How are you faring with the time change?
As I was hanging out in my kitchen, watching an interesting video about the Bermuda Triangle and completing my evening chores, I was simultaneously thinking about what I should write about.
It’s mid-March, I thought to myself. What’s a good, relevant topic? I knew I didn’t want to give you a bunch of quotes this week.
And then it hit me.
Why not get up on my soapbox and state my case, listing reasons why everyone should get their workout in?
I dug into my archives and realized it’s been two years since I’ve done one of these posts. I know, I’m slacking friends.
It’s March 15 today.
So, instead of just giving you five reasons, I’m going to give you 15 reasons. And, of course you know how I love adjectives, these aren’t ordinary reasons, my friends. Oh no, these are incredible reasons. haha!
Grab some coffee or your drink of choice and let’s dive in!
15. Exercise boosts your immune system.
No one likes being sick. You feel like trash, you can’t do anything, and you’re absolutely miserable. No thanks. We’re in the thick of flu season and this year we have something even more menacing to watch out for.. yeah, the coronavirus. (I have a lot of thoughts about this topic, but we’ll save that for another time.) Moderate exercise can help your body stay healthy and fight off all the germs that your coworkers keep trying to spread around the office with their coughing and sneezing, or the ones your kids bring home from school. (Seriously, can people just cover their mouths and wash their hands? Or stay home if you’re sick. You aren’t a hero for going into work and trying to power through your contagious disease.) Physical activity gets your blood pumping and the breath working. This helps you get rid of bacteria in your lungs and airways, reducing your risk of getting sick. In addition, your body temperature rises which helps prevent bad bacteria from growing and thriving as well as helping your body fight off any sort of infection. Awesome! It’s important to not overdo it though. There is evidence that strenuous exercise actually has the opposite effect — because your body is exhausted, it can’t devote 100% of its forces to fighting off the evil bacteria trying to invade your personal space, and might actually increase your chances of getting sick. (Read more about these topics here and here respectively.)
14. Exercise increases your stamina.
This is important for many reasons, but let’s be honest here. The only one we really care about is for extracurricular activities with our spouses/significant others. I mean, after this reason, is there any need for me to continue this list?
13. Exercise improves endurance.
See above. 😉
12. Exercise is good for your heart.
Let’s face it. The average American diet is not healthy. I love bacon, pizza, and burgers as much as the next person, but all that cholesterol, salt, and fat just isn’t doing your heart any favors. Combine that with the fact that many people lead sedentary lifestyles — sitting in an office all day just to come home and sit on the couch to binge Netflix to decompress.. not good. More bad news: heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. Don’t skip your workout. If you haven’t been exercising, it’s not too late. Get up and get moving today. (Read more about how exercise helps your heart: Harvard Medical School John Hopkins Medicine.)
11. Exercise can help you stop smoking.
Wow. You’re getting pretty judgy, aren’t you Alyssa? Before you hit the x and close out this tab, just hear me out. I’m not saying you have to quit smoking. I honestly don’t care if you are a smoker and I don’t support raising the legal age to buy tobacco. But that can be a topic for another time. This is a reason for those of you who are trying to quit. Getting some movement in can help reduce your craving for that cigarette and definitely helps stave off the extra pounds that come along with quitting. I know it’s hard to quit, but it is possible if you truly want to. (For more info and tips: Science Daily Fitness Blender Very Well Mind )
10. Exercise reduces stress.
There’s nothing better than channeling negative or anxious energy into a workout. The physical activity helps you escape for a small period of time while also clearing your head. You’re better able to focus during the day and chances are, your perspective will have changed. Not to mention you’ll be more calm and able to approach and solve any problem plaguing you.
9. Exercise to get closer to your goals.
Did you set a fitness goal in January? How’s that going for you? If you slipped up, no worries. Get up and get back on track. If you’ve been killing it, don’t stop now. Keep moving forward. Progress doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistency and dedication.
