By now you’ve heard that you should exercise. Just about everyone on planet earth knows that one of the keys to being healthy is exercising.
But, you may not realize just how healthy it is.
Many people intend to start exercising because of this fact, but sadly, the wheels are never really put into motion. Maybe you are frustrated that you just don’t have the time to exercise. Valid excuse – but there is always a way around that.
Maybe you’re annoyed that you can’t afford a pricey gym membership. Again, a valid complaint for many, but there are also ways around that.
Possibly you’re in pain already and exercising just leads to more pain. If that’s the case, you need to modify how you exercise, not ditch it altogether. In fact, exercise could help you more than you know.
The thing to remember is that no matter what excuse you give for not being able to exercise, there’s a way to bust that excuse. Everyone can exercise. You may not all be able to do it at the same level, but exercise can happen for you if you truly put your mind to it.
And you should because it’s one of the single best things that you could do for your body.
Let me walk you through some of the key benefits that exercise will bring so you can see for yourself why it’s not something to overlook in your own personal health care plan.
Sad Mood Booster
Here’s a little known fact about exercise that many people completely overlook – exercise WILL boost your mood.
If you are in a blue mood all day long and can work up the motivation to hit the gym, I can almost promise you that you’ll be in a better mood after you finish1.
· Many people are able to channel the stress/anger/anxiety/worry, etc, they have into the exercise itself. For instance, if you’re about to step in and do a heavy set of squats, you can visualize that weight as being your problem. You want to push through it so badly – show it who’s boss (so to speak), and this can help you not only perform better but relieve that stressor as you do it. If you’ve never worked out before, this may seem rather silly to you, but hit the gym and find out for yourself how much of a stress releaser the gym actually is.
· It causes endorphins to be released in the body. If you can’t channel your negative energy into the weights (or cardio machine if that’s what you happen to be doing), you sure will still get a positive endorphin release when you exercise with intensity. And that will help you move forward and see a solid mood boost. It’s almost like drugs in a sense. Exercise can release the same neurotransmitters that some drugs release, putting you in a happier, calmer state.
For these two reasons, you should exercise. It is the perfect remedy for a bad day.
Boosts Your Confidence Level In Your Own Capabilities
The second reason to begin exercises is that it gives you a huge confidence boost.
Think about it this way: what else in life have you been seeing progress each and every time you do it? What else in life proves to you that you can achieve success if you put your mind to it?
Few things do. Exercise does.
While you do need to be following a properly planned workout program to see this happen and also ensuring that you are eating the right diet plan for results to occur, if you do those two things, you will see success.
Everyone will. No one’s body is ‘broken’ and unresponsive. If you’ve exercised before and didn’t see the results you were hoping for, chances are it was simply because your program was not thought out correctly or because you were not putting in as much effort as you actually thought you were.
Each and every time you see yourself getting stronger and more fit when you do a workout, it’s going to make you feel good. This can carry over into other areas of your life and essentially make you feel more capable of doing better there as well.
Before, you may not have been confident enough to really go after that job promotion, but after seeing much success in your workout program and truly believing that you can achieve great things if you work hard, you may change your mind.
What you believe of yourself has a huge influence on what you do with your life so don’t discount the benefits this can have.
Lower Your Heart Disease Risk
Did you know that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death today? So many people are struggling with heart health issues and unlike other major health concerns like cancer, heart disease is one that we have almost full control over.
Most people who suffer from heart disease do so because of the lifestyle choices they’ve made. The good news is that these are reversible. While your cholesterol may not come down overnight, nor will your blood pressure, if you start making smarter lifestyle choices today, you will see that in the future, things are starting to look up.
Numerous people simply choose to turn to drugs to help manage their heart health, when really, they just need to be turning to exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction.
It’s been proven2 that those who exercise can help to lower their risk for both heart disease as well as heart attacks and stroke.
It doesn’t even matter what exercise you do – any will work in your favor when it comes to this benefit.
Higher Quality Sleep
There might be one thing that is more important than exercise for promoting good health: more sleep.
Those who aren’t sleeping enough at night aren’t giving their body the time it needs to repair and rebuild body tissues, getting themselves ready for the next day ahead.
There are two reasons that someone may not be well rested: they aren’t going to bed early enough or they aren’t getting to sleep soundly when they finally do go to bed.
You need to work on the organization of your day to remedy the first issue, but sleep can certainly help with the second.
If you can start going to bed earlier and start exercising, it won’t be long before your sleep quality is dramatically improved.
Research3 has shown that those who exercise regularly not only fall asleep faster but sleep deeper than those who don’t. The only caveat? You shouldn’t exercise within an hour or two before bed as that can make it more challenging.
Also note that if you exercise too much (and start to overtrain), it can actually have detrimental effects on your sleep. You might find that despite being so exhausted all the time, you still struggle to fall asleep at night. So do exercise but also plan in those rest days.
Sleep is critical and can help with everything from weight control to managing insulin sensitivity to lowering your risk factor for heart disease so it’s not something that you want to be overlooking.
Many people, when thinking about the benefits of exercise, tend to think about how regular exercise can strengthen their muscle tissues. And that it does. With the right type of exercise that provides progressive overload, over time, you will find that you do get stronger.
But it’s not just your muscles getting stronger here. Your bones and joints will also get a lot stronger also.
As the years pass by, you are going to be at a higher risk of bone density loss unless you are doing something about it. Proper strength training can be that something.
