It’s too cold. It’s too hot. I don’t have time. My knees hurt. I hate waking up early. I’m too tired after work. I hate gyms. I hate running. The bike seat hurts my bum. It’s too far to travel. I’m too unfit. It makes my makeup run. It ruins my hair. I don’t like to sweat. I have kids.
Enough is enough! Here are 10 reasons why you should pull on your sneakers and get your body moving.
1. Improved mental state – endorphins are like drugs. Good drugs. Happy drugs. Enough said.
2. Weight loss – the more you move the more energy you expend. Weight loss occurs through the creation of a long term negative energy balance. The more energy your body burns the more likely you are to create an energy deficit and trigger your body to burn fat. Check out this post: 30 ways to increase your energy expenditure.
3. Build muscle – muscle is good. It’s burns fat and helps keep blood sugar levels under control. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Unless regular exercise is a part of your life, your muscle mass will decrease and you’ll get weaker and less flexible as you age.
4. Strong bones – the simple act of muscles pulling on bones during physical activity causes them to get stronger. Strong, dense bones are less likely to develop osteoporosis later on in life and are less likely to fracture during a fall. Falls and fractures in elderly people are major causes of death. Regular exercise decreases the chance of this happening.
5. Feel energised – a body that moves regularly has more bounce and vigor. Sitting around all day makes you feel sluggish and tired. Don’t be a couch potato. Move your body and you’ll feel like moving it more.
6. Healthy heart – exercise reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and improves cardiovascular fitness. Heart disease is still the biggest killer of Australian adults and little or no physical activity is a major risk factor. It only takes 15 mins a day of moderate intensity (huffing and puffing) exercise to decrease your risk of a heart attack. What are you waiting for?
7. Minimise stress – I find no better therapy for pent up feelings of frustration and stress than getting out for good run (if I need a good huff and puff) or a nice relaxing walk (if I need time for thought and reflection). On particularly grumpy days my husband has been known to send me out the door for some physical activity!
8. Improve your sleep – you’ll sleep more soundly and feel more refreshed when you exercise daily. If you’re not a great sleeper try this 2 week challenge: exercise daily, cut out caffeine, wake at the same time every morning and avoid screens such as the computer, TV or smartphone in the hour before you go to bed.
9. Quality of life – I’ll never forget the day, in my nutritionist career, when I talked to 2 different women who were both 60 years old. The first woman did not participate in any exercise at all and hadn’t done so for 20 odd years. She was overweight, had high blood pressure and cholesterol and just generally felt run down, tired and lacking in energy. The second woman walked through the door and I double checked her birth date twice. This woman didn’t look a day over 45… At 60 years old she cycled to work daily and regularly practiced yoga and pilates. She looked fantastic, had great blood pressure and cholesterol and told me she felt great, had plenty of energy and experienced very little problems in negotiating a healthy work life balance. Exercise was obviously not the only factor that differentiated these women but I believe it was definitely one of the major players. That day changed me and I’ve been working on making exercise a habit in my life ever since.
10. Positive self image – It doesn’t matter what my body actually looks like, my perception of myself is 100 times better when I exercising regularly than when I’m not. I believe that making the effort to purposefully engage in physical activity tells myself that I am worth looking after and taking care of. You have to believe that you are worth the effort, because you are.
So now you have 10 reasons for why you should get that body of yours moving! No more excuses, just make it happen!
Why do you like exercising? Or if you don’t, what’s the biggest excuse that’s holding you back?