*As little as twenty minutes of exercise can jumpstart neurogenesis, the generation of new brain cells.
*Physical activity triggers the body to release serotonin, and dopamine, helping you feel happier and more focused.
*Vigorous exercise keeps the body burning calories for hours after the workout is over.
Most people want to exercise to lose weight, which is a worthy goal, however the benefits of physical activity will not only change your body chemistry and shape, but it is so powerful, that it can actually change your life! Here are four ways that exercise can transform your life:
1. Sense of Purpose and Contribution to Others – Bring more meaning to your miles or minutes of exercise by dedicating them to benefit someone else. This could be done by volunteering with a charity in an active role, such as helping with Special Olympics, or being a guide for a blind runner. You could also train for a fundraising event and do it in memory or in honor of a loved one. The deeper drive will inspire you to get those workouts in.
2. Improved Mental State – Many people say they don’t feel like exercising, but sometimes you have to take action first and the feeling will follow. Besides the beneficial hormones you trigger when you exercise, working out can be an opportunity to shut out the world and concentrate on how strong you can be. Pushing your limits in your workouts can translate to your life outside of the gym; making you realize that you have much more in you than you think. Exercise is also a great way to release negative energy and emotions. Having a partner, can also give you the opportunity to talk out and workout your issues at the same time!
3. Prevent & Overcome Illness – Biologically humans are hunter/gatherers and were created to be continuously active. As we have gained convenience, we have become sedentary and more vulnerable to serious physical and mental decline that was previously attributed to the elderly. Studies show that exercise can help you prevent and manage many diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, Parkinson’s, cancer and others. Some important benefits of physical activity are that it helps normalize glucose levels, reduces stress, lower blood pressure, boost immunity, detoxify via sweat, and so much more!
4. Increase Strength & Confidence, Reduce Injury – Building muscle through strength and endurance training can reduce muscle imbalances, increase bone density, improve overall balance and stability, and reduce your risk for injury. Studies show that resistance training is important for delaying the natural loss of muscle mass as we age. Since working out can help keep your body looking, and feeling strong and healthy, it can result in a healthier feeling of self-confidence, and self-esteem.
Considering the above ways that exercise can transform your life, which one feels right for you? Now create a plan to make that happen, registering for classes, researching fundraising events, and get on your way to renewed health and so many other benefits. A year from now, you’ll wish you started today! If you’d like more support from me, join me for Total Fitness, cardio/strength training class, Monday and Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30p, starting January 23rd at Milford High School! Registration by mail or in-person, details here.