As we approach the New Year, we tend to reflect on the past year, while also looking forward to how we want our upcoming year to unfold. We may set goals for things we want to start doing, stop doing or keep doing. One of the commitments many people make is to adopt a more healthy and fit lifestyle.
One tip that may help you stick with an exercise program is to fully understand your WHY. Listing out the benefits that you will experience can be helpful. The research listing the positive impacts of exercise is extensive and well documented so there is no doubt, starting and sticking with a regular workout plan will transform your life.
Our bodies are beautiful, impressive machines and it’s incredible to consider some of the adaptations that occur once you start exercising and eating healthy. Some of these benefits you may not be aware of but hopefully, will motivate you to carve out the time to take care of yourself.
Benefits of Exercise
Exercise Creates Energy
Often when we’re tired, the last thing we want to do is exercise. Our instinctive response is ‘I’m too tired to workout.” However, the reality is that as soon as you start to move your body, your heart starts pumping, the blood starts flowing, endorphins are released, and you start to feel better and your energy increases. So, the next time you’re feeling like you’re dragging, instead tell yourself “I’m feeling lethargic so I NEED to move my body.”
Heart and Lungs Get Stronger
As you get more fit, your cardio system improves, your heart and respiratory muscles get stronger and you develop more capillaries. This makes it easier to extract oxygen from your blood so you don’t get as winded while walking the stairs and can work out harder and longer.
Build More Muscle & Bone
Exercising will increase your muscle tissue and bone density. This will make you stronger, improve your posture, reduce your risk for injury and decrease your chances of falling and suffering a fracture.
Burn More Body Fat
As you start exercising and eating better, you increase the number and strength of the fat burning enzymes, Lipoprotein Lipase (LPL), inside your fat cells.
LPL mobilizes and utilizes fat for fuel so, eventually, you become a fat burning machine making it so much easier to achieve your ideal body composition. When you first start exercising, remember that even if you’re not noticing any visible changes to your body, your internal biochemistry is changing. Your fat burning enzymes are becoming more effective at their job, which is going to make it a lot easier to burn fat in the long run, so stick with it!
Exercise Builds the Energy Cells
Initially, exercise can feel like a chore. However, once you are exercising consistently, you increase the size and number of your mitochondria (where energy is produced inside your cells) without getting exhausted.
Muscle Raises Your Metabolism
Since muscle is energy burning tissue, when you strength train and develop muscle, you will burn more calories not only during exercise, but also during rest. Keeping your metabolism revving is important to overall health. In addition, strength training is one of the best ways to change your body composition. This equates to more muscle and less fat.
Exercise Improves Mental Health
Studies indicate that those who exercise are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. The impact of exercise on your brain is substantial.
Exercise Improves Sleep and Stress Levels
People who exercise tend to sleep better and are better able to manage stress.
Exercise Makes Life Easier
Once you commit to exercising regularly, you’ll notice your activities of daily living become easier. Getting out of a chair or off the floor will be a breeze. You’ll tackle stairs no problem. Carrying groceries will not be an issue. You’ll complete household chores without needing a nap afterwards. You’ll notice that life just gets easier when you are fit and strong.
Exercise Increases Longevity
One of the most important things you can do to increase your life span is to start exercising. Not only will you improve the quality of your life right now, but you’ll also be more likely to increase your years on this planet.
Research indicates that if you hang out with people who are healthy, you will also become healthier. Surround yourself with people who will inspire, challenge and support you throughout your health and fitness journey.
Hopefully this list will help you understand how incredible our bodies are and inspire you to prioritize your health. The above adaptations will positively impact you in every way, physically, mentally, and emotionally. You deserve to feel your best!
Yours in health & fitness,