10 Reasons to Exercise
By Donovan Baldwin
Most of us understand that we need to follow some sort of exercise program in order to remain healthy. However, many are also not sure exactly why.
Below, you'll find 10 good reasons why you might want to start exercising now. These are just some of the health benefits of exercise.
1. Increase fat loss and prevent weight gain
Years of research from labs, universities, health organizations, and even governements around the world has consistently demonstrated that, regular exercise is important for weight loss and helps with weight management. The standard process is that if you burn more calories than you consume, you'll lose weight. You burn more calories when you exercise regularly than when you don't. The main reason for this is the affect that exercise has on metabolism.
What you want to do is burn fat, and exercise is going to be one of the major tools in your arsenal. It's really pretty simple - the more you exercise, the more weight, or fat you'll lose.
2. Prevent disease and prolong life
It has been scientifically shown that your chance of developing several various diseases decreases with regular exercise. Research has show that this holds true for those in their 20's, 40's, 60's and beyond. The diseases delayed or even eliminated due to a healthy lifestyle can include the various forms of heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and stroke.
Approximately 80% of deaths caused by heart disease and cancer have been scientifically linked to stress and lack of exercise. If this is a topic which interests you, you might want to take a look at our page on Exercise and Stress Reduction. or learn more about Stress Management.
Most of us who pay attention to health and fitness are aware that regular exercise can indirectly influence health and fitness. Diabetes, for example, increases the chance for heart attacks and strokes. Exercise has been shown to help prevent, or diminish the effects of, diabetes. What this shows, is that many of the risk factors and diseases caused by lack of exercise are working in conjunction with one another to damage your health.
Among the many health benefits of exercise we find one simple fact...exercise now to possibly prevent disease and illness later.
3. Improvement of existing diseases and conditions
Many diseases and conditions, some severe and even life-threatening, can be improved, or even cured through regular exercise. These even include the conditions listed above. By following a regular exercise plan, you can also decrease HDL (bad cholesterol) levels, decrease triglyceride levels, and decrease your blood pressure as well.
Exercising on a regular basis can also reduce the risk of prostate
cancer in men, breast and uterine cancer in women, and much
more. All of this has been proven again and again by in-depth
research, and this is why you should start exercising today.
4. Enhance your state of mind
Perhaps you've heard about at least some of the many scientific studies that show that regular exercise leads to an increased release of endorphins. These chemicals fight depression and make you feel happy. The body releases these endorphins about 12 minutes into a brisk workout. While you often hear of "runner's high", you don't have to exercise at that level to experience the mental elevation, sense of well-being, and occasional euphoria which comes with regular exercise.
There is also another chemical known as "serotonin" that is increased
during and after a workout. Increased levels of serotonin in
the central nervous system are directly associated with feelings of
well being and decreased mental depression. This chemical, manufactured
by your body, can also help you sleep better at night.
5. Enhance your wellness and increase your energy
Once you are in great shape and feel physically fit, you'll find you have more energy and you'll also notice that your overall mood is improved as mentioned above. The effects mentioned earlier will stay with you as your exercise program becomes a regular part of your healthy lifestyle. Exercise improves the immune system as well, and helps prevent, or ease the effects of, many of those nagging illnesses, such as colds. You will also experience that you can stretch beyond your own limits and you know that you can do more than you thought possible.
6. Improved levels of persistence and confidence
If exercising regularly will give you more energy, and it will, this
will help you be more productive at home and at work.
Exercising can help you set new goals for yourself and give your new
goals a sense of purpose. This gives you something to focus
on and aim for. This, in turn, can help you increase your
persistence and prevent you from going off track while you aim for your
goal. Having had success with an exercise program also tends
to make an individual realize that what they have accomplished with
exercise can be done with other things as well.
Success breeds success. A national financial advisor, Dave Ramsey, once mentioned on his radio show, that when people get their
financial house in order, they often use what they have learned, including what they have learned about themselves, to set and
accomplish other goals as well...such as losing weight, or getting a better job.
7. Increased social capabilities and self esteem
After working out on a regular basis for a while, you may find that you
have boosted your self esteem. Exercise can help you look
better and you'll be more comfortable as well. Exercise will
also help you to become more active and meet new people. This
will prevent you from feeling isolated and unsupported.
Exercise can also increase your interests in sex, as we will talk about
below, and can help you to improve your marriage or your partner
A note for seniors in particular.
only is exercise good for you for all the reasons mentioned above, and
below, but there is something that happens as a part of the aging
process which is not only dangerous, but deadly. Older people
tend to lose their interest in life and tend to limit their social
activity. This has been found to contribute directly and
indirectly to premature onset of debilitating conditions and even early
death. There is not room here for a complete discussion on
this subject, but one of the health benefits of regular exercise for
seniors is a longer, healthier, happier, more socially connected life.
8. Clear skin
I know we want to think first about the health benefits of exercise,
but looking good and feeling good about ourselves is important as
well. Exercise can do a lot for your complexion.
Clear skin demands good circulation for the proper dispersal of
nutrients and for carrying off toxic by-products. Exercise
quite simply feeds your skin and makes your complexion look so much
9. Better sleep
The relationship between sleep and exercise is a well established
one. Regular, moderate exercise promotes restful, restorative
sleep. When we are sleeping, our bodies and minds are
recovering, healing, and preparing for the next day...and the rest of
our lives. Professional fitness trainers will tell you that
many of the improvements commonly associated with regular exercise
actually take place while we are sleeping. Additionally,
recent research has linked good sleep with weight loss, a stronger
immune system, a longer life, and fewer debilitating effects and
conditions associated with aging.
10. Better sex
This may not be important to some people, and, for some, the effects of
exercise may not be directly reflected in their sexual prowess or
desire. However, research has shown that people who exercise
regularly tend to have sex more often and enjoy it more. Not
only that, these health benefits extend into the senior years.
After having learned about these 10 reasons to exercise, you shouldn't hesitate to get out there and get started.
One important point to remember is that the earlier in life you begin to make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle, the faster results you will see, the longer the results will stay with you, and the longer you are likely to live to enjoy the health benefits of exercise.
It's easy to get an exercise program started.
You can exercise at home or join a gym. You don't even have to get complicated with a formal exercise program if you don't wish to. There are several different ways that you can exercise, all you have to do is select a few that you like whether you just choose to do a little gardening, take regular walks, or purchase a simple home all-in-one exercise machine such as a Total Gym and really get into the exercise process.
Whatever you decide to do, it is always going to be worth making the effort to take a little bit of time out of your day and start exercising - you'll feel better than ever before and your body will thank you. You can begin experiencing the health benefits of exercise today.
Want to know more about how nutrition can help you meet your exercise goals? Click here for more information on performance nutrition.
While I do not normally recommend diets themselves, healthy eating is important to any health, fitness, or weight loss program. Click Here to learn more about Diet Direct.
P. S. If you want to learn more about why Diets Don't Work, please click here.
One last point. Many people find reasons NOT to exercise, and often these reasons have to do with time commitments, expensive gym fees or exercise equipment. Bodyweight exercise, i.e. exercises done without equipment and in a limited space, are the answer to THAT objection.
If you want to learn how to burn fat, a great book to read is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto