4 Reasons to Exercise

January 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

 

Exercise….really?

I’m sure if you are anything like me you have experienced this. You just got home from work to a pile of dirty dishes that you secretly hoped would have supernaturally washed themselves while you were away (hey, angels supposedly go around doing good deeds, right?) Your day was long and stressful and now you have to deal with figuring out exactly what in the world you are going to make for supper (the age-old question.) What you would really like to do is plop right down on the couch with a nice piece of glorious make-any-day-better chocolate, turn on the television, and let your worries seep away as you engage in some serious sit-com therapy. Why would you give this up just to spend 30 min to an hour exhausting yourself further? Because, you think unenthusiastically, exercise is good for you…right? That’s right, dear reader. but what does it mean that it is good for you? What benefits does it actually offer? Well, I can think of four major things that exercise can do to make your life better and you make you a happier and healthier person.

The benefits

1. Exercise provides short-term physical benefits. Okay, this one may seem obvious, but have you really thought of all the wonderful things exercising can do for you now? The first and most obvious benefit is that you burn calories. It is just simple math that when you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Also, when you engage in aerobic exercise (exercise that works the heart) your heart is immediately healthier. That’s right. You don’t have to wait for the benefits of that. Doing it over time increases your gains in the coronary region, but it starts helping the first time you move.

2. Exercise provides long-term physical benefits. A good bout of exercise not only burn calories while you are working, it continues to burn for up to 24 hours afterward. Also, strengthening exercises (the kind that work the rest of your muscles) also provide effects long after the exercising has been completed. Muscles need more calories to maintain than does fat, so the more you strengthen your muscles, the more calories you will burn just by breathing. Strengthening exercises also make help mPractice Yoga, Be Healthy! {EXPLORED}ake your bones stronger and improve your balance.

3. Exercise promotes a healthier mind. When you exercise, you body releases endorphins, which are the “feel-good” hormone.¬† They are in charge of the “warm-fuzzy” department of your brain. So just a few minutes of working out can make you feel better about the world for the rest of the day. It can also help with your mental outlook. If you are reading this blog, you probably have experienced the “god, I suck” attitude that I have fallen into in the past. The one where your failures (like the “buffet incident” yesterday) seem to jump out at you more than all those great little things you’ve done (like saying “no” to the piece of chocolate cake.) But when you exercise, it gives you that little jolt of self-esteem that you need to maintain your positive outlook. It gives your positive side a louder voice than the negative (shoulder angel -1; devil – 0) So, the mental effects of my 20 minute strength work out this morning will last for at least 12 hours. That is a pretty big pay-off.

4. Exercise will help you make better food choices. Now this isn’t fool-proof 100%-of-the-time accurate, but exercising does sort of give you a little helping hand when it comes to saying “no” to those enticingly evil foods that you are trying so hard to steer clear of. Think about it. When you have spent all that effort to take time out of your busy schedule just to sweat and hurt in places you weren’t positive you had till you moved them, the last thing you want to do is screw that up with a 600-calorie snack. Plus, that positive mental attitude you cultivated helps you resist when normally you would be too weak to say “no.” Even if you do give in, the calories you burned working out will help balance the extra calories you put in.English: Exercising outdoors is healthier than...

Just do it

Even though the couch may be tenderly whispering your name at the end of your day, there are plenty of good reasons to get off your butt and out the door. It might be hard to make yourself do it, but you will feel better mentally and physically after you do it.

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Entry filed under: Nutrition and Exercise. Tags: , , , , .

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