If you read this blog regularly you will be aware that I recently took up yoga. If you haven’t seen it, do have a look: A Yoga Beginning
I’m really enjoying the yoga and it has brought me so many benefits already, but I’m still doing my cardio exercise at least 3 times a week. I’ve been doing cardio over 33 years (since the days of Jane Fonda and leg warmers, I’m afraid), and I swear by it for keeping me happy, healthy and hearty!
Yoga and aerobics are my thing, but there are so many different types of exercise to get your heart going, which is SO important for both your mental and physical health. I have therefore set myself a challenge of coming up with 50 reasons why we should all do at least 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week: ❤️
If you are not use to exercise, please check with your GP before undertaking any new exercise programme.
1. Stress reduction. Exercise is wonderful for getting rid of work worries and life stress. It stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood lifters.
2. Higher self esteem. It makes me feel on top of the world! Exercise enhances mood and puts our mind in a more positive state. It makes us feel good about both our abilities and our bodies.
3. Boosts brain power. Exercising releases chemical compounds used in brain activity and cognition, which improves concentration and focus.
4. Keeps weight down. We all know that exercise burns calories, but over time your metabolic rate increases with regular exercise …and the good news is that it remains working long after…even when you are not exercising!
5. Mood lift. Exercise promotes changes in the brain including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and activity bringing feelings of calm and well-being.
6. Fights illness. Exercise may help keep away serious illness including some cancers and heart disease. The deep and full breathing can help flush out lungs and make us more resistant to respiratory infections.
7. Bone health. Our bones become less strong over time, but when the heart is given a good work out regularly, they adapt by building more cells and becoming more dense.
8. Improves sleep. Cardio activity increases time spent in deep sleep, the most physically restorative phase. This helps boost immune function, supports heart health, and controls stress.
9. Improves memory. Studies have suggested that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory are larger in people who exercise than in people who don’t.
10. Body confidence. Exercise makes us feel more sexy! The self-esteem boost increases confidence and makes us feel more attractive.
11. Improves skin tone. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products.
12. Social interaction Meeting new people can be fun through exercise, if you are one for classes and gyms.
13. Solitary time. For those who prefer alone time to do their workout, there is nothing better than exercising to get your thoughts together and get things in perspective.
14. Sense of achievement. I feel like I have achieved something after every single workout. And that feeling stays with me all day.
15. Improves eating habits. Exercise can re-establish healthy relationships with food and eating. We all eat when we are bored. Try popping on a quick YouTube video and do some exercise instead.
16. Fights ageing. Aerobic exercise like cycling and walking, boosts our bodies ability to “generate more proteins within mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes, essentially stunting ageing at a cellular level.” Wow! It’s worth doing for that alone!
17. Fights Dementia. The Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation says “Regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. … it protects against Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones.”
18. Lowers blood pressure. Regular exercise that makes your heart beat faster will make your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.
19. Increases life expectancy. A Harvard university study recently concluded that “Keeping in mind other factors that could impact life expectancy, …doing the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise) per week, yielded approximately 3.4 extra years to one’s life.”
20. Improves digestion. An increased heart rate reduces intestinal sluggishness by stimulating your muscles. This helps push digestive waste through the body.
21. Reduces body fat. When we exercise, we burn fat. The more calories you burn compared to eating, the more weight and fat you will lose.
22. Increased energy. It’s difficult to do exercise when we feel tired, but it really does help. Studies have show that even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more vigorous exercise.
23. Setting an example. Exercising is a great example to those around you ….particularly children and young people. Be a role model!
24. Fights depression. Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.
24. Decreased chances of diabetes. Exercise controls weight, lowers blood pressure, reduces harmful cholesterol and triglycerides, and regulates blood sugar.
25. Self Care. Exercise is a commitment to yourself, it’s an act of self care, love and respect. And if we don’t love and respect ourselves, how do we expect others to?
26. Quick results. It’s such a small amount of time for such big results. Giving up 30 minutes 3 times a week to exercise is nothing compared with the time we spend asleep, watching television or working.
27. Self responsibility Because we all have a responsibility to stay as healthy as we can. If only to take some weight off our poor overstretched health services.
28. Exercise reduces your cholesterol levels. It reduces harmful LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raises healthy HDL cholesterol.
29. Reduces “middle age spread.” As we get older muscle mass and core body strength decrease, meaning we burn less fat and can gain weight easier. Exercise reverses this effect.
30. Sparkle. Exercise gives us a certain sparkle and glow that no makeup can replicate. Something that if we could bottle it, would be worth a lot of ££. And the beautiful thing is, it’s free. You don’t have to join an expensive gym to get the benefits.
31. Pride. Exercise makes you feel proud of yourself and can help you approach life goals with renewed confidence and determination.
32. Hair growth. Exercise increases blood flow, circulation and body temperature in scalp. The more the flood flows, the more the nutrients and oxygen supplied to the scalp thus improving hair growth.
33. Motivation. If trying to lose weight, combining exercise with watching what you eat increases your chances of reaching your goals.
34. Balance. Exercise strengthens the muscles that help keep you upright, including your legs and core. This will increase stability and help prevent falls.
35. Less sickness/ time off work.
“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” –
36. No waiting! Exercise boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels immediately sharpening attention and focus. In fact, it works in the same way as ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall.
37. Improved eye health. Cardiovascular exercise lowers intraocular pressure, and that helps to keep the retinal cells protected. Exercise also increases the flow of blood to the optic nerve and the retina.
38. Decreased back pain. Having a strong core can reduce lower back pain, improve flexibility and movement, and help with posture, balance and co-ordination.
39. Improved posture. Exercise helps with posture making you look taller, broader and stronger, and it can make you feel more confident and capable. Good posture can even improve your mood, reduce back pain and decrease stress.
40. Brain food. Exercise gets the blood flowing to the brain as well as to the leg muscles and this is great for learning abilities and memory.
41. Boosts your immunity to seasonal nasties like colds and flu.
42. Help improve joint function. Exercise is good for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces pain in the joints, and helps combat fatigue.
43. Improves body image. Exercise is thought to be just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy to improve body image….and it has the added benefit of physical health.
44. Increased stamina. Exercise will build your aerobic base, increase your aerobic capacity, (how much oxygen your muscles use) and strengthen your muscles.
45. Breathlessness. Regular exercise will quickly decrease that horrible breathlessness when walking up the stairs.
46. Fatigue. Decreases that feeling of endless tiredness and fatigue which can be present even after sleeping. Muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
47. Your choice. Exercise can be anything that gets your heart going. Find something you like, and you are more likely to stick with it!
48. Reduces anxiety. Apparently only five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
49. Break away from negativity. Exercise can serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression.
50. And finally ….I can promise that the only workout you will regret, is the one you decide you are too busy to do. ❤️
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