Why You Should Exercise

by Stacy

How many times have you set a New Year’s Resolution to exercise more? And how many times have you failed?

We all know we should exercise regularly — theoretically for 30 minutes a day, at least 3 times a week. Regular physical activity has a bevy of benefits including reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancer, and other ailments.

Even with this knowledge, most people don’t do anything about it. Does this sound like you?

Here are three motivational reasons to incorporate more activity into your routine.

Reduce Stress

Exercise bikesWhen you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins reduce sensations of pain, can create euphoria or a “runner’s high,” and even act as a sedative to help you get better sleep. Exercise-induced endorphins have been found to reduce anxiety, depression, and stress.

Instead of going to the doctor for a prescription, try moving your body more in another direction. Running isn’t the only form of exercise; think about trying a dance class, a yoga DVD, biking, or even hula hooping!

Immune System

Cross Polarisation of GogglesAs mentioned above, exercise can help reduce stress. Stress weakens the immune system, so keeping stress levels low is very important for staying healthy.

An important part of your immune system is the lymphatic system. Physical activity can increase the circulation of lymphatic fluids which help your body fight illness. This doesn’t have to be vigorous exercise; movements based in yoga or Qi gong are excellent as stimulating lymph movement.

Confidence

Jump ropesAlong with reducing risk of disease, exercise also has psychological benefits. A significant effect is boosting confidence.

Studies have shown that increased physical activity results in increased self-image, from kids up to senior citizens. Part of the effect could be from succeeding at a sport or sticking to an exercise regimen. Feeling fit and strong or losing weight and gaining muscle are also paths to higher self-esteem.


What are the roadblocks that prevent you from getting regular exercise?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

├╝berlaut March 31, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Interestingly, after losing 117lbs, I am more self-conscious about my body (and the imperfections that I perceive) than I ever was before.

One major example: I used to wear a bikini on the beach at 250-270lbs (US size 22-24W). I’m now 195lbs (US size 14M) and while I have gone shopping for a new bikini, I’m very aware of the floppy skin I have all over.

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Stacy March 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Congratulations on your weight loss, 117 pounds is a huge accomplishment!
That’s an interesting point, though. What about confidence in other areas, like goal-setting or at work?

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