Why do you need to exercise?
There are many reasons to incorporate exercise into your life. But all of them may not have the same motivating power for you. Finding the benefits of exercise that mean the most to you personally can make all the difference in getting you into a long term habit of regular exercise.
Some of benefits of exercise that you might consider are:
- Reduces your risk for conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity
- Helps reduce your blood pressure
- Increases HDL (“good” cholesterol) and reduces LDL (“bad” cholesterol)
- Clears toxins
- Improves the quality of your sleep
- Sharpens your mind and increases energy
- Makes your heart and lungs stronger and more efficient
- Elevates mood
- Helps manage stress
- Sets a positive example for your children
- Tones your body and keeps you slim
You have probably heard most of these benefits before, and they’re all good reasons to get off the couch and get moving. But finding the one that motivates you is the key to making exercise a part of your life!
If reducing the risk of disease jumps out on the list and makes you want to get started, then think about how exercise helps normalize your levels of stress hormones, blood glucose levels, and insulin levels. Normalizing these levels keeps your body in balance while reducing your risk for diseases.
If the idea of elevating your mood is especially appealing to you, imagine being outside on the perfect day, with a clear head, listening to the perfect song and enjoying the feeling of treating your body well. Now imagine you are midway through your workout and suddenly you feel a burst of energy that makes you feel as if you can fly. You are completely “in the zone”, you feel weightless and you feel like nothing beats the feeling you’re experiencing right at that moment. You may double your speed and not even notice because you are so completely enjoying the experience.
Those of you who don’t exercise may think I am nothing short of crazy, but I can only urge you to give this “high” a try! When you compare it to any chemically induced high, this one is available any time, for free, and is actually good for you!
Another example of how exercise can elevate your mood is by giving you a positive outlet for stress relief, building your confidence by building a more fit body and showing yourself a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. The positive thoughts that come along with these feelings will overflow into other areas of your life.
If setting a good example for your children seems like a strong reason to get moving, realize that you can tell your children all day long how important it is for them to exercise. But if they see you finding the time to exercise yourself, they may follow your example and get out and try it themselves. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk!
If making your body lean, toned and strong sounds good to you, you are in good company! Having children can leave your body in less than optimal condition and you can thank your little ones for the new stretch marks, change in skin tone, sagging, and those few extra pounds you may still have hanging around since their arrival. While people will tell you these are some of the ‘medals of motherhood’, I’m going to tell you something else. You don’t have to be unhappy with your post-pregnancy body. In fact, you can make your post-pregnancy body stronger, sleeker, and sexier than ever before.
While you may have a few extra pounds on you, you also may have some new curves to work with. While your skin tone may not be the same, you can certainly tighten up what’s lying underneath. The point is, it’s never too late to work toward a healthy, fit body!
So take some time and think about what would motivate YOU to exercise. What benefits of becoming fit mean the most to you? Find a personal reason for beginning or maintaining an exercise routine. The reason can be your health, your appearance, stress-management, the chance to take some time for self-care, or showing yourself that you can make a commitment and stick to it. Whatever reason you discover, write it down and review it every day. On days when you don’t feel like exercising, reading your own words of motivation may offer you the incentive to get moving!
Debi Silber, “The Mojo Coach”
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