17 Feb Exercise: Ten reasons to move OTHER than weight loss
Have you ever noticed when someone brings up the topic of exercise in a conversation, it is inevitably followed by lamenting on the amount of weight needed to lose to reach that “ideal physique”. This seems to be the main reason most people exercise – purely to lose weight.
People forget that there are literally a smorgasbord of other reasons far more important than just weight loss in order to move your body. I am here to remind you of these reasons next time you try to talk yourself out of moving your body and rather sleeping in or half-assing your workouts.
Firstly, let us just be absolutely clear on this – “exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.” Notice, by its very definition, it does not limit movement to the gym, if this is not your idea of fun – it purely says “any movement” – so find the one that you most enjoy – it could be walking, gardening, taking your dog for a walk, a yoga class or even a vigorous, fun group training class like an FF60 class! (Yes, that was a shameless plug for my gym!)
Being active has been shown to have many health benefits both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer.
So having that said, here are ten other reasons you should be getting some form of exercise regularly…
- It can make you happier! – Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieves feelings of depression.
- It is good for your muscles and bones – Exercise plays a major role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Practicing regular exercise is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.
- It can make you more energetic – It’s counter intuitive really, most people don’t exercise because they say they have no energy to barely get through their day let alone exercise but therein lies the solution. One study found that 6 weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue. Exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses.
- Reduce risk of chronic disease – Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness and body composition, yet decrease blood pressure and blood fat levels.
- Healthier looking skin – I can personally attest to this benefit. Before I fell in love with fitness, when I was overweight as a newlywed in my mid –twenties, my skin was awful! I had regular breakouts and it was a constant problem. Now, fast forward a few years later and I am many years older, my skin has never looked better!
Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defences cannot completely repair the damage of free radicals to the cells. This can damage their internal structures and deteriorate your skin.
- Make better nutritional choices – I notice with myself, I find I make far better food choices when I exercise regularly. I think about all the hard work I have put into a workout and it deters me from undoing it all by eating high calorie, less healthy, processed foods.
- Helps keep your brain sharp – Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. Firstly, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that can enhance the growth of brain cells.
- Sleep better – Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better. Your sleep quality can improve too due to exercise. The energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep.
- It can reduce pain – Chronic pain can be debilitating but exercise can actually help reduce it. Recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic pain. A review of several studies indicated that exercise helps participants with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.
- Better sexy time! – Exercise has been proven to boost sex drive. Engaging in regular exercise can strengthen the cardiovascular system, improve blood circulation, tone muscles and enhance flexibility, all of which can improve your sex life.
Bottom Line – As far as I’m concerned, weight loss is a happy little bonus/ or bi-product of regular exercise. Instead remind yourself of all these other ten reasons to move your body on a regular basis. Get moving!
If you would like me to help you get started, – come visit me at my FABUFIT Gym and do my group class FF60, if you’re pregnant or just given birth, come do our ‘FABUFIT MAMA’ class or I can help you with online training as well, wherever you are in the world.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
You check out our class schedule on ‘MindBody app’ – search for ‘FABUFIT GYM’.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Tegan Smith