Let’s face it: not everyone is in love with exercise. Some days the last thing on our minds is working out. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never sat in my car in the gym parking lot for 20 minutes building up the courage to go inside, coming up with every excuse as to why I should just go home and binge watch hours of Netflix.
I hate to break it to you..but those days where we absolutely dread working out..are often the most important.
Have you ever told yourself or someone else that you’re going to do something, but never follow through with it?
How do you feel inside when you don’t live up to your word?
Disgusted? Ashamed? Guilty?
I believe we should feel the same way about skipping the gym for no good reason.
Each day is an opportunity to make yourself better. What you choose to do with those days, is entirely up to you.
Today I’m going to talk about some of the benefits of exercising regularly, not only for physical health, but for overall well-being.
READ MORE: The Importance of Post-Workout Nutrition
Physical Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is an important step in improving overall health and quality of life. Getting exercise regularly can help reduce the risk of many major diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Physical activity also helps maintain weight by increasing the number of calories you burn throughout the day (thermogenesis). A simple way to track weight loss is eating less calories than you burn in a day, and exercie will help with that.
Along with the benefits stated above, exercise can also:
- Help your body manage insulin and blood sugar levels
- Improve mood and mental health
- Strengthen muscles and bones
- Increase your chances of living longer
- Increase sexual health
Mental & Emotional Benefits of Exercise
Another MAJOR benefit of regular exercise is that it can help improve your mood and mental health. It does this by reducing anxiety, depression, and negative mood and by improving cognitive function and self-esteem. Aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, running, walking, gardening, and dance have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. When we exercise, we have an increase of blood circulation to the brain and parts of the brain responsible for memory and thinking skills. Exercise will also help improve sleep, which is something we could all use some more of.
So, how often should we be exercising?
There is no “one size fits all” exercise routine, everyone’s body will respond to exercise in different ways.
If you’re new to working out or just getting back into it we suggest starting off with 15-30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise 2 or 3 days a week. Examples can include walking, either outside or on a treadmill, biking, swimming, even yoga or stretching.
If you’re a little bit more advanced, you may be able to get away with more exercise volume. 30-45 minutes of intense exercise 3-5 days per week should suffice.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the gym, it’s important to pay attention to your body and not overdo it and injure yourself.
If you’re thinking of starting to exercise, but not sure where to start just remember the saying “something is better than nothing”. Get up and get active! This will not only help reduce the risk of major disease and help you lose weight, but it will also improve mental health and put you in a better mood!
Next time you’re thinking of skipping the gym, or don’t feel like going…do it anyway. Your body will thank you.
Ever since I first started working out to get stronger for sports, I developed a passion for fitness and nutrition. Once I got to college I started studying exercise science and began to really understand how the mind and body work together synergistically. Once I gained more knowledge I began to help my friends and family with everything fitness related, but had a true passion for nutrition. Nothing makes me happier than helping people reach their goals. Seeing someone’s true happiness when start to lose weight they never thought possible, is an indescribable feeling. Now, I manage 20Twenty Nutrition in Ames, Iowa and get to do what I love every day, and that’s help people.