As many of us know, at the beginning of the New Year it is a common trend to see an influx in the number of gym attendees, attempting to stick to their New Year’s resolutions one workout at a time. Unfortunately, after a month or two, most people lose the motivation that drove them to purchase that pricey gym membership to begin with. According to TIME magazine, one of the top ten commonly broken New Year’s resolutions is losing weight and getting fit. Of course, losing weight is a good reason to get active, however, here are six more reasons why this resolution should become a lifelong habit.
Exercise Increases Blood Circulation
This provides more oxygen and nutrients to every organ in the body. Not only does the brain especially benefit from an increase in oxygen, but the skin, heart, lungs, kidney, etc. do as well. Every organ could be written about in great detail (something I might do someday) but for now, it’s important to know that exercise boosts blood flow and therefore organ function throughout the body is greatly improved.
Exercise Enhances Self-Esteem
Exercising consistently results in increased cardiovascular function and strength, both of which can result in greater confidence and self-esteem. Furthermore, many people set goals to add a challenge to exercising. As each of these goals is reached, the self-esteem meter continues to tick up and up.
Exercise Speeds up the Metabolism
Research has shown that participating in aerobic activity can increase the body’s metabolism. Not only is metabolism in charge of converting food consumed into energy, it is also responsible for determining how quickly that energy can be burned. Engaging in exercise that promotes muscle growth also results in the burning of more calories throughout the day.
Exercise Helps Manage Stress
A survey conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) concluded that seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily. Exercising is a useful tool to manage this stress we all experience. Studies have shown that regular engagement in aerobic activity can reduce overall levels of tension, stabilize mood, improve, sleep, and as mentioned above, improve self-esteem.
Exercise Produces Natural Painkillers
Endorphins are hormones secreted in the brain and nervous system that are linked to feeling pleasure and eliminating pain. They are the equivalent a naturally produced morphine or heroin-like drugs. Exercise is an easy way to produce endorphins in the body, resulting in good feelings such as the commonly heard of, “runners high”.
Exercise Fights Disease
There is a long list of diseases that exercise can help prevent. To name a few, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer. The guidelines suggest that 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can help lower the risk of these diseases.
The benefits of exercise go way beyond these six reasons mentioned above. However, they are some pretty great motivators to get up and moving. Have you ever worked out and thought, “I wish I didn’t do that”? Chances are that you haven’t, so let’s go! Here’s to a great year filled with sweat, endorphins, and overall improved health.