Fall has officially arrived. Summer vacation is over and schedules are "back to business". This is the time of the year where fitness often falls off the agenda. SMILE4Fitness wants to remind you why exercise and fitness is so important. So here are 10 Reasons to Fall (back) in Love with Fitness! To keep you motivated, enjoy a 10 minute FREE workout at the end of the blog.
#1 Exercise can help prevent and reverse some chronic diseases. Regular physical activity can decrease blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and lower blood pressure. Regular physical activity (at least 30 minutes 5 days/ week) can also increase HDL (good cholesterol) which will help keep those arteries from getting clogged.
#2 Exercise can Get Your Mind Right. Exercising regularly helps your mental well-being. Physical activity increases the brain's serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which affect focus, attention and can improve concentration, motivation, memory and mood. These endorphins that make you feel better with exercise also improve concentration, making you sharper. Exercise also stimulates brain cell growth, improving memory, which can also help prevent age-related diseases.
#3 Fitness Builds Relationships. Exercise can create a common bond between friends, spouses, significant others, siblings, colleagues and parents and children. Exercise is often more fun with a partner, as it offers opportunities to create new memories, motivate each other and stay committed. People who have exercise partners stay committed to their programs more often than those who try it on their own. A social support system is so important, so grab a friend and get moving!
#4 Exercise Strengthens your Heart. Exercise builds a stronger heart - the most important muscle in your body. With exercise the heart muscle and cardiovascular system will become more efficient with a better ability to pump blood throughout the body. As your heart gets stronger, it pumps more blood per beat, allowing it to beat slower at rest and keep your blood pressure under control. So get started on strengthening your heart today, so it can handle all the love that you're feeling for fitness and exercise!
#5 Exercise Increases your Metabolism. Exercise (resistance training) increases muscle mass. Resistance training is anything that places extra force on the muscles in order to make them stronger (calisthenics, bands, weights, machines). Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, meaning that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest, increasing your metabolism.
#6 Exercise gives you ENERGY! Do you always feel tired and never have the energy to workout? Well, the cure for that is exercise! Some would say that they don't have the energy to get up and expend more energy; however, regular exercise can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. Try getting in an early morning workout to start your day. Notice how you feel throughout the day from that energy boost from your morning workout. The endorphins that are released into your bloodstream from exercise help you to feel more energized. With regular exercise, you will improve your strength and stamina and have more energy than ever! Who needs coffee when you have exercise?
#7 Exercise doesn't have to take long. One of the most popular excuses for not exercising is "I don't have time!" Well, gone are the days where you have to spend hours at the gym. It is recommended that you get at least 30 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week (150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity). The great news is that you don't have to get your 30 minutes all in one bout. Break it up in 15 or 10 minute increments. There are 24 hours in a day. After you work 8-9 hours, there are 15-16 hours left. After you sleep 8 hours, there are 7-8 hours left. Of course there is cooking, cleaning, family time and television time... (We'll give you 4 hours for that!) There is still 4 hours left to get in 30 minutes of activity. If you work smarter and not harder, you can get your exercise in during family time (park, bike, walk, dance), or at work (walk and talk meetings, workout Wednesdays or Fitness Fridays at the office). You can even make grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and other household choirs part of your physical activity! So make time for yourself to get in your workouts! Ready, set, go!
#8 Exercise Reduces Stress. - For many, just the thought of exercising causes stress; but, once the deed is done, the release in tension, anxiety, irritability and many of the day's troubles have been forgotten (especially while focusing on the workout at hand). The endorphins released during exercise contribute to a "natural high" and a "feel good" feeling that helps you relax and suppress worry, anxiety, and daily stressors. Regularly shedding your daily tensions through exercise and physical movement can result in an overall more calm, relaxed and optimistic outlook. So, don't worry, just get moving!
#9 Exercise is fun! People often think exercise simply consists of running or going to the gym. Exercise is physical activity that allows you to move in any way that will keep you heart rage in the target zone for burning calories. Physical activity can be any form of exercise or movement including walking the dog, yard work, cleaning, dancing etc. Think of what you love to do, then see how you can make that part of your exercise routine. Perhaps you love nature walks, hiking, bike riding, line dancing, swimming, gardening, tennis, racquetball, music and movement - all of this counts as physical activity, especially when you do it at a level that will increase your heart rate. Almost anything you can think of doing, there is now a class for... boxing fitness, martial arts, cross fit, pole dancing, go-go dancing, trampoline fitness, ariel yoga, hip hop dancing, surfing fitness, paddle boarding... and the list goes on! The bottom line is "You don't have to do an exercise you don't like to get fit and healthy. Try a few different ones until you find something that works for you. Then, you will truly fall in love with fitness and find your fitness self!
#10 Exercise improves your overall well-being! We have learned various reasons to fall in love with fitness. Each reason, ultimately leads our final reason that exercise improves your quality of life and overall well-being. No matter what size, shape, gender, age or race, everyone can benefit from exercise. It stimulates the body, mind and spirit and makes you feel better. From having your clothes fit better and seeing a change in your body to having a clear and aware mind, to feeling energized, balanced and relaxed, exercise is a major key in sustaining and maintaining an improved quality of life and overall well-being.
In order to fall in love with fitness, you must Stop Making Insane Lazy Excuses 4 Fitness! Once you remove the excuses, then you will open your mind to all the possibilities in exercise. To get you started, enjoy this free 10 minute beginner HIIT workout.
Source: Sarnataro, B. R. (n.d.). Top 10 Fitness Facts. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-benefits#1