Lee Tempest, SCI Survivor, discusses The Therapeutic Feeling of Fitness.

Exercise and fitness has been very therapeutic, you know. It makes me feel good mentally and physically, and I think you really need that, you know. When I’m playing sports or I leave the gym, you know, I feel so good after leaving the gym. I felt like I might not have wanted to be there to start, I might have needed some motivation, but physically I just feel good when I leave it, you know.

I feel — my body feels like it’s working right, you know. You don’t always feel that every day, and so the therapeutic feeling of fitness is motivating and it makes me want to do it again another day.

Fitness is not, it’s not optional. I think we all need to do a little bit here and there. No one has to go to the gym every day, but, you know, a couple days a week is mentally good for you. It makes you want to do it a little bit more. When you’re feeling good, you know, maybe you’re eating healthy, too. You feel good. It makes you want to do it more, and it only takes a little bit — it only takes a little bit of time. You don’t have to be there an hour. Twenty minutes is plenty. It’s plenty for everyone.

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