Exercise is part of my daily lifestyle and I love it! Hey, I loved it so much I switched careers to help live my passion and help others get the joy out of it like I do. We hear all the time that exercise is important, but do we really know why?
Yes, it’s great to exercise and lose fat as this will help our hearts. Let’s not forget exercising to look great for special events like a vacation or a wedding. Although, those are great reasons to exercise, there are other amazing benefits to your mental and physical being that you may be unaware of.
Below are 11 Reasons You Should Start Exercising, and hopefully the next time you’re thinking about just sitting on the couch you remember a few of these reasons and get your sweat on instead!
1. Boosts Your Energy & Mood: Ever had a bad day when you just wanted to go home and binge watch Netflix forgetting about your troubles? Well next time you feel like this, don’t, instead go for a walk, run, attend a fitness class, ride a bike etc. and you’ll finish that workout feeling happier and more energetic than when you started. Exercise, releases endorphins which are natural pain killers, as they are chemicals produced by the body to provide relief from stress and pain. They produce a natural “high” that will leave you smiling the rest of the day! Also, once you start moving you naturally want to keep going turning that initial 10-minute walk into potentially 30 minutes with renewed energy and circulation.
2. Better Sleep: Once you’ve established a regular exercise routine, you will not only find yourself falling asleep faster, but you will also be able to increase the length of your sleep, which is fabulous if your nights are normally restless. This can be contributed to not only the fact that exercise helps reduce stress levels which effect your sleep, but that it increases your body temperature during exercise, and then the drop-in temperature post exercise induces sleep. Exercise has been noted to be very effective in helping individuals with insomnia.
3. Lowers Stress & Anxiety: If you checked out my recent blog “Why Women Should Life Weights” you will know that a study published in June 2018 by JAMA Psychiatry, found that individuals with mild to moderate depression who were able to incorporate strength training two or more days a week, experienced a significant decrease in their symptoms, compared to those who did not lift. The repeated motions in exercise, help you focus on your body, keeping your mind away from the worries that are stressing you out. It helps give you energy and clarity during and post workout.
4. Improve Brain & Memory: You might be thinking that you’re only exercising to lose weight or to build muscle, not realizing that you are actually improving your brain function as well! A study completed by the University of Georgia’s Department of Exercise Science, found that even a brief 20-minute workout, helped facilitate information processing and your memory function. This is because exercise increases your heart rate, requiring your brain to receive more oxygen, while also releasing hormones which help brain cells repair and replenish. Exercise can help you become a better problem solver, retain more information and if coordination is not your thing, find an activity that will help you improve it!
5. Maintains Your Immune System: Exercise may help your immune system perform at a higher level because as you improve your fitness level, you are naturally increasing your overall health. Studies have noted that moderate exercise may help cut down the number of colds you get, which can be very helpful if you live in a city where the seasons change, or you experience cold winters, like I do here in Toronto!
6. Keeps Your Bones Strong: We all are inevitably “maturing” as I like to call it, which means that the risk of osteoporosis increases, leaving you more susceptible to breaks and fractures. Exercise though, particularly weight lifting can help you combat this issue as it gives you the ability to increase bone density, improve muscle mass, balance, and connective tissue strength. Those new strong muscles that you’re developing from weight training are going hand-in hand with ensuring your bones remain strong and able to support anything.
7. Builds Muscle Mass: All you ladies out there, don’t be afraid of this statement. Muscle Mass is a good thing to develop from exercising and you’re not going to “bulk up” like you might have heard people mention. Muscle mass, will help you lower your fat mass and help you get that lean toned look you may have been looking for. You can also concentrate on particular areas, so if you’ve always wanted that Booty, now’s your time to get it!
8. Lowers Your Risk of Health Conditions: The ability that exercise has on helping to improve health conditions is outstanding. Particularly, it can help if you have Diabetes (helps insulin lower your blood sugar level), Asthma (can help control the frequency and severity of attacks), Arthritis (reduces pain and maintains muscle strength in the affected joints), as well as many others like Heart Disease, back pain, and Dementia. Be sure to always consult a medical professional before implementing a new exercise routine if you have one of these conditions.
9. Can Improve Your Sex Life: Exercise improves circulation and blood flow throughout the body, which are two factors involved in sexual response. Also your heart rate, breathing, and muscle activity are all improved with exercise, enhancing your sexual satisfaction and performance. Be sure not to over-train though, as it will have the opposite effect of what you desire.
10. Can Be FUN & Social: Alright everyone, this is probably one of the best things about exercising! Exercise doesn’t have to be about grinding it out in the gym for hours by yourself, grab your friends and hit up a class and then grab a coffee afterwards. When combining exercise and social interaction you can enjoy the workout more and push each other to reach your goals. If none of your friends enjoy the same workouts as you do, then join a class on your own and you’ll meet some new like minded people to connect with!
11. Reduces Body Fat: Now you probably would assume this would be number one on the list, but I call this an added bonus. If you’ve read above, exercise has so many physical and mental health benefits that it should not be all about losing weight and hey as you lose fat you’re hopefully gaining muscle, resulting in a more toned look but not necessarily a drop in the scale. Exercise does help you lose fat by first using your glucose storage (primary source of energy) and then forcing your body to burn through your fat reserves but remember all the added benefits that are coming along with it, like a happier, healthier lifestyle.
There you have it, reasons to start exercising, if you haven’t started already. Remember, whatever type of exercise you decide to participate in, make sure it’s something you enjoy and look forward to. So, what’s your reason for exercising? Leave a comment below and let me know!
If the above points have left you inspired to get exercising but you don’t know where to start, then reach out and I’d be more than happy to help you get your journey started!