It’s no secret that exercise is good for you, from improving our physical health to boosting our brain power and slowing the ageing process. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve fitness or run the London marathon, staying motivated to keep exercising can sometimes be difficult. Here are some reasons to remind you why it’s important to keep going and why regular exercise is so good for you.
The physical benefits of exercise are almost too many to name. By helping with weight control, exercising reduces your risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease, to name a few. It can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to a third, and lowers high blood pressure. Exercise improves your muscles and joints, making them stronger and less susceptible to arthritis. It also improves bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Regular exercise has shown to reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. Basically, it’s essential to a healthy body!
The mental benefits of exercise are as numerous as the physical benefits. It’s no wonder it’s been termed the best free anti-depressant. By stimulating the release of endorphins, exercise gives us a natural ‘high’, alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety. It also reduces lthe stress hormone cortisol levels, which is dangerous in high, sustained amounts. Exercise reduces mental decline by encouraging the growth of new brain cells and gives us more energy, improving mental focus and mental clarity. The changes we see in our appearance and thought processes can also improve our self-esteem and confidence.
If you really don’t feel like doing your usual workout, go for a brisk 20 minute walk. At least you’ll still get your body moving and your heart rate up, which is much better than doing nothing at all.
Sign up for a gym membership with gym classes you’ll really enjoy. Even if you don’t hit the treadmill every day, doing something fun with a group of other people can be a big motivator.
If you don’t like the gym, take up an outdoor sport like hiking, climbing, or mountain biking. The fresh air and amazing landscapes you’ll see are more than enough reason to get out.
Schedule workouts so you know exactly when you’ll be exercising. You’ll be less likely to make excuses when you know you’ve set time aside for it, rather than just waiting for when you feel like it.