This winter has been brutal. Being cooped up in the house for days can really be a de-motivator for working out. This is why I thought it would be helpful to create a list of ALL the reasons to workout…
1. Builds aerobic power: Your aerobic capacity is your body’s ability to work at maximum capacity by getting oxygen from the air to your body’s tissues. You will probably lose about 1 percent of your aerobic power per year. Both long-term and short-term exercise training studies show that you can cut this loss in half. BOOM.
2. Reduce your blood pressure. Chronic hypertension is the number one form of heart disease. Cardiosmart.org states that in 2009, over 616,000 people died of heart disease! The causes of hypertension include the increased plaque in the arteries that builds up from consuming a high-fat diet. Exercise and eating healthy helps reduce your blood pressure, in part, by attacking the plaque in your arteries. As the arteries widen, the blood flows through more freely, and your blood pressure eventually starts to drop. Hypertension also decreases as the result of exercise because your heart, a muscle, is getting a workout. The stronger your heart muscle gets, the greater its ability to pump blood through the arteries, which also helps to reduce your blood pressure.
3. Lowers Type 2 diabetes risk. By working out on a regular basis (I recommend moving every day, but at least 3 days a week of heart pumping, sweat dripping workouts), you improve your ability to metabolize glucose, the key to staving off this type of diabetes.
4. Helps keep your immune system in tip top shape.
5. Reduces body fat.
6. Keeps bones strong.
7. Builds muscle. The tension of your muscles against your bones is what helps your bones get the maximum benefit of weight lifting/resistance training. If you don’t engage in these types of workouts regularly, you’ll lose muscle strength and mass. It’s science. Your body will adapt to just about anything to do regularly.
8. Increases your metabolism.
9. Boosts your energy. When you workout, your body is functioning WAY more efficiently, as you’ve got more oxygen to fuel your body’s cells. You also feel fewer aches and pains and have greater strength. As a result, you can go about your daily activities feeling less fatigued, stressed, and weary. Although going to the gym early in the morning or late in the afternoon may feel like the last thing you have energy to do, once you build exercise into your daily routine, these workout bouts will actually seem less tiresome because you’ll feel more mentally and physically capable of carrying them out.
10. Improves sexy time. Staying in shape helps promote the demands placed on your endocrine glands to produce more hormones. With more muscle mass comes greater stimulation to produce androgens which help both men and women maintain their sexual functioning. You are also more likely to feel sexy and self confident when you’re more fit. Also, let’s be honest… when you workout you’re nicer, which benefits your relationship.
11. You WILL Sleep Better. Although working out at night can do the opposite, exercise during the day helps you sleep at night. The physical exertion helps regulate your circadian rhythm! Getting better sleep also improves your immune functioning and even lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and more!
12. Improves mood. Exercise is the most underused antidepressant there is!
13. Lowers anxiety. Endorphins please!
14. Feels like play. If you find the kind of exercise that fits your personality and motivational needs, you can actually have FUN. In addition, if you get to know the people you workout with, you are way more likely to HAVE FUN. This kind of fun actually feels like play!
15. Exercise makes you smarter! Including improving your memory.
16. Makes you more flexible.
17. Increases self confidence.
18. Helps you relax!
19. Makes you more productive and creative!
I could go on, but I won’t. I think you get the idea. Keep moving… don’t stop! It doesn’t matter what the movement is! Find what you enjoy or “enjoy” and stick with it! You can do it!
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