The Top 7 Reasons To Exercise
What will be discussed in my top reasons to exercise:
– Seven reasons to exercise
– Locations to exercise
– Types of exercises to consider
The Top 7 Reasons To Exercise
Today I want to talk about exercise and the many benefits to exercising. To begin, there are two main types of exercise that emphasize different parts of your physical fitness.
Aerobic and anaerobic exercise.
Let’s quickly define each and go into a little more about each type.
Aerobic means activities requiring oxygen, so aerobic exercises (also known as cardiovascular exercises) are those in which your body requires and uses oxygen to perform the exercise or task at hand. Some examples of aerobic exercises are bicycling, running, jogging, walking, rowing, swimming, etc. Most aerobic exercises are lower on the intensity scale. The main point to understand about aerobic exercise is that these exercises are good for helping to strengthen the heart and lungs, making your body better at utilizing oxygen during performance (the feeling of being “in shape”).
Anaerobic means without oxygen. Now hold on, don’t get your undies in a bunch, everything NEEDS oxygen. But this type of workout can be performed in short amount of time and generally is higher on the intensity scale. Some examples of anaerobic exercise are sprints, weight-lifting (for strength or power), and even some forms of yoga!
Health Reasons To Exercise
There are so many benefits to exercising, remember, I even said it in last week’s post. 😉
But really, the benefits go on and on and on… but here of some of the most significant ones:
Well this one may be obvious, but I want you to realize that if you make the decision to start lifting weights, you won’t automatically gain pounds on pounds of muscle and become this huge body builder. I think that is the fear of many everyday athletes, especially female athletes. Trust me, I’m not being a negative Nancy, you know that’s not how I role…I’m just being completely honest, you will NOT gain a ton of mass and become the hulk if you lift weights. One thing you will gain, however, can be more muscle mass (BUT NOT HUGE BODY BUILDER MASS), which leads to improved strength, improved body composition (reduced body fat and increased amount of lean tissue), and an overall healthier you!
According to an article by Harvard Health Publications, “Regular physical activity will lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your blood sugar. Exercise cuts the risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, colon and breast cancers, osteoporosis and fractures, obesity, depression, and even dementia (memory loss). Exercise slows the aging process, increases energy, and prolongs life.”
3. Stress Release
For many people, exercise is the “outlet” to all of their daily struggles and stresses. You feel great after any exercise, and even better than when you started! If you’re stressed, take a break from whatever is stressing you and do some sort of physical activity. This will not only get the blood pumping throughout your body more efficiently, but it will help relieve some stress.
4. Weight Loss
Well this one is just as obvious as when I mentioned that exercise will improve your health. But I want you to realize that just 30 minutes a day, for 3-5 days a week can lead to weight loss. And guess what? You don’t even have to lift weights or go to the gym to lose weight. You can go for a brisk 30 minute walk outside. Just doing this can help you burn anywhere from 200-300 calories. If you do that 3-5 times a week, monitor your caloric intake and eat healthy foods, you can practically count on a favorable weight loss!
Exercising can improve your sleep! Along with improving your health and stress levels, working out and exercise helps to improve your sleep. When you decrease the amount of adrenaline and cortisol, your body is able to relax more easily… and you know what that mean?! Better sleep! You’re also expending energy and creating the need for your body to recover in it’s favorite way (during sleep), so your body’s natural response to exercising regularly is wanting to get regular sleep.
Regular exercise allows your body to not only use energy (which helps relieve stress) but it also allows your body to produce energy. How so? Well when you exercise, your body has to create energy to deliver stores of oxygen and essential nutrients to your tissues. When you have efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, this also creates more energy. It’s a win-win!
When you exercise, two things happen in your body on a chemical level:
A. Your body reduces its levels adrenaline and cortisol (which tend to be present in stressful situations).
B. Your body stimulates the production of endorphins, which are your body’s natural painkillers and happiness-inducing chemicals which are found in the brain.
To get a little more specific, if you workout to improve your muscles, there are even more benefits to consider.
Did you know?
Muscles help support your joints.
Muscle takes more energy to maintain, helping you stay lean and fit.
Muscle supports your body in sports and physical activities, decreasing your likeliness of injury.
Muscles helps improve your self-esteem.
Locations To Exercise
So, I’ve convinced you to start exercising (or exercise more). GOOD.
But now you’re thinking,
Well…I want to exercise, I know the many reasons to exercise, but where should I exercise?
Is the gym my only option?
The gym is one of the MANY options. Here are some other options to consider:
– Local park
– Home stairs
– Friend’s house
– Work parking lot
– Living room (Not your dining room, too many breakable things)
– Front yard
– Side yard
– Indoor pool
– Outdoor pool
– Tennis court
– Basketball court
– Local high school sports field
and so on, and so on!
Types Of Exercises To Consider
Lifting weights and running on the treadmill are not the only types of exercises and workouts you can do to benefit from the aforementioned 7 reasons to exercise. To limit yourself to only those two things would be like going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and only looking at the tank fish that you see everyone else looking at. What about the reptiles, the amphibians, the mammals, the birds, and the sharks?! There are so many other great ways to exercise beyond lifting weights and running on the treadmill! You can use resistance bands, you can use resistance machines, you can ride bikes (stationary and/or outside), you can swim, you can use the stair master, you can row, you can run outside; You can take Pilates classes, you can go to the barre (if you’re a new mom, you can go to Babies at the Barre with my friend, Tori. Tell her I sent you😉 ), you can do body weight exercises, you can take kickboxing classes, and the list goes on and on! Look, if you need some help figuring out what to do, or you just need someone to help hold you accountable, you can hire me to be your online or in person personal trainer.