“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”..... Thomas Jefferson
Working out is often thought of as a way to achieve a certain body type or look, but there are many reasons to exercise that go beyond aesthetics. While looking good can certainly be a motivator for some, there are a number of benefits to working out regularly that are not solely focused on appearance.
Let’s start with improved [ Heart Health ] by doing cardio workouts - the most common and well known form of exercise. There are many different types of cardiovascular exercises such as running, walking, swimming, HIIT, tabata, cycling and more. The first thing that comes to mind when we think of cardio is weight loss, but it’s so much more than that. Cardio is an exercise of your heart, building your heart muscle and increasing its strength. Regular cardio activity will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and many other cardiovascular diseases. Show your heart how much you care with consistent cardio exercises.
Number 2! Consistent exercise improves [ Mental Health ] as well. I can’t count how many times a good workout has supplied me with that “aha moment”, brought light to a dark day or clarity when I was staring in the eyes of confusion. Working out is also an amazing platform to release emotion. Hitting the heavy bag (boxing), going for a long run or a strong meditation session in the sauna always helps to lighten a heavy mind, make my brain fire more rapidly and readily. Giving a consistent workout schedule a chance will do the same for your confidence as well.
Reason number 3 is improved [ Cognitive Function ] and yes similar to number 2, yet not quite the same. When you lift weights, jump rope or run it takes concentration and coordination. Your brain is what is signaling your muscles to function and move your body. When you do this you are exercising and strengthening your brain while simultaneously sending oxygen to the brain to increase activity. Regular physical activity can improve your memory, mood and concentration capability. I draw blanks sometimes and 20 minutes into a sweat, what I need comes to me!
Reason number 4 is a no brainer, no pun intended. Working out improves your [ Muscle Strength and Endurance ] and who doesn’t want to be stronger?! Being stronger improves the quality of your life and others around you. Yes, you become the go to for help on moving day, but that’s okay we all like being the hero and coming to our friends and family’s rescue. I notice the benefits of being strong most in the reactions of friends and family’s children. They take notice, they ask me questions and it inspires them to be strong as well. That makes me extremely happy and is one of the biggest reasons I do what I do for a living. To inspire my younger nieces, nephews and cousins.
Objective number 5 is [ Improved Flexibility ]. The easier it is for you to touch your toes, the easier it is for you to bend over and pick up a hundred dollar bill off the ground. It just became real right, haha! Increased flexibility makes sitting in small spaces like cars and airplanes more comfortable. The increase in your range of motion makes every movement easier, subsequently reducing your chance of injury and making your life easier. Do yourself a favor, add a consistent stretch routine to your life and improve the quality of that life.
When you hit a certain age (for me it was 40) you start to realize that this isn’t about what I look like with my shirt off anymore. It’s about walking around with good posture and feeling good about how I feel. Objective number 6 is [ Improved Bone Health ]. As we become older the weight on our bones becomes heavier. Regular physical activity can help improve your bone health and reduce your risk of diseases like osteoporosis and osteonecrosis as you age. Your health is most important and as we age our muscles and bone strength are crucial!
As New Yorkers objective number 7 is most relevant in our day to day lives than any other city in the world. Improved [ Respiratory Health ] is paramount as we scale the stairs to our walk up apartments, transfer from subway car to train, ride Citi Bikes or even fight to hail cabs. Nobody wants to be out of breath performing basic activities and one way to avoid that is to exercise regularly and improve your VO2 MAX. In other words make your lungs stronger and more capable. Put your kids to sleep after an intense play session instead of the other way around. I had to sneak in an example that makes respiratory health real for everyone. Now get out there and do 30 minutes of some sort of physical activity everyday. You will not regret it once it becomes a habit.
Motivation number 8 to exercise regularly is improved [ Digestion ]. Exercise increases blood flow to the muscles in your digestive system which moves food through your digestive tract which then causes those muscles to work more efficiently. Think of your digestive system like a river flowing smoothly and powerfully supplying water and food to every creature it flows by. Exercise everyday and allow your river to flow and fly with ease.
Inspiration to workout everyday number 9 is improved [ Sleep Quality ] Can’t sleep?! Add intense workouts to your program and reap the benefits of a body that craves rest in order to recover and rebuild only to come back stronger than ever the following day. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, giving your body the opportunity to refresh itself. The body does the majority of its rebuilding while you sleep, so give your recovery process the the best chance possible by exercising consistently.
Reason number 10 is a winner! An Improved [ Immune System ] is a huge benefit of a working out everyday. A strong body is a healthy body equipped to fight off disease. Exercise allows antibodies to move more rapidly enabling them to detect illness more quickly. Keep it simple and commit to living in a world where you make the time to workout 30 minutes a day and give your immune system the best chance possible to fight off illness.
I know! I said 10, none the less I have to sum it all up. Working out everyday will help maximize your [ Overall Well Being ] with improved Heart Health, Mental Health, Cognitive Function, Muscle Endurance and Strength, Flexibility, Bone Health, Respiratory Health, Digestion, Sleep Quality and Immune System. Oh! And Don’t forget DOPAMINE! Swag! Confidence! Accomplishment! ETC!!!
While it's absolutely possible to work out solely for aesthetic reasons, the benefits of regular exercise go far beyond appearance. Regular exercise can provide social connections and motivation, and even extend life expectancy. So next time you're thinking about skipping a workout, remember all the benefits you're giving up beyond just looking good. Let’s Work!
“The body achieves what the mind believes.” – Erin Gray
Katotrainmeplaease - Signing off…until we meet again.