10 Mar

11 reasons why exercise is amazing for your mind and body

Are you one of those people that like to think that you don’t possibly have the time to incorporate 20-30 minutes of exercise into your routine 3-5 days a week? What is it that keeps you from exercising? Is it your kids? A demanding work schedule? Late nights indulging in fatty foods and heavy drinking? Whatever your excuse, you might want to think again. Not only does exercise improve your overall quality of life and provide clarity in decision making, but it also helps prevent certain diseases, including some forms of cancer.

No matter what your schedule, there is always enough time in the day to make room for your health. Without your health, there really isn’t a you. It should be your top priority. Everything else just has this way of falling into place.

I am in sales full-time and travel across the country and into Canada for work. My territory is literally North America. As you know, sales is a very demanding and often stressful career which commands long days and nights. I also blog, freelance, volunteer, maintain a healthy social calendar and I am a wife. I am not trying to boast or say that my life is more hectic than yours (it probably isn’t!), but if I can make time for exercise, I know you can too. Now, onto the list of reasons why we all need to incorporate exercise into our weekly routines.

11 reasons why exercise is amazing for your mind and body

  1. Exercise makes you think more clearly. Studies have shown that exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to your brain, which is fuel for your noggin.
  2. Exercise energies your body. You will naturally feel lighter on your feet and have a perk in your step. If you have children, this is a great reason to get jazzed up and spend some quality time in the yard together instead of staring at the tube.
  3. Exercising helps you embrace the demands of each day with a positive, I can do anything, attitude. Try it out sometime. Get up early, go for a 20-30 minute jog or do some strength training before doing anything else. I guarantee you are going to have a pep in your step.
  4. Exercise makes you look better. Some of the benefits of exercise include clearer skin, more poise, detoxification and better sleep. All of which have a great effect on your overall appearance.
  5. Incorporating exercise into your routine helps you make smarter food choices. After a good workout, the last thing you want to do is down a Quarter Pounder with cheese and a large Coke. You are more likely to stop and think before eating junk, since it would defeat time spent in the gym or hitting the pavement.
  6. Exercise improves your mood. When you exercise, your body secretes endorphins which trigger positive feelings in the body. Feeling stressed or down in the dumps? Go for a brisk walk and notice your mood elevating almost immediately.
  7. Exercise increases your memory. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise reverses hippocampal shrinkage, which occurs naturally with age, and consequently boost memory in older adults. It also has shown that students who exercised performed better on tests then their non exercising cohorts. So get your kids moving with you!
  8. Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. It’s a fact. Exercise burns calories, or energy that we intake from the foods we eat. The more calories we burn vs. the amount of calories that we consume, the more weight we are going to lose or maintain if we are already in tip top shape.
  9. Exercising boosts your confidence. After you get a good workout in, you often feel a sense of accomplishment, which helps build your self-esteem.
  10. Exercises prevents disease. Working out helps maintain your blood pressure through a boost in HDL cholesterol which increases blood flow, reduces risk of developing cardiovascular disease and can aid in preventing type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, arthritis and certain forms of cancer.
  11. Exercise increases sex hormones. Studies have shown exercise increases levels of testosterone in both men and women, which is the major sex fueling hormone in our bodies. I figured I’d save the best for last. Go get em tiger! ­čÖé

I have been formally incorporating exercise into my routine since I was thirteen years old. It started off small with 20 minute work out tapes (you know those 80’s exercise tapes with the thongs and puffy hair, yeah those), then I gradually increased my level of exercise to 2-3 days of strength training for 45 minutes to one hour and 2-3 days of cardio each week. My goal is to exercise and sweat hard for at least five hours a week, in addition to some of the extracurricular activities I partake in.

If you do not like to run, don’t. If you like to play tennis, dance or swim, do it. Don’t make exercise something grueling, make it fun! Get together with friends or go out and do something that you love, while moving your body and breaking a sweat. Your body will thank you for it!

Do you think I left anything out? How has exercise helped you fuel through life? Please leave me a note.

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