We’ve all know the reasons to exercise. We know that it’s beneficial. They’ve been telling us this for years through EVERY platform. It’s as if they think we haven’t gotten it by now. Except if you type out a quick Google search on obesity, you will see that obesity is a real problem in our society. We add over 3 million new U.S. cases each year and have started talking seriously on childhood obesity. So if we aren’t getting it, and we’re not teaching it to our kids, then what is going to happen?
I love to work out when I actually do it, but the hard part is actually doing it. I used to get up every day at 4:30AM to teach boot camp, then I started teaching cardio weight lifting in the evenings around 5PM, yet I always ended up stopping after a while. It seemed that there were always excuses in the way. Like I’m tired and it’s dark out or my friend wants to get drinks after work or I’m feeling lazy and exhausted from working all day.
I don’t know if you have ever felt like that (I hope so, otherwise I’m openly admitting to being the laziest person ever!), but I have some reasons that will hopefully motivate you back into a steady workout routine:
1. Exercise gives you energy.
I have discovered this on many levels. When I workout first thing in the morning, I feel ready to start the day. However, now that I use my mornings to write and have cuddle sessions, I have found that working out over my lunch hour is the best thing for me. I no longer feel tired around the 2-3PM slump of my day.
According to WebMD, this is because our bodies literally create energy after we exercise. They recommend doing moderate exercise every day, which they list as 10-15min walks (You can even do this with your dog before or after work!). We can all make a little effort to walk a little more. That could mean parking a little farther from the door to work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or or even doing a quick lap around the office! I also found this fun exercise on Pinterest that is great for an at-work workout.
2. Exercise boosts your self-confidence.
Like I’ve said previously, I check out my body a lot. And I’m always more pleased with my appearance after I workout. After a workout, I feel like my abs are flatter and my biceps are bulging, even though I know it didn’t actually happen. But the longer I workout the more I love the shape and feel of my body.
Exercise makes you feel good both physically and mentally. According to Meredith Berg, lifting weights can lower anxiety, aerobics can improve positive thinking, and tai-chi can effect your self-worth. In the words of our friend, Elle, exercise gives you endorphins. And happy people feel good about their bodies.
3. Exercise helps combat aging.
I waved at someone the other day, and you know what happened? My entire arm waved with me!! It was the most horrifying sight. This is just one example where aging put me in my place (If you haven’t already read it, I have an article on using your dog to strengthen your arms).
Obviously strength training will help keep the muscles tight and combat the flabbiness that comes as we get older. But it also helps with inflammation, which normally comes with aging. Regular exercise can help prevent major health problems like heart disease and decreased muscle mass, too.
4. Exercise relieves stress.
Do you ever have days where you get so frustrated that you might explode? Whenever I am stressed over a situation, I go to the gym or for a walk. There’s something about getting my heart pumping that helps to clear my mind and focus better on the stress at hand.
This is because exercise creates endorphins, which are like natural painkillers for our body. Exercise also helps you sleep better, which is another way to help de-stress. A great form of exercise I’ve found is through yoga. You center your body and clear your mind to create a sense of calm.
5. Exercise increases flexibility and overall endurance.
There are days when I wake up and my back is in shambles. Shambles is what I like to call super sore and I no longer have the ability to bend over in an attempt to touch my toes (I say an attempt because I can’t touch my toes normally). The only way I’m able to proceed like a normal human is through a quick 10-minute flow to stretch out my body.
Flexibility comes from stretching our bodies to help prevent injuries and muscle soreness after we workout. Training through weightlifting and cardio exercises increases how long we can last doing a certain activity. This will also stem into our daily lives making it easier to maneuver and help us complete an activity for a longer period of time. IE: Me being able to go a on 3 mile hike directly up a mountain in an hour because my boyfriend’s brother-in-law likes to run (I might still be winded, but the silver lining is I didn’t keel over and die).
Working out doesn’t mean you have to be in the gym for an hour straight every day (I mean who has time for that?). The American Heart Association recommends you get 150 minutes, or 30 minutes for 5 days, of moderate exercise each week.
If you have decent streaming at home, I suggest working out to Youtube videos (My favorites are Popsugarfitness and Sarabethyoga). Sometimes I only have time for a 15 or 20 minute workout, but it’s better than nothing. My main suggestion for you is to find things you like to do. When you like the exercise, you are more likely to stick with it. And remember it can be something like walking to work, taking the stairs up 7 flights every day, or doing some floor exercises during commercial breaks. The only part that matters is you’re moving.
Check out my Pinterest board for some more exercise tips and workouts you can do from home.