It’s more than just burning calories
I used to HATE exercise. H A T E it. It was never fun, never felt good, it was more of a chore than anything enjoyable. The ONLY reason I exercised was to lose weight. I never thought i’d get to the point where I actually liked it. Well here I am. I actually like it. In fact I love it. Exercise is important to me for so many reasons now. I used to think it was only useful in helping me lose weight, but I was wrong. Exercise does so much more for me than that. I read this article the other day and wanted to share it. The article lists 13 proven health benefits of exercise. I feel like I have benefited from every one. Take a looky….
- Longevity. People who are physically active live longer. According to a 20 year follow-up study, regular exercise reduces the risk of dying prematurely.
- New brain cell development, improved cognition and memory. Exercise stimulates the formation of new brain cells. Researchers found that the areas of the brain that are stimulated through exercise are responsible for memory and learning. For instance, older adults who engage in regular physical activity have better performances in tests implying decision-making process, memory and problem solving.
- Improved sexual function and better sex life. Regular exercise maintains or improves sex life. Physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition and cardiovascular function can all enhance sexual functioning in both men and women. Researchers revealed that men who exercise regularly are less likely to have erectile dysfunction and impotence than are men who don’t exercise.
- Exercise is a powerful antidepressant. Study after study has shown that exercise promotes mental health and reduces symptoms of depression. The antidepressant effect of regular physical exercise is comparable to the potent antidepressants like Zoloft. It may take at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for at least three to five days a week to significantly improve symptoms of depression.
- Cardiovascular health. Lack of physical activity is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercising makes your heart, like any other muscle, stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort.
- Cholesterol lowering effect. Exercise itself does not burn off cholesterol like it does with fat, however, exercise favorably influences blood cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
- Prevention and control of diabetes. There is strong evidence from high quality studies (e.g. Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study) that moderate physical activity combined with weight loss and balanced diet can confer a 50-60% reduction in risk of developing diabetes.
- Blood pressure lowering. The way in which exercise can cause a reduction in blood pressure is unclear, but all forms of exercise seem to be effective in reducing blood pressure. Aerobic exercise appears to have a slightly greater effect on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals than in individuals without hypertension.
- Reduced risk of stroke. Research data indicates that moderate and high levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic strokes.
- Weight control. Regular exercise helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you take in more calories than needed in a day, exercise offsets a caloric overload and controls body weight. It speeds the rate of energy use, resulting in increased metabolism. When metabolism increases through exercise, you will maintain the faster rate for longer periods of a day.
- Muscle strength. Health studies repeatedly show that strength training increases muscle strength and mass and decreases fat tissue.
- Bone strength. An active lifestyle benefits bone density. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation, delays bone loss and may protect against osteoporosis – form of bone loss associated with aging.
- Better night sleep. If you suffer from poor sleep, daily exercise can make the difference. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after exercise may help to fall asleep.
Written by C. Simmons of HealthAssist.net
If that didn’t give you 13 good reasons, to get up off your bum and get in some exercise, I’m not sure what will!
In my past life I never lifted weights. I was so focused on cardio and physically seeing the amount of calories I burned each workout, that lifting weights did not interest me at all. When I began thinking clearly and realized that I didn’t know everything and that fitness experts may know what they are talking about..I decided to start lifting. I wanted to learn how to properly lift weights and build muscle, so I got a personal trainer. It has been such a fun, hard and rewarding experience. I have learned so much and have enjoy every session. I only have one session left and I am pretty bummed about it.
I meet with my trainer 2x a week for 3o minutes. Since I like to workout in the morning and get to work early, I meet with him at 5:00am. I admit that I want to die when my alarm goes off , but once i’m out of bed and on my way to the gym I’m awake and ready to go.
I started writing this post to talk about my workout this morning because I loved it..so I guess I should get to the point. My work out this morning was one of the hardest workouts i’ve had with my trainer thus far. Have you heard of Cross Fit? It is GREAT! For the past three weeks all my training sessions have been Cross Fit works outs. These work outs are hard core. They are short, intense and KICK YOUR BUTT! Click this link to learn more about Cross Fit.
My workout today went as followed:
Then you repeat the process with 18 reps of all four sets, then 15 reps, 12, 9, 6, and finally finish it off with 3 reps.
It took about 55 minutes to complete. It was crazy hard and I loved it! I was dealing with a little asthma this morning so that made it even harder. There were a few times that I actually almost threw up. Ha…I didnt even know that was really possible. Lifting weights is incredibly hard. SO MUCH HARDER than cardio, and in my opinion much more rewarding. I can actually see muscle’s developing on my body that didn’t use to exist. I am so much stronger than when I started. I have more endurance, more strength and definitely more mental power. Six months ago I couldn’t even do one push up and now I can do 30…30! I have never been able to do a pull up my entire life, not even one……BUT I am getting so close. Today was the closest i’ve been. I think I will throw a pull up party when i do my first pull up. My point for this post is that i’ve learned that exercise is much more than burning calories. Being physically active will help you feel strong, motivated and powerful in all aspects of your life. I love feeling those ways, don’t you? It’s not easy to exercise or push yourself to do hard things physically…but in the end it is worth the time and energy that it takes.
After my last session with my personal trainer I plan to continue doing Cross Fit for a few months. I also wanted to try the 30 day shred… has anyone ever tried that? I thought it might be fun to do cross fit or the 30 day shred or something like that together and maybe track our results??…does that interest anyone?
A few questions for YOU to answer:
Have you tried Cross Fit? If so do you Like it?
What type of exercise do you enjoy?
Please comment. I really want to hear your thoughts! 🙂