Top 10 benefits of Exercise

Busy, tired, emotional, stressed… This is how so many of us describe our daily lives. These are all words that are now so commonplace in our daily conversations, that we’re getting used to this state being the new norm.
Time to make a change for the better! Time to remind yourself, that fitting in a little exercise to your weekly routine can make a BIG difference to a lot more than just your waist measurement!

The benefits of exercise can impact positively on your life and your family’s lives is so many different ways. Exercising regularly will support you in living a healthier and happier life. Commitment is the key!

Here’s 10 reasons to kick-start your exercise routine today!

1. Boost Happiness and Self Esteem

There have been many studies done on how exercise can impact on a person’s life. One of the key findings is that, those who exercise regularly generally experience better mood and higher levels of self-esteem than those who don’t. Even mild exercise will release a rush of endorphins which can reduce your perception of pain, boost feelings of euphoria and general well-being. That’s why endorphins are often called the ‘Happiness chemicals!’
Exercise also boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that send specific messages from one brain cell to another, and are thought to play a key role in keeping your mood calm.
It goes without saying, you will feel better about yourself, and your world, once you’ve done a workout!

2. Build confidence -Achieve your goals

You might want to shed those niggly 5kgs, run a half-marathon, or just become more flexible and mobile to run around with the kids. Whatever your fitness goals are, setting them and then achieving them, can do wonders for your self-confidence. How great will it feel to knock that ‘half’ off your bucket-list?!
Goal setting is powerful. Committing to achievable goals is the key to your success. Share your goal with a friend or trainer, plan how you’re going to achieve it, and by when, then attack it. The kilos and the anxiety will start to fall away!

3. Reduce your risk of illness and disease

33% of all deaths annually are caused by cardiovascular disease, it is the leading cause of death in New Zealand today. Every 90 minutes a Kiwi dies of heart disease. Not only that, we have high levels of diabetes, stroke, weight and blood pressures issues. Many of these illnesses and deaths are preventable. By following a good diet and exercising regularly, you can dramatically reduce the risk of serious illness and disease in your lifetime.

Even as little as 20 minutes of activity per day can make a difference. Walk to work, take the stairs, run with the dog, take an exercise class…it all counts towards your total daily exercise. Let’s get moving people!

4. Improve energy levels

When you’re feeling exhausted, the last thing you might want to do is squeeze in a workout. But, according to experts, that’s exactly what you should do. They found that low-intensity exercise, the equivalent of a leisurely stroll, experienced a drop in fatigue levels and a 20 percent energy boost.
It’s a vicious circle, the more tired you feel, the less inclined you are to exercise. But next time you’re feeling wiped out and stressed, drag yourself out for a walk or off to a class; your physical energy levels will improve and you’ll feel more mentally alert.

5. Increase strength and flexibility

Strength training and stretching should be an essential part of your fitness routine. So many of us concentrate on cardio activities, but shy away from weight or resistance training, often thinking that building muscle will make us put on weight, or look bigger. Wrong!
Strength training, whether you’re lifting weights, doing Pilates or bodyweight exercises like TRX or yoga, helps improve muscle strength and muscle mass, particularly important as you age. It also keeps bones strong which will help ward off fractures and disease such a osteoporosis. Building muscle requires your body to burn fat so consider strength training as a great calorie-buster too!
And don’t forget about stretching: It increases your body’s flexibility, which means just moving in general and performing all your daily tasks become easier. It also sends more blood to your muscles, improving circulation, and can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Just a few minutes a day of deep stretching can make a difference.

6. Reduce stress

Stress is the scourge of the modern world, and may contribute to many serious illnesses or health complaints. We all need to learn ways to better manage the stress that is prevalent in our lives. One of the most common benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. Regular exercise also reduces the amount of stress hormones in the body, resulting in a slower heart rate, relaxed blood vessels, and lower blood pressure. Increased relaxation after exercise shows on your face with reduced muscle tension.
So you see, it’s a good idea to get a bit sweaty a few times per week— you body will function better, your thoughts will gradually grow calmer, your mood will improve.
Stress? What stress?!

7. Sleep better

If you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress and anxiety, hormonal changes or any other of the many reasons you might have heard for why you can’t sleep through the night, exercise could be the key to helping you sleep better.

By strengthening circadian rhythms, exercising can help keep you more bright-eyed during the day and bring on sleep at night. It also promotes better ‘quality’ of sleepWhile the effects may not be apparent immediately, there is no doubt that getting into a regular exercise routine will gradually help you get a better night’s sleep.

8. Perform better at work

Could the key to being more productive and happier at work lie in exercise? One study thinks so. It found that those employees who worked out before work or during their lunch hour reported feeling less stress and being happier and more productive than days when they skipped a workout. Not only that, but they also performed better on exercise days. It’s the perfect excuse for a lunchtime stroll or walking meeting.

9. Exercise and Your Skin health

Exercise boosts circulation and the delivery of nutrients to your skin, helping to cleanse the body by removing toxins.
As exercise boosts oxygen to the skin, it also helps increase the natural production of collagen, the connective tissue that plumps your skin. Your skin will ‘glow’ after exercise, because of the increase in blood flow.
Brighter, clearer, softer-looking skin helps you look and feel more youthful and more energized. We like that!

10. Stay healthy and happy as you age

We all age, it’s the most natural thing in life! It’s ‘how’ we age that is important. We all want to live long and healthy lives, so we can enjoy time with family and friends, and can truly enjoy doing the things we love!

In tandem with a good diet, exercise is a key ingredient to living a long and healthy life. Not only will it help keep your body functioning internally as it should, it will also help keep your joints flexible and mobile. Being physically active is crucial to maintaining your health and overall sense of wellbeing.

Exercise also supports improved memory and helps you stay mentally sharp and alert. Exercise such as Pilates and Yoga are brilliant for maintaining not only your physical strength, but your mental agility as well!