Do you know why many people, perhaps even a majority of people exercise? The most popular answer to this question, according to WebMD is weight loss.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think weight loss is a good, solid goal, or should there be more to it?
I, for one, believe that this can be quite discouraging. Often times, we don’t see the results we’d like in the amount of time we’d hoped. If losing weight is the goal and it isn’t happening, many are unhappy with this and just decide exercise isn’t helping.
We all know this isn’t truly the case, but let’s talk a little more about the benefits of exercise, if weight loss isn’t happening for you.
Exercise has such a huge impact on our lives. Sure, exercise and a healthy diet can lead many to weight loss. In the event that it’s not happening as quickly as you’d like, let’s bullet point some aspects of your life where exercise IS making a difference:
- Increased Energy Level – When you exercise, endorphins are being released that will help increase your energy level throughout the entire day. You need to fuel with the right foods for the full effect, but, really, who couldn’t use a little more energy, right?
- Heart Health/Disease Prevention – Regular exercise helps keep our hearts pumping and has been known to assist in controlling many diseases, such as diabetes. Healthy heart = longer life? Maybe, so why not work toward it?
- Change in Muscle Tone – Even if the pounds aren’t coming off, your muscles are toning up. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat. If you’re getting leaner, things might begin to fit better, even if the scale is telling you that you haven’t made any gains (or losses, really). Fitting into last year’s skinny jeans? I’ll take those results!
- Decrease in Stress – For a number of reason, exercise is a huge part of reducing stressors in our lives. “Working it out” is a great way to decompress, to get out frustration and to simply enjoy time for yourself. I’m not sure I’ll ever get enough of the last one, how ‘bout you? The next two perks could fall under this category, for sure. Read on…
- Mental Impact (more “brainpower”) – Exercise increases the serotonin level in our brains, thus giving us a “clearer” head. You can be more productive at your job or at home if this is happening. Wait, is exercise making me smarter or just more focused? No, it can’t increase that IQ, but it sure will help with your ability to get it done!
- Emotional Impact – Exercise also has the ability to help us become emotionally stronger. Look at all of the positives above this one on the list. How could you not feel better about yourself with all these perks provided by exercise? A happier you can make you a better participant in your relationships: marriage, parenting, friendships, etc. Under this umbrella, you can feel less guilty when you “cheat” by eating a cookie or brownie. No one likes to be down on his/herself, and exercise is up there on the top of the list of “pick me ups”.
Reader’s Digest version of today’s Wellness Wednesday: Exercise has so many benefits, that if your only goal is weight loss, perhaps you should rethink it. It may work out for you at some point, but think of everything you’re getting in the meantime and don’t give up!
Carri Nelsen of Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury.
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