8. Exercise to look sexy af naked.
haha! I saw this on an ecard a few weeks back and loved it! It’s a pretty great reason to get your workout in today if you ask me. 😉
7. Exercise gives you confidence.
This ties in with a few of the other reasons. Not only does exercise flood your brain with those feel-good endorphins (cue Elle Woods) but when you consistently show up for yourself, eliminate excuses, and crush your workouts, you feel good about yourself. That has a powerful effect that carries over into all other areas of your life.
6. Exercise helps you sleep better.
And who doesn’t love sleeping? I’m in bed by 9 pm five nights out of the week just to be up before the birds between 4:30 am and 4:50 am. I look forward to the two days I can actually sleep in. (which for me is about 7 am.) According to the Sleep Doctor, physical activity helps promote a more sound, restful sleep. Expanding on that, John Hopkins Medicine says that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get (that’s the REM phase) where the body repairs and rejuvenates itself. The effects of exercise can also help those who suffer with Insomnia.
5. Exercise because it’s free… or because you’re paying for it.
There are many free apps available that will give you workouts or my favorite, YouTube, has videos that will appeal to just about anyone. Want to try boxing? There’s a video. Need a HIIT workout? There’s a video for that, too. Only have 5 minutes? No problem! There’s something for everyone!
Then we have the people who are throwing money away on a gym membership and never set foot in the door or on a pricey app/streaming service they never use. The money’s being spent, folks. You might as well put it to good use and go get your workout in. You’ll feel better financially and physically for doing so.
4. Exercise to ease your aches and pains.
This is true physically and mentally friends, especially as you get older. I’m at the ripe old age where how my body feels is largely dictated by the weather. Fun times. Previous injuries, current injuries, sleeping wrong, walking wrong, bending wrong, moving too quickly.. the list of the causes of aches/pains continues infinitely. Most can be eased with some form of movement. You should always consult your doctor before working out if you’re injured, but chances are there’s something you can do. My favorite things to do to help ease pain include: Feldenkrais, yoga, walking, and getting outside for a game of catch with my son.
As for the mental aspect, exercise helps reduce stress (see reason 10.) and boosts your mood. Feeling angry about your trash company messing up your bill? Do some yoga or boxing. Feeling upset about a bad dream or memory that crept its way back to the forefront of your mind? Yoga or dance cardio can help you shake it off. Are your kids driving you nuts? Take them outside and burn off that energy running around the yard. Things at work stressing you out? Try a HIIT workout. There’s a workout for every emotion and stressor. Not only will you burn off the excess energy, but you’ll finish with a clear mind and be better able to focus on solutions.
3. Exercise aids digestion.
Whether you suffer from digestion issues or you’ve over-indulged, getting some movement in can help ease symptoms and get things moving again. (To read more information about this or for tips check out Exercises to Improve Digestion and How Exercise Affects Your Digestion )
2. Exercise is the Fountain of Youth.
Okay, maybe not. But, regular exercise (along with a healthy diet) helps keep your body strong and your mind sharp. Skip the pricey creams and surgeries and go workout! (Read more on this: ACE Fitness Healthline Business Insider )
1. Exercise because you can and choose to.
This is arguably the most important reason to workout. Here’s the thing: you are alive today and hopefully relatively healthy. This is something we often overlook and take for granted. Every day you wake up is a gift. There is always someone who is worse off than you, and while that doesn’t minimize your problems, it does help put them in perspective. When it comes to exercise, start shifting your mindset. Instead of thinking of your workout as a chore, start viewing it as time for yourself. Something you get to do versus having to do. Cultivate a habit of exercising so that it becomes second-nature to you, a non-negotiable part of your day. Motivation doesn’t last and it certainly won’t get you very far. It’s a fleeting feeling. Take responsibility for yourself and just get it done.
There you go. 15 incredible reasons to get your workout in. I hope you found this helpful and had a little laugh.
Now log off and go workout!
Have a wonderful week friends!