Working out is awesome - 15 powerful reasons why
For most of us, working out is a chore. But it doesn’t have to be. The health benefits of working out are obvious, but it’s often easy to overlook the more personal reasons that may motivate you to hit the gym. You don’t have to be a gym rat to make sure you’re in peak physical shape—and you don’t have to exercise every day to see real, long-term benefits.
When you look at your schedule, you might find that you’re often missing the chance to exercise because you’re not making time. That’s why it’s important to understand what you really need to do to start seeing results. If you’re anything like me, you may not see working out as a top priority.
After all, you’re young, busy, and have plenty of things to do (and eat!)—so why would you even bother with a workout routine? But it’s vital that you start now, because the sooner you get your body in shape, the better your health and the longer you will live—so that’s definitely something worth getting in shape for.
I know, we’ve all heard it a million times before, but it is still true: Working out can change your life. From improving your posture to boosting your energy levels, from losing weight to building muscle, from feeling stronger to feeling happier, working out is a guaranteed way to improve the quality of your life. If you’re looking for a reason to get off the couch, here are 15 reasons why you need to start working out right now.
1. Working Out Keeps Your Brain Young
The benefits of working out are many, but the biggest one is that it keeps your brain young. A recent study found that regular exercise improves cognitive function, including learning, memory, and attention span. Working out also keeps us sharp and increases our ability to think.
A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that older men who exercise every day perform better on short-term memory tests than men who rarely or never exercise. Another study published in the journal Neurology found that people who had Alzheimer’s disease improved their language skills after taking part in a year-long program of group fitness classes.
2. Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer
Research has shown that people who regularly exercise are less likely to die from heart disease and cancer. Even if you don’t consider yourself overweight, it is worth doing to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Exercise also gives your body the energy it needs to fight the disease.
If you’re in a really good place in your fitness routine, you might consider adding a few minutes of resistance training, too. You’ll get the benefits of both types of exercise—cardio and strength training—which will help to keep your metabolism up and help to reduce your risk of obesity and diabetes.
3. Working Out Improves Your Concentration
This is a bit controversial in the fitness community, but the evidence does seem to support this theory. A 2012 study published in the journal of Applied Psychology found that exercising regularly helps to improve the brain's ability to concentrate.
It's thought that exercising may increase blood flow to the brain, helping to deliver more oxygen and nutrients. The study also found that women who were in the habit of exercising scored higher on cognitive tests than those who didn't.
Your brain and body need to be working in sync in order to function at their peak. And the better you are at managing stress, the more energy your brain has to pay attention to what you’re doing. If you don’t feel like working out because you don’t want to push yourself or because you’ve got a bad back, the truth is that you’ll lose focus on your goals and won’t be able to achieve them.
4. Working Out Boosts Your Mood
Everyone knows that working out can boost your mood. When you exercise, you are not only able to get in shape, but also improve your health. You will feel better and more energized after working out. You should not wait until you are having a bad day to start working out. Instead, you should work out first thing in the morning or in the evening before you go to sleep. This is the best time to start because your body will already be relaxed from your restful night of sleep.
It is true that working out helps you to be more energetic. You may find yourself feeling better after a good workout session. If you are not doing it regularly, it will take some time for you to notice any change. After you have been exercising for a while, you may begin to notice that you feel happier. Your moods can be affected by your lifestyle.
You may have a difficult time sleeping and you may be unable to relax when you are tired. You can try to overcome this with a regular exercise routine. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel when you start working out. You'll want to keep going for a long time if you are doing it regularly.
5. Burns Your Calories and Helps You Lose Weight
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make time to exercise. Yes, it takes willpower and self-discipline, but the benefits outweigh the challenges. For one, regular exercise helps keep your metabolism going.
As you burn calories, you’re also increasing your basal metabolic rate. When you start exercising, your basal metabolic rate increases by as much as 20 percent. This is why the first 30 minutes of a workout are the most crucial to your health.
6. Working Out Boosts Your Energy and Performance
If you want to have energy throughout the day, you need to be physically active. You can't sit around all day and expect to get up tomorrow feeling energized, if you don’t get up and move around every so often, your energy will start to fade and you won’t feel great the next day.
