The number on the scale isn’t the only reason to exercise. If your only goal is to lose weight, you might not stick with your workout regimen. I'm a personal trainer, and I always tell my clients that there are plenty of reasons to exercise, and your motivation shouldn't be based only on what you weigh. Regular exercise is a big part of a healthy lifestyle and you should commit to it for a longer life. Here are a few more reasons to get moving:
1. Exercise provides a natural high.
What’s a better high than three margaritas (without the hangover)? Exercise! When you exercise, feel-good chemicals called endorphins are released in your body. These endorphins spark a positive, euphoric feeling.
2. You'll have better sex if you work out.
Working out makes you feel more fit, which makes you feel better about yourself, which makes you feel sexier. Resistance training also helps boost testosterone and this important hormone (present in both males and females) increases your energy levels, mood, and your sex drive. Be sure to work large muscle groups several days a week (squats, lunges, push-ups, bicep curls, etc.).
3. Physical activity reduces PMS symptoms.
It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but getting up and moving will help with your crappy mood, aches, and pains, and even depression associated with PMS.
4. Exercise improves cognitive function and memory.
A few studies have found that physically fit kids perform better on standardized tests, though more research needs to be done on the topic. Even moderate walking helps boost cognitive functions like reasoning, memory, attention span, and the expansion of information and knowledge. Keep your neurons in shape as well as your booty.
5. Exercise is a natural antidepressant.
Just going for a moderate walk for 30 minutes will help you battle the blues. Studies support the idea that being physically active should be a part of any depression treatment.
6. Being fit will boost your confidence.
When you exercise you feel better, you look better, you get stronger, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and that rush of endorphins has a ripple effect on everything you do. When you feel better, you feel empowered and more confident. Win-win!
7. Exercising regularly will make you feel more energetic.
8. An exercise regimen will help you sleep better.
You'll sleep better when you’ve had a good workout, and physical activity helps keep your circadian rhythm on track. Try to plan your workout during the day and avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
9. Exercise relieves stress.
Exercising is one of the fastest ways to clear stress hormones out of your system. It will help you relax and calm down.
10. It will help you tap into your creativity.
Feeling stuck? There’s a reason Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg have been known to hold “walking” meetings. Studies show that creative thinking improves while a person is walking, either indoors or outdoors. Bring your phone and record ideas, without breaking your stride.
11. Your heart will thank you.
Did you know that worldwide, 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year? According to the American Heart Association, exercise helps dramatically reduce heart-related diseases, strengthens your heart muscle, and can help decrease the risk of having a heart attack.
12. You’ll look and feel younger.
The Fountain of Youth isn’t some magical water source; it’s exercise! When we exercise we infuse our bodies with better health, boost energy levels, feel better, and look better. We can't stop the clock but we can slow it down.
13. Strengthens muscles and bones.
We reach our peak bone and muscle mass by the time we’re 30, and by our 40s we begin to lose it. With proper nutrition and regular exercise, specifically resistance training (lifting weights and/or body resistance training several days a week), we can slow and even reverse this process. Keeping your bones and muscles strong also helps you stay more aerobically fit, leaner, and decreases your chances of osteoporosis.
14. You’ll feel happier!
Better cardiovascular health? Check. Stronger muscles and bones? Check. More energy and confidence? Check. Better sex? Check. These are just a few of the important reasons to exercise, but feeling happier is one of my favorites. And all you have to do is get off of the couch and start moving. You got this. Now get up and get to it!