When you place your joints underweight, such as you do when weight training, you force the bones to become stronger. It’s important to note that bones do not increase in strength as quickly as muscles do, which is one reason why people do end up injured. If their strength level starts to increase faster than their bone strength does, that’s when they typically run into issues.
While any form of weight-bearing exercise will help to strengthen the joints, it’s only strength training that provides overload on the joints by continually adding more weight at a time, so note that this is typically the type of exercise you want to focus on4.
Did you know that exercise can also boost your brain health? Here’s another fact that many people simply do not realize. Regular exercise has been shown to help prevent depression5 as well as improve memory.
If you are finding that you are starting to forget things more often in your old age, it might just take a regular exercise program to get you back on track.
When you do aerobic exercise, such as jogging or cycling on the bike, it can help to boost the size of your hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is linked to your memory6.
On top of this, exercise may also help to reduce the risk of dementia7, particularly in women so that’s another reason to consider getting active.
Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetes
Along with heart disease, diabetes is another condition that appears to be increasing at an alarming rate in today’s world. Those who are not taking care of their health and are just using the typical ‘North American’ lifestyle are going to find themselves at a huge risk for this condition.
That’s because as time has gone on, we’ve become more and more sedentary and that is coupled with the fact we are eating more processed, simple foods than ever before.
When these two are paired together, it’s highly likely that you will see an increase in the onset of insulin resistance, which then puts you one step away from having diabetes.
Exercise helps to do the opposite. It’ll help boost your insulin sensitivity, so your cells become more responsive to insulin when it’s released and you can better manage how your body deals with carbohydrates.
Diabetes can be one of those things that just sneaks up on you. You are gaining weight and may know that you’re not healthy, but don’t seem to be that negatively impacted by it. Until one day your doctor tells you that you have diabetes and now will either be forced to make lifestyle changes or face very serious consequences.
By exercising regularly, you can prevent that from happening8.
Finally, exercise can also be good for helping to improve digestive health as well. It can assist with regularity, helping you have regular bowel movements. One of the best cures for constipation is to start doing some regular exercise training. In addition to that, you should also consider taking a quality probiotic such as P3-OM, as these two have been shown to go hand in hand with keeping your body as regular as possible.
Additionally, if you exercise regularly, your body is also going to be better able to take up all the nutrients from your foods more effectively as well, making the most out of the effort you put into eating healthy with your diet plan. You can also amplify this by supplementing your diet with a digestive enzyme such as MassZymes, which will help to further give your body a boost if it’s not producing the right enzymes to fully break down certain foods you may be eating.
This will help your health in so many different ways because if you aren’t utilizing the micronutrients – the vitamins and minerals you take in from your body as you should, that itself can result in a number of health conditions.
So as you can see, there are many great reasons to consider getting started with exercise. If you’ve never exercised before, start slow. Go for a walk after dinner and see where that leads you.
If you’re an exercise veteran but have fallen off the bandwagon, figure out why and what you can do to get back on track. It’s understandable that your life situation can change and this can mean that you aren’t able to exercise like you used to. But simple program modifications should help you get going in the right direction you want to be again.
Never give up – finding some type of exercise plan that you can follow in the here and now will always be worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the four types of exercise?
The main types of exercise to focus on include endurance exercise, strength training, balance training, and flexibility work.
What are the 10 best exercises?
The ten best exercises will depend heavily on your goal, but some to consider are:
· Bench press
· Shoulder press
· Bent over rows
· Leg press
· Plank holds
· Kettlebell swings
Is working out for 30 minutes a day enough?
Yes, if you choose your exercises wisely and exercise with intensity, 30 minutes a day should be sufficient to see great results.
What are the three main types of exercise?
The three main types include aerobic exercise, which is cardio training at a low to moderate intensity, anaerobic exercise, which is intense training like weight lifting and sprinting, and flexibility exercise.
What are the three stages of an exercise session?
The three components that should be in every exercise session include a warm-up, the exercise session itself, and then the cool down.
What exercise burns the most belly fat?
If you want to burn off belly fat, you should turn to the most intense exercise you can and the moves that utilize the greatest number of muscle fibers. These will produce the strongest metabolic response in the body, which in turn will help you burn calories faster.
Sprinting or heavy compound lifting are the ones to look for to achieve this.
1. Yeung, Robert R. “The acute effects of exercise on mood state.” Journal of psychosomatic research 40.2 (1996): 123-141.
2. Morris, J. N., et al. “Vigorous exercise in leisure-time: protection against coronary heart disease.” The Lancet 316.8206 (1980): 1207-1210.
3. Yang, Pei-Yu, et al. “Exercise training improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review.” Journal of physiotherapy 58.3 (2012): 157-163.
4. Nikander, Riku, et al. “Targeted exercise against osteoporosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis for optimising bone strength throughout life.” BMC medicine 8.1 (2010): 47.
5. Cooney, Gary M., et al. “Exercise for depression.” Cochrane database of systematic reviews 9 (2013).
6. Erickson, Kirk I., et al. “Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108.7 (2011): 3017-3022.
7. Larson, Eric B., et al. “Exercise is associated with reduced risk for incident dementia among persons 65 years of age and older.” Annals of internal medicine 144.2 (2006): 73-81.
8. Kim, Jong-Hyu, Jung-Cheol Noh, and Seol-Jung Kang. “Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise on insulin resistance, C-reactive protein, and physical fitness in middle-aged women with metabolic syndrome.” The Official Journal of the Korean Academy of Kinesiology 15.2 (2013): 81-91.