We all know exercise has many positive benefits, but sometimes that just isn’t enough to motivate us to get our hearts pumping and sweat dripping. Typically, blogs like this focus more on weight loss or body imagine but this is focusing on other important reasons for fitness. So, for anyone who may need a little more motivation or those of us that could use a reminder on just how important exercise is, here it is!
Exercise Improves Your Mood
While you exercise, your body releases endorphins which trigger a ‘good feeling’, that has been described as similar to the effects of morphine. Ever heard of the ‘runner’s high’? It is described as a euphoria that comes over you when you complete a work out. Yeah, I thought it was a myth too until I experienced it. I have also experienced similar effects from intense stretching. Stretching allows for better blood flow, which in turn brings more oxygen to your muscles. Remember, only stretch when your muscles are warmed up or you may end up doing more harm than good.
Suggestion: If you’re looking for something light to improve your mood, I recommend 10 to 15 minutes of cardio followed by 30 minutes of deep stretching.
- For the cardio, the most important thing is that you are challenging yourself the entire time. That may mean sprinting 15 minutes for some or jogging 8 minutes for someone else. It truly does not matter where your athletic ability lies, what is important is to ensure you are pushing yourself (past the comfort zone).
- Stretching can be personalized to focus on your specific problem areas or generalized for a whole body stretch. I found a link that has 6 basic stretches you can follow. Again, don’t stress out about where your ability is right now, just focus on pushing yourself. You really want to feel your muscles opening up and stretching.
It doesn’t matter which activity you choose, just get moving! Getting in 30 minutes of exercise a couple times a week will increase those endorphins. Even as little as 10 or 15 minutes can make a difference.
Exercise Fights Health Conditions & Diseases
Exercise can help many health conditions and diseases. Here are a just a few …
- Asthma – Exercise can used to help control frequency and level of severity on attacks.
- Heart Disease – Recent studies show regular exercise and interval training can produce significant benefits for those with heart disease.
- Back Pain – Lower impact activities can increase the strength and endurance of back muscles, allowing for better muscle function. Core (abdominal and back) exercises may also help strength muscles around the spine.
- Diabetes – Regular exercise helps your body’s insulin lower blood sugars more effectively.
Medical information from Mayoclinic.org
If you don’t have any of these health condition, just keep in mind that exercise helps reduce the risk of them.
Exercise Increases Energy
Do grocery shopping or other daily activities ever make you tired? Well exercise can help. Exercise delivers a healthy dose of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and improves your cardiovascular system so you can tackle that flight of stairs with a little more grace and a little less wheezing! I personally feel way more tired when I am not working out regularly and see a huge difference in my energy when I am.
Hopefully we all have a little more motivation to get out and be active. You can check out other health related blogs here. Enjoy your exercising!