Why is Exercise Good for You?
With all the comforts of home plus a couple hundred channels of entertainment at your fingertips, it's easy to come up with excuses not to go to the gym. But the benefits of exercise are far to great to ignore this important hobby.
Part of the cycle of excuses is the constant images of toned up, ultra ripped bodies with bulging biceps and washboard abs. While that's an attainable goal for some, it's far from the norm. In addition to improving your physique, regular exercise can improve your mood, boost your memory, and fend off certain diseases such as some cancers and conditions ranging from diabetes to high blood pressure.
Here are six convincing reasons to leave your couch right now and hit the gym:
1. Effectively Deal With Stress
While binge watching The Walking Dead may relieve stress to some extent, it doesn't pack the same punch as hoping on the treadmill.
In fact, just 30 minutes on the treadmill per day increases the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that naturally calm your nerves. Even incorporating activities such as walking during your lunch break or taking the stairs whenever possible can have similar affects.
There is nothing like going to the gym and knocking out some bench press reps when you are feeling stressed, angry, or overwhelmed. Going to the gym can clear your mind, if only for an hour or two, but the long term benefits are there.
2. Slow Down the Aging Process
After the age of 30, most people lose about 10 percent of their aerobic capacity which can accelerate the aging process, especially on the skin with visible lines and wrinkles.
A 2010 study from the University of California suggested that stressed out women who exercised at least 45 minutes for at least three days a week showed fewer signs of aging compared to their inactive counterparts.
Hitting the gym on a regular basis also improves skin tone, increases flexibility, and reduces the risk of certain age-related conditions like osteoporosis.
3. Sleep Better
It's not always easy to get a good night's sleep, especially if you're stressed out over work or dealing with other day-to-day issues. The cure may be 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise at least three times a week.
Unlike the old warm milk thing, it's better to get your vigorous workout out of the way in the morning or afternoon. By the time you're ready for bed, the aftereffects of your workout should set in and lull you into a deeper more productive sleep.
How often do you workout?
4. Improve Confidence & Self-esteem
Once you find the right workout routine, you can improve your self-confidence by meeting realistic goals. The key here is realistic. If you haven't spent a lot of time in a gym, don't expect to be benching 500 by the end of the month.
Consider bringing a friend along. There's nothing like a mutual cheering squad to further boost your confidence. Your self-esteem will continue to climb as you see results from your regular workouts. Who doesn't feel better when buying a pair of jeans a size or two smaller?
5. Keep Your Mind Sharp
A good cardiovascular workout gets blood flowing to the brain. Studies suggest that regular exercise improves memory retention and awareness by increasing the levels of certain proteins and natural chemicals in the body to help with decision making and comprehension. Working up a good sweat can also help you learn new things easier, whether it be a game with your kids or a new concept at work.
It's no secret that when you're healthy, you feel good. Working out not only releases endorphins, it makes you feel accomplished and proud, which can raise confidence and reduce stress.
TED Talk: Exercise and the Brain
6. Develop Focus and Discipline
Once you get past the excuses and get into the habit of hitting the gym on a regular basis, you may be surprised how some things just fall into place. If you have an especially hard day, you can always take comfort in knowing that you'll get in a good workout later.
Not only does going to the gym keep you focused, it also disciplines you to keep track of goals, meals, lifts etc... This will greatly benefit you outside of the fitness world because you will quickly become a more organized and disciplined person.
Going to the gym shouldn't be a chore
There are very few reasons not to exercise, and many reasons to get off your butt and hit the gym. Working out, staying healthy and fit not only benefits your body, but also your mind, mood, spirit and overall quality of life.
However, all good things come at a price. Working out and staying dedicated is hard work, and not many people can keep it up. These people are easy to spot. Hint: They are out of shape.
But if you stay determined and disciplined, your hard work will pay off. This has been proven by many people over and over. Just pick up a fitness magazine or hit the beach and check out the people who keep themselves in shape and go to the gym consistently.