Top 10 Fitness Facts
Want to be sharper at work? Feel less tired at home? Spend some quality time with your spouse? How about enjoying a cookie without guilt?
If you answered "yes" to all of these questions (and who wouldn't?), exercise is the answer.
Being physically active offers benefits far beyond the obvious. (Of course, an improved physique and a clean bill of health aren't too shabby, either.)
If you've been looking for the motivation to begin an exercise program or get back into working out regularly, here are 10 fitness facts that may help inspire you to get off the couch.
1. Exercise Boosts Brainpower
Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function, says certified trainer David Atkinson. All that makes for a more productive day. Improved productivity not only makes you a better worker, it makes things better for everyone in the workplace. Companies with less wasted work hours and less sick time end up with lower health care costs as well as an improved bottom line.
2. Movement Melts Away Stress
As much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you'll experience less stress in every part of your life.You're not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. When you're less stressed, you're less irritable, and that could improve relationships with your partner, kids, and co-workers.
3. Exercise Gives You Energy
You might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout tape for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise. And when you improve your strength and stamina, it's easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day. In fact, the physical tiredness you feel after working out isn't the same as everyday fatigue. Besides, once your body adjusts to exercise, you'll have more energy than ever.
4. It's Not That Hard to Find Time for Fitness
Take your kids out or ride bikes together, and you're getting physical activity while enjoying family time, he says. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard. At work, one can schedule a meeting on the jogging track or any field looking so. Also, forget the idea that you have to trudge to the gym and spend an hour or more doing a formal workout. Instead, you can work short spurts of physical activity into your day. Expert says "Everyone has 20 minutes, Everyone has 10 minutes to jump rope, and sometimes that's better than 20 minutes of walking or running."
5. Fitness Can Help Build Relationships
Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it's with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week. Not only that, but exercise is always more fun when there's someone to do it with. So plan to walk with your spouse after dinner every night. Meet your sister or that friend for tennis or an aerobics class instead of lunch. Besides this, studies have proven that, people who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.
6. Exercise Helps Ward Off Disease
Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass. It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process. This is because exercise strengthens the muscles and joints, it is going to reduce your odds of having some of those aches and pains and problems most adults have, mostly because of the inactive lives they lead. Provided you don't overdo it, he says, exercise can even boost immune function -- so you spend less time down with a cold or flu.
7. Fitness Pumps Up Your Heart
Not only does exercise help fight disease, but also creates a stronger heart. The most important muscle in the body. That helps makes exercise and the activities of daily life feel easier. And when the heart becomes stronger, it pumps more blood per beat, so at rest, the heart rate is lower. It's not going to have to beat as fast to expend the same amount of effort. Within only a couple days after you start exercising, the body readily adapts to the stimulus it's getting and it becomes easier. You will feel less fatigue. It will not take as much effort when it comes to breathing.
8. Exercise Lets You Eat More
Pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising. All this means that "cheating" with a cookie once in a while isn't going to take you back 10 steps.
9. Exercise Boosts Performance
After a few weeks of consistent exercise, you may feel your clothes fitting differently and see that your muscle tone has improved. You may also notice your newly pumped-up muscles in other ways, especially if you're a recreational badminton player or like a friendly game of pick-up basketball. Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and improve your overall performance. Your muscles will work much more efficiently and you'll gain a greater sense of endurance.
10. Weight Loss Is Not the Most Important Goal
Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program. On the long-term goal of weight loss is sold too heavily to people starting fitness programs, and that can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don't see results quickly. Therefore, whatever weight loss goal you have when starting a fitness program, don't make it your only goal. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you quickly, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.