1. Weight loss (more accurately fat loss)
This is an obvious one to start with but most of us would like to drop some body fat and cutting calories alone is tough so why not burn some off instead whilst gaining so many more benefits that exercising has to offer. Exercise elevates your metabolism. The increased energy demand during exercise means your body can burn off up to twenty times more calories than when it is at rest. Not only that but interval and resistance training can leave your metabolism elevated for up to 72 hours after training. That means that if you train 3 times a week and include intervals and resistance training within those sessions you could benefit from an elevated metabolism for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
2. Utilise a natural anti-depressant
Exercise benefits every part of the body, including the mind. When exercising the body produces endorphins, these are chemicals that can help a person to feel more peaceful and happy. Many individuals that suffer with depression are referred to fitness professionals by their GPs. I ran a GP referral scheme at a council run sports centre many years ago and the patients would regularly claim how great they felt after they began their training programme, despite having a few sore muscles the following day. I know how great exercise makes me feel personally and how rubbish I feel if I don’t exercise. If you haven’t yet built a routine of regular exercise into your life then you don’t realise how much you are missing out. It is the most under-utilised anti-depressant on the market.
3. Build your own suit of armour
Weight bearing exercise and resistance training has been proven to increase bone density, increasing the strength of bones which can help those effected by osteoporosis and protect against fractures. However, it is not just important for those that are at risk of osteoporosis. Regular resistance training also increase the thickness and strength of muscle fibres, ligaments and tendons which reduces the likelihood of injuries from falls. If you play any contact sports or work in security then a good suit of armour is also needed to protect yourself from strikes and collisions.
4. Reduce your risk of disease
Exercise can decrease a person’s risk of developing certain diseases. More and more research carried by the world health organisation (WHO) is showing a clear link between those that are inactive and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity and some cancers. Prevention is the best cure!
5. Increase your confidence
This is just one of the side effects experienced very soon after commencing a healthy lifestyle regime. Making that dress size, discovering new muscle tone, improvement in sports performance, improved posture, improved sleep and improvement in any medical ailments such as back pain all individually can lead to a surge in confidence which increases your adherence to your programme and enjoyment of life.
6. Boost your energy levels
Exercise strangely makes you feel more energised. When you increase your heart rate your blood delivers oxygen and essential nutrients to your body tissues giving you more energy. The more you do this the more efficient your your heart, lungs and blood vessels become. When they all work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.
7. Improve your sleep
Exercise promotes better sleep. A good night’s sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood and regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. When you exercise in the day you will then feel more relaxed in the evening as your body will want to rest and recuperate so that the next time you exercise you return stronger. Also, when you have exercised you feel more content that your day has been productive, instead of lying in bed feeling guilty and thinking you should have been more active than you were. Nobody ever regrets a good workout.
8. Ignite some fireworks back in the bedroom
Often people can feel too tired to have sex with their partner or feel too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy. Following a structured weekly exercise regime can leave you feeling energised and looking and feeling great, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. Believe it or not but there have been studies done on this. No, I was not a subject in any of the studies! Anyway, the results of these studies have found that regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. Also, men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than men who don’t exercise. I have not yet enquired as to whether this is the case for any of my male clients but if it is, there is no need to thank me chaps! Just keep it up – so to speak!
9. Improve your social life and get some ‘you time’
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun and involve the whole family and friends too. Whether its rounder’s in the park, dance classes, climbing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and surfing these are all very fun activities and would be enjoyed by most. Exercise classes are incredibly social and many good friendships have been formed from participating. If you are not a group exercise fan then training as lone wolf also has it’s benefits. Both myself and my partner currently train on our own and that is how we prefer to train. Both of us enjoy that time to pop the heads phones in and shut from the world for a bit. Don’t get me wrong we both love socialising too and are very social people but we also love a little bit of time to ourselves and the gym is the perfect excuse to regularly get that time.
10. Get some instant stress release
If I’m ever feeling like the challenges of life are getting on top of me or Im just feeling a little grumpy then I will go for a run, lift something heavy or do a few rounds on the punch bag. I ALWAYS feel better for it. It works so well that even my partner will say to me if Im grumpy ‘do you need to exercise?’ Try it next time your being a grouch and see if it lifts your mood.