You’ve probably heard it a million times. Friends, family, doctors, recommend you should work out “because you will feel good afterward.” But what is it that really happens in your body and your brain when you do so? In this article, we cover 4 reasons why you might want to consider incorporating some exercise in your routine, as busy as it may be.
1. Your fitness improves
Exercise has multiple forms. You can strengthen your muscles with weight lifting, get leaner doing cardio, improve your balance with some yoga, or even get some fresh air during a short walk around the park.
It has been demonstrated that physical activity has a direct impact on decreasing the risks of getting cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers (CDC, 2019). Regardless of the activity you choose, the important thing is to remain active to feel the benefits of physical exercise.
2. Your mind is sharper
In addition to the aforementioned impact that physical exercise has on your body overall, it is worth to mention the impacts on the brain separately. TheCDC explains that exercise reduces the risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and improves cognition. Cognition includes the executive function of the brain, attention, memory, processing speed, and crystallized intelligence. In case you don’t know, crystallized intelligence is “the ability to retrieve and use information that has been acquired over time” (CDC, 2019).
3. You’re more productive
Have you ever felt those bursts of energy after a workout? Among the immediate effects of physical activity, we can find reduced anxiety and improved quality of sleep. If you feel well-rested and content with yourself, it is likely that your productivity levels will increase. And productivity doesn’t necessarily have to be related to work, but anything else that requires care and attention. For example, personal relationships, hobbies, or even cooking and cleaning your living space are activities that can be deeply affected if you are not feeling well. Having a good night of sleep will ensure that you’re ready for all the things on your agenda for the next day.
4. Your self-confidence increases
When you’re feeling good about what you can do with your body, you feel more confident and are willing to try new things. This can open up countless opportunities that you may not encounter otherwise. For example, someone that started casually jogging may feel more confident to keep on increasing the distance run as the weeks pass and end up setting the goal to train for a marathon. Or someone who has done Zumba classes for years might listen to a friend’s advice and join an indoor cycle class for the first time, only to find that it is her new favorite activity. The bottom line is that the more you practice, the more empowered you will feel to take on new challenges.
Are you considering exercising but don’t know where to start? Below you’ll find some recommendations to make the most out of your practice and remain constant.
Make It Fun
When choosing an activity, it should be something that you like enough to motivate you to remain consistent in your practice. Changes don’t happen overnight, so the key to success and achieving your goals is to commit to exercising regularly.
Whatever the activity may be, theCDC explains that “for substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity exercise”. How awesome is it to have 5 hours a week to do something by yourself that you actually enjoy?
Find A Workout Partner
An effective way of keeping in track with your exercise routine is to have someone do it with you. Sharing the workout with a friend or colleague can make it more entertaining. Even if you don’t have any acquaintances that would be interested in working out together, you can still train with other people by joining gym classes, or a sports club.
If you’re the type of person that prefers to train solo, then just having someone to talk about your fitness goals can help you stay motivated to accomplish them.
In order to sustain the elevated levels of activity during the day, you need to maintain a balanced diet that supports your fitness goals. If you’re unsure of what your body needs in terms of food, it is important to consult with a nutritionist. You have to bear in mind that what you eat will have to fuel your body for the rest of the day, so it should be aligned with your activity planned for the day and your body type. There is no ‘one size fits all’ type of diet, so you should be open to trying out new recipes that might change your life forever.
Overall, there are multiple reasons why you should, in fact, exercise. As mentioned before, it isn’t necessarily important which type of exercise you do as long as you keep on being active. Physical activity will bring benefits to your physical and mental health, as well as present new opportunities to try out new sports or recipes and establish new relationships. Are you going to miss them?
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