Does Exercise Have Benefits?

uncle sam exercise

Hey boys and girls =)

You think I lost my mind with the title of this blog, don’t you ? Little Ms. Fitness Girl asking such a weird question?

As blog ideas go, I get inspired from all kinds of sources in my life to write on. Recently, a comment came up that made me ponder, do people REALLY question that purposeful, physical activity is good for their bodies, and their minds? Heck, it benefits all aspects of who we are as individuals.

I know, I know… many of you feel like…. this….. you need to work and move past this stage…. you can… it will take effort on your part.

hate exercise

But in this day and age of so much information and knowledge we possess, can people still remain largely ignorant to the fact our bodies are made for movement? Need movement for health and wellness? That intentional exercise has benefits that keep us strong and healthy ? And in turn, that gives us energetic and productive lives ?

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of brisk cardio activity 5 days a week (this is an activity that gets you out and increases  and sustains your heart rate for at least 30 minutes) for people who would benefit from lowering blood pressure or cholesterol they recommend 40 minutes of aerobic activity to lower risk of heart attack and stroke. They also recommend two strength training days a week as well for everyone.

What are other benefits to regular exercise ?

It controls weight and helps in weight loss.

It combats health conditions and diseases. Being active actually can “boost” your good (HDL) cholesterol and decrease unhealthy triglycerides. As I shared in a previous post on my labs, for me, this is true. My HDL was high and my tri’s were very low. I credit it to adequate and consistent exercise along with healthy eating.

Exercise can improve your mood. Blow off steam. Get a little emotional lift. Feel mentally empowered. It definitely can lift your mood.

It boosts your energy. Hey… that purposeful exercise you “practice”? it comes into play in the rest of our day when you need strength and energy to do tasks.

It promotes good rest. Trust me, physically working your body will help you sleep well 😉

It’s good for your sex life. Regular physical activity leaves you with a high level of energy and looking better which can have a positive impact in the bedroom. Win/win.

Exercise can be fun! The important thing is to find what you enjoy and can be passionate about. Don’t find just one thing, find a couple activities to shake it up, keep it fun and interesting. Find the thing that you can do and stick with it. Become an expert at it.

Exercise is not an instant gratification activity but it can begin to have some immediate benefits… like just over all feeling good that you went out and got it done… it’s mentally empowering. It can also bring about a sense of well being and peace.

However, with consistency and time, it does really cool things inside our body that we don’t see. Our heart and lungs get stronger, our resting heart rate can get lower, blood pressure can drop, cholesterol levels can change. Our body goes through amazing changes as exercise adapts it to new physical demands. No one knