Growing up I always saw the benefits of exercise in a superficial way; to lose weight and to be fit. To me, fit meant not flabby, and that was about the extent of my education around it. So basically exercise if you want to improve your appearance, which was never a huge motivator for me (those of you who know me know I don’t know the first thing about make up.. and that my sense of style can be questionable).
Into my 20’s I had developed a slightly wider understanding that it also kept your lungs and heart healthy. Well that sounded more important. But what else? Turns out, there’s a lot more benefits involved with exercise. Like, a lot more.
- Helps balance blood sugar
- Lowers inflammation
- Increases energy and productivity
- Increases stamina, strength, flexibility & coordination
- Increases muscle tone and bone health
- Increases blood and lymph circulation, and oxygen supply to cells and tissues
- Brings more restful, sounds sleep
- Helps to balance hormones
- Reduces stress and stabilizes mood
- Increases self-esteem & sense of well being
- Releases endorphins (lifting mood and reducing pain)
- Decreases food cravings
- Lowers blood sugar levels and risk of diabetes
- Supports ideal weight distribution
- Increases brain health and memory function
- Increases heart health and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
Now this doesn’t mean you need to run out and buy a gym membership if that’s not your thing. Start thinking of activities that appeal to you. Hiking in nature, swimming, yoga. Start by challenging yourself to 20 minutes of exercise per day and go from there. Watch how your sleep improves, and your energy and cognitive function improve.
Personally I’m lucky to have a dog so at the very least I get 40 minutes of walking daily, which is complimented by my evening stretching. But I still need to challenge myself to higher intensity exercise and I typically choose running, but sometimes I find good rep ideas online that I try at home which is especially useful in the colder months when I don’t like to go outside as much!
If you have any questions, comments, or curious to know the why’s behind the benefits listed, send me an email and I’d be happy to discuss them further. Otherwise, get that body moving!