Have you ever wondered what the benefits of exercise actually are?
We are told it is good for us, and that it is enjoyable. If you are a non-exerciser your experience of exercise may go like this.
After prising yourself from the warmth of the sofa you drag yourself to go for a jog. And you hate it.
You feel awkward.
You feel tight chested and have a stitch after just minutes.
You give up and go home.
And to top it off you ache the next day!
If this is you, I really feel for you, and I do hope you stick with it, whatever your chosen exercise happens to be. Start slow and do short sessions consistently. Over time you will get better, feel better and be fitter. Stick at it.
But why should we do exercise? As it happens, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading factors contributing to premature death from obesity and lifestyle related diseases.
Whether you exercise at home or gym, for slimming or toning up, health or weight loss, if you are one that hates exercise and tries to avoid it, then I hope this list of 40 reasons to exercise will motivate you a little.
In fact, exercise has so much more to offer us than just weight loss, and below are 40 reasons to exercise.
- Improved cardiovascular health (cardiovascular referring to the heart and lungs)
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Improved circulation to extremities (no more cold feet!)
- Reduced likelihood of developing varicose veins
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced likelihood of suffering heart attacks and strokes
- Lowered resting heart rate
- Improved blood lipid profiles
- Increased energy expenditure leading to lowered body fat levels
- Reduced stress levels/stress management
- Lowered risk of developing diabetes and lowered resting blood glucose levels
- Lowered incidence of all causes of mortality
- Improved muscle tone
- Increased muscular strength, power and endurance
- Greater muscular flexibility
- Increased range of movement at major joints
- Increased bone density & decreased risk of Osteoporosis
- Stronger ligaments and tendons
- Improved co-ordination, balance and proprioception
- Increase immune system efficiency
- Improved posture
- Lowered incidence of non-specific back pain
- Increased resistance to fatigue
- More energy for day to day activities
- Elevated mood state due to release of exercise induced endorphins
- Increase mental focus
- Provides a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and achievement
- Lowered stress levels
- Reduced likelihood of developing depression
- Increased self confidence
- More positive outlook on life – a “can do” attitude
- A healthier attitude towards food
- Greater self awareness
- Exercise provides us with a great opportunity to increase our social circle
- Makes us more attractive to the opposite sex
- Can help develop both self sufficiency and team work
- Gives us more latitude with what we choose to eat
- Teaches us to be goal orientated
- Improved time management, organization and planning ability
- Improved quality and enjoyment of life!
So its a no-brainer. Exercise is the key to your weight loss goals, your fitness goals and your long term health goals. Your happiness can be enhanced with exercise, your physique can be honed with exercise, and your success in work, family and social life can all be positively affected with exercise.
Exercise is not just a chore, it should be a way of life and it should be varied and enjoyable. Go for a workout today, maybe just a 20 minute high intensity interval training session, and I am sure you will feel a whole lot better!
Have fun, Nico.