Exercise. Does that word make you cringe? Does it bring up images of exercise machines that seem like torture devices? And workout instructors who might pound you down instead of lift you up? I know. I’ve been there. But the truth is, exercise can be fun. Not only is it fun, but there are big benefits of exercise – too many to count, if you include the mental, physical, and emotional ones.
So what are the health benefits of exercise? I’m glad you asked. Here are three of my favorites.
1 Exercise Can Get You in the Mood
Regular exercise is great for your mental health. Physical activity stimulates chemicals and hormones in your brain that can leave you feeling happier, less stressed, less anxious, and more relaxed. Moreover, when you feel more comfortable in your body – and also about your physical appearance – your confidence and self-esteem get a boost.
Not only that, but when you start feeling better and getting into the groove, exercise won’t seem like such a chore. You may even look forward to it! That’s a win-win situation for your health.
2 Exercise Can Help Knock Off the Pounds
Research has shown that inactivity is a significant factor in weight gain and obesity. You may be thinking, “Yeah, but won’t I have to go on a diet too?” However, although choosing a nutritious diet will definitely support your overall health and help with weight loss, you can still reap the benefits of exercise without dieting. But if you’re interested, I write here about what also works for weight loss, as well as exercise.
3 Exercise Can Prevent Chronic Disease
Lack of regular physical activity has been found to be a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition and can decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Getting your body moving can also help reduce or prevent Type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer, high cholesterol, and hypertension.
Get Your Kids Moving Too!
The benefits of exercise for children are boundless. Nurturing a positive relationship between fun, exercise, and good health will be something your children can carry with them for their whole lives.
Benefits of Outside Exercise
Tired of going to the gym or doing workouts in front of your computer? Get outside!
The benefits of exercising outside are
- It feels less competitive than in a gym
- There are fewer concerns about COVID etc.
- You get bigger calorie burns
- You breathe clean, fresh air
- You can get massive stress relief by accessing nature
Many patients ask me, “When will I see the benefits of exercise?”
Maybe you’ve started exercise plans and were discouraged enough to quit because you didn’t see the results you wanted quickly enough. In that case, I’d offer this advice: Most people use the number on the scale to measure progress. I suggest you open your mind and ask yourself these questions:
- How am I feeling?
- Have my energy levels increased?
- Am I calmer around my co-workers and family?
- Are the parts of my body that were aching still aching?
- Has my focus or memory improved?
I would also suggest pausing after you exercise and taking a quick inventory of how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you feel any improvement in one of these areas, then you’re already seeing the benefits of exercise!
My team is always willing to help. We’re dedicated to long-term solutions. If you’d like support or advice about exercising for health, meet me for a consultation.