That’s why working out is so important, not only for mental health but also for overall performance. And it’s also one of the reasons why you should work out regularly—you’re not just improving your physical fitness, but you’re also improving your cognitive functioning and mental agility.
7. Gets You More Sleep
Research shows that exercise helps promote better quality sleep, which can boost memory and productivity. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder to reap these benefits. Just a 30-minute walk each day will increase your chances of sleeping well.
Try this: Go for a brisk walk outside around the neighborhood after dinner. If the weather is good, even a short, 15-minute walk at the end of a long day is a great way to clear the mind and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
8. Reduces Your Pain and Stress
Exercise can make us feel better emotionally and physically. When we exercise, the brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which helps relieve stress and anxiety. This is one of the main reasons people go to the gym to get fit. It also boosts our mood and makes us feel good. It reduces our stress and gives us energy and confidence.
A lot of people exercise to improve their self-image. They want to look good. They want to feel good about themselves. This feeling of self-esteem can come from knowing that you are doing something good for yourself and for your life.
9. Working Out Improves Your Memory
Your brain can't keep all your knowledge in its head. If you exercise regularly, your brain is forced to process that information, which then results in better memory retention. A study conducted at the University of Colorado found that physical activity helped improve people's memories by improving cognitive function.
The researchers asked participants to recall words and images while performing a cognitive task. They found that the more exercise people did, the better their memories were.
10. Strengthens Your Immune System
Exercise helps your immune system in many ways. The biggest is that it stimulates the production of white blood cells and the growth of lymphocytes. These are the cells responsible for fighting off infections, cancer, and other diseases.
Other benefits of exercise include increased circulation and oxygen delivery to the body, increased muscle mass, and improved cardiovascular and respiratory function.
11. Builds Your Muscle
One of the most effective ways to build muscle is by performing resistance training with weights. While you can get away without working out, if you want to build the most muscle you can, you need to make an effort to exercise regularly and lift weights, especially if you’re interested in building muscles that aren’t already part of your body.
Muscles grow when you exercise them and when you perform a set of reps. That’s why it’s recommended that you start with a low number of reps to get the best results.
12. Increases Your Strength and Endurance
Working out in the morning gives you the energy to tackle your day and get things done. And it does so by increasing your strength and endurance, according to a study by the University of Georgia in 2010. The researchers found that people who exercised after breakfast had higher levels of muscle glycogen, a form of sugar stored in the muscles that provides fuel for exercise.
That’s because your body has to produce more energy to burn through the food you eat, and the more you do it, the more efficient it becomes at producing energy.
13. Working Out Decreases Your Anxiety
If you’re experiencing anxiety, you can alleviate it through regular exercise. Anxiety is a type of fight-or-flight response, but exercise isn’t a fight-or-flight response; it’s a coping mechanism. It triggers the release of a natural hormone called serotonin which reduces stress levels.
Regular exercise also lowers cortisol, a hormone that raises blood pressure and stress levels. Research suggests that exercising increases the body’s ability to cope with stress, thus reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
14. Improves Your Relationships
In addition to helping you lose weight, running also improves your relationships. In one study, the researchers discovered that people who ran reported having better social relationships than those who did not run.
They found that exercising regularly enhanced feelings of trust, intimacy, and closeness in relationships. The runners were more likely to think about what their partner liked and to show care for them by being considerate and thoughtful.
In another study, the authors asked people to recall either a time when they exercised, or a time when they did not. After a week, they had their romantic partners answer questions regarding their relationship.
When people exercised, they were more likely to be rated as having greater emotional support, being more attentive to their partner, and being more affectionate towards them. So, working out not only helps you lose weight, but it also helps you improve your relationships.
15. Makes You Live Longer
If you’re the kind of person who loves to exercise, and wants to live a long, healthy life, you should make working out part of your daily routine. A study conducted by the University of South Carolina found that exercise can boost memory in the elderly, and that those who engaged in regular physical activity are likely to live longer than people who don’t. In fact, a Harvard Medical School study revealed that being physically active may reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent and the risk of dementia by 50 percent.