I know finding time to exercise can be hard. Not to mention having the motivation to go to the gym or exercise at home. I know I definitely struggle with consistency myself. There are some weeks better than others but, I’ve learned to not be so hard on myself. I recommend aiming for 3-5 days a week and here’s why that’s beneficial.
1-So, let’s start with the obvious, exercise can help with weight loss. Regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories and lose weight. In addition, combining aerobic exercise with resistance training (weights) can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance which is key in keeping the weight off.
2-Exercise is also good for our muscles and bones. Regular exercise is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as we age. Exercise helps us build bone density when we’re younger and helps prevent osteoporosis as we get older.
3-Exercise reduces the risk of chronic disease by improving our cardiovascular fitness and decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels. When we don’t exercise this leads to an increase in belly fat which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and early death. Bottom line, to protect our heart and health we need to move a little every day!
4-Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. What?? Well sign me up because I’m constantly forgetting everything! When we exercise, our heart rate increases promoting blood flow and oxygen to the brain. It also promotes changes in our brain structure and function and has been shown to cause the hippocampus to grow in size. This then increases mental functions in older adults.
5-Exercise also helps with relaxation and helps you sleep better. Which makes me happy because as I’ve mentioned before, sleep is my wellness flaw. Our body temperature rises during exercise and this is thought to improve our sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep. Some studies have found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week can provide up to a 65% improvement in sleep quality. I’ll be calculating my exercise time this week.
6-Exercise can increase our energy level and make us feel happier. This is because working out improves our mood. Have you ever been in a bad mood, so you went for a run or took a dance class to get that frustration out? This again involves our brain as exercising produces changes in the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It then increases the production of endorphins which help produce positive feelings. One study also found that 6 weeks of exercise reduced feelings of fatigue in healthy individuals who had complained of persistent fatigue. It can also significantly increase energy levels of those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Moving our body gives us more energy even when we don’t feel like it.
7-Exercise has also been proven to boost our sex drive which promotes a better sex life. And you thought it was just for mood and weight loss. Now we know the main reason to hit the gym tomorrow. As we already know exercise strengthens our cardiovascular system, but it also improves blood circulation, tones muscles, and enhances flexibility, all of which lead to an improved sex life. Physical activity can also enhance our sexual performance and sexual pleasure which just might increase the frequency of our sexual activity, meaning better sex equals more sex. Plus, sex can be a workout in itself.
So, lets go back to the beginning, finding time to exercise can be tough but if you aim for 3-5 days a week then don’t feel bad when you have to miss a day because of you know, life. As far as motivation? I just gave you 7 reasons why exercise is important. Did you read number 7? 7, 7, 7? (a little joke for my Friends fans out there). Whatever your reason is, carve out some time this week and move your body.