Exercise is a pleasurable past-time for some and a chore for others. However, each and every one of us can benefit from regular exercise, and not just physically. Exercise can improve all facets of our lives because it’s also good for the mind and human spirit as well.
In this post we’ll take a look at some of the top benefits regular exercise can provide and see how it can help improve your life overall on a number of levels.
None of the things listed are in any particular order, but more a reference guide to help inspire us all to live more energetic and all round healthy lifestyles.
But first, let’s very briefly talk about some different forms of exercise.
What Kind of Exercise Will Benefit You?
The simple answer is: Any kind of exercise.
We’re all a little different though and we also have different goals. Some of us might even be carrying chronic pain or injuries which may limit what we can do.
Common exercise options include:
- Regular, brisk walks
- Playing individual or team sports
- Gym workouts
- And more…
Not everyone wants to commit to going to the gym every day, but it’s definitely one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for overall fitness, fat reduction and increased muscle tone. Some people may not have the money or the time for a gym membership.
Just about everybody can find the time to go for a walk though, and walking is free to do. Even one or two vigorous 15 minute walks a day can do wonders for your physical and mental health, as well as getting you outdoors and simply moving rather than sitting.
Walking is also low impact, so not likely to cause any injuries. It’s great for increasing the metabolism, burning calories and reducing body fat.
Stretching is also beneficial, as it helps prevent injuries from vigorous exercise, and also makes you feel more flexible.
Jogging, playing sport and things like Zumba are excellent fat burners and a lot of fun.
Any form of regular exercise is better than no exercise at all. Just choose what suits you best and what type of exercise will help you achieve your general fitness goals.
#1 – You Will Look Better
For many people this is the main reason they want to exercise on a regular basis, to improve the look of their bodies and physiques.
That’s natural enough. We are all visual creatures and we want to know we look our best. Feeling good about the way we look also helps to increase our confidence and self esteem, and that’s always a good thing.
Another advantage of being in shape is when you wear clothes. Things will naturally fit better and the look of the clothing on your body appears more proportionate.
It’s also easier to buy clothes when you’re trimmed down and in shape, as the majority of clothing manufacturers produce clothing in very generic sizes that tend to suit a trim body shape the best, whether you’re short or tall.
Exercise is not all about looks and looks aren’t everything, but generally we all like to look good, so it’s a major motivator when it comes to getting active.
#2 – Exercise Is Great for the Mind
There is actually a very physiological aspect when it comes to physical exercise making you feel better mentally and emotionally.
When you indulge in exercise – particularly some vigorous exercise – the brain releases feel good endorphins. These brain chemicals give you a sense of positivity and well being, as well as helping you feel more awake and alert.
When you combine this effect with an increase in your self esteem and confidence levels on a physical basis, mentally you feel so much better when you’ve been exercising regularly for some time.
In fact, you’ll start to feel better mentally way more quickly than you will physically, as the release of endorphins is pretty much an instantaneous process.
So far, you will look better, think better and feel better, all because of exercise. In general, you’ll feel happier and more upbeat.
#3 – Your Metabolism Increases
Eating well, eating regularly and eating certain foods will also help to improve your metabolism, but that’s for a different post.
The good thing about exercise and an increased metabolism is that even when you’re resting, you’re metabolism is working better and will burn more calories and fat. It’s a process that doesn’t just happen while exercising, but continues to work long after you’ve relaxed for the day.
This is usually a result of regular exercise over an extended period of time, and with an improved metabolic rate, exercise continues to benefit you day and night.
Once you’re in shape it’s a lot easier to stay in shape than to get in shape, and one of the reasons for that is this increase in the effectiveness of your body’s metabolism.
#4 – You Will Have More Energy
You may not feel it when you first start getting back into regular exercise, but over time you’ll naturally find your energy levels increasing. This also depends on how well you eat and if you’re eating regularly (not skipping meals).
It’s a bit like the old saying, that if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person.
The busier you are with exercising, the more you naturally feel like doing physical activity, or any sort of activity really. With increased levels of energy comes an increase in levels of motivation to get things done as well, so it’s definitely a win-win.
#5 – You’ll Feel More Flexible and Agile
This comes through both exercise as well as making sure you do stretching exercises virtually every day, or even practice something like yoga.
Stretching both before and after a vigorous exercise session is a good habit to get into, but even if you aren’t doing gym or playing sport, it’s beneficial to make stretching a part of your daily routine, to maintain flexibility and reduce the chance of injuries.
#6 – Reduce Your Risk of Disease
Exercise is well known to be good for heart health and increased lung capacity. It helps with blood flow to the organs and every cell of the body. Drinking liquids, sweating, the increased heart rate and blood flow all help to flush your system and rid your body of a build up of toxins.
Although it doesn’t guarantee you’ll never contract a disease of any kind, regular exercise certainly helps maintain overall body health, helps to increase your immunity, and definitely puts you in an overall more favourable position to live a disease-free life.
#7 – Exercise Is a Fantastic Stress Reliever
We all suffer from stress from time to time and indulging in some form of exercise is an effective way to reduce our stress levels and “let off a bit of steam”, so to speak.
Instead of taking out our frustrations on anybody else, we can channel that pent up angst into our exercise routine and expel it through physical activity, using that stress to our advantage instead.
Just on an everyday level too, exercise helps keep those stress levels down. Part of the reason is we’re using energy and feel more relaxed afterwards, plus there’s that endorphin factor we talked about earlier.
If you tend to suffer from anxiety, then some robust exercise will definitely become your best friend, as it definitely aids in reducing the symptoms. Once again this is a result of the physical exertion combined with feeling better mentally and emotionally.
#8 – Exercise Will Help You Sleep More Soundly
There’s nothing more frustrating and draining than not being able to sleep properly. Broken sleep, trouble getting to sleep, waking up easily throughout the night, or even waking up well before your alarm in the morning all leads to a life of lethargy and demotivation.
While exercise isn’t a cure all for sleep depravity, it sure can help with it.
A lack of exercise doesn’t tire the body out enough to rest peacefully and deeply. While people who don’t exercise much still can sleep, if you’re having trouble sleeping and haven’t been exercising, try getting into the habit of doing something a little vigorous each day when you can and see how you go.
Just don’t do any strenuous exercise right before bed time, or your mind and body will still be too hyped up to sleep.
You need some chill out time after exercise to allow the body to relax enough to go to bed.
#9 – Do You Want a Better Sex Life?
Sex is physical activity, so the fitter you are, the better your performance will be. If you’re unfit and out of shape, you’ll likely run out of breath and energy just when you’re really starting to get going. That’s not a good thing for you or your partner.
A person who exercises regularly, does some resistance training, has built up their stamina levels and also indulges in daily stretching will likely be a pleasure machine in the bedroom.
Not only will you perform better, but if you feel your body looks nicer and sexier, your confidence will go up, further enhancing your performance and your enjoyment level.
And don’t forget those pleasure inducing endorphins that are released with exercise as well.
Hope you enjoyed our post highlighting just some of the many benefits regular exercise will add to your life on many levels.
Get fit, get healthy and have fun.