Monday, April 1, 2013

10 Reasons to Exercise

We all know we should exercise. But why should we exercise? Knowing that, and keeping it in mind each day when it's time to sweat through your clothes, makes you that much more likely to do it.

1.) Exercise combats health conditions and diseases.

If there was a pill we could take that could magically reduce our risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, metabolic syndrome, depression, certain types of cancers, arthritis, and falls, we'd all take it, right? Well, that pill exists. It just isn't a pill. All it takes is a little exercise each day to prevent major health conditions that could permanently alter your world as you know it.

Isn't that worth a little sweat and burn?

2.) Exercise improves mood.

Exercise sends off all those nice endorphins in the brain, making you feel good. Plus, regular exercise has been shown to improve your self-image and confidence.

Having troubles with self-esteem? Maybe you should just take a walk...every day for a month. See how you feel.

3.) Exercise boosts energy.

This one is a deal-breaker for me. I have struggled with meeting goals and making things happen in my life for years. Exercise has helped me push through on my goals and start making things happen in my life.

It's really no mystery. Regular physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. If your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you're going to have more energy for the other activities in your day.

4.) Exercise promotes better sleep.

As long as you don't exercise too close to sleep, you'll find that you'll fall asleep faster and sleep deeper if you exercise often. And of course, the more deep sleep you get, the more energy you'll have the next day.

Deeper sleep has also been shown to combat health problems. Want better health overall? Exercise is the magic pill!

You just have to take it.

5.) Exercise controls weight.

Well, most of us know that. But have you ever REALLY thought about it? Each day, you ingest copious amounts of fat, cholesterol, carbohydrates, as well as a host of other chemical compounds. And you have to do that, just to survive. But what happens if you do nothing to offset this intake? If you take in more than you work off, you're going to gain weight until you're the size of a whale.

Or just dead.

But regular exercise means that you're subtracting as much (or more) as you're adding in. It's simple math. If you want to change your size, you have to make the numbers work in your favor. Exercise is the only reasonable means you have of subtracting more than you take in. There is no other way (diet is reducing the amount you add; but it doesn't really subtract anything).

6.) Exercise makes you smarter.

Or, at least, it makes you more capable of applying your intelligence. Studies have shown people who exercise are more able to focus, are faster at reacting to problems, have better memories, and better cognitive function in general. 

So, exercise really is a no-brainer.

7.) Exercise reduces stress.

Had a hard day at work? Try a quick run. A little exercise can help you unwind from that confrontation you had with a coworker or the mean customer you faced today.

And everyone knows that stress today is killing us. The more you reduce your stress, the better you're going to feel.

8.) Exercise improves your sex life.

Well, of course. Sex is a physical effort in and of itself. So improving your, erm, performance will improve your sex life. Not to mention, self-esteem and confidence are great at improving anyone's sex life, and we've already mentioned how exercise improves you there!

But there's more to it than that. According to, regular exercise leads to enhanced arousal in women. And men who exercise are less likely to have problems like erectile dysfunction. (Check out the article here

9.) Exercise keeps your bones strong.

As you get older, osteoporosis is a real danger. You could lose the ability to run, walk, even stand! But with a little exercise each day, you could keep all of that from happening, increasing your chances of independence into your old age.

And how many of us actually want to live in a retirement home if we can help it?

10.) Exercise is actually fun!

It's true! Exercise can be a source of enjoyment in and of itself. And not just for health nuts (no offense). So-called "normal" people can enjoy exercise, too. 

The key is finding an exercise you actually like doing. Swimming, kayaking, skiing, there are a lot of options out there. And anything that gets you moving is worth it. Heck, they even have Wii games that get you going, if you don't want to experience the real thing. Just find something that fits your likes and dislikes, and get going! You might be surprised by how much you like it (I certainly have been).

Does anyone else have any other reasons to exercise? What motivators have you found that work for you?

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on blog.
  4. Made bed, picked up in my room, and organized my desk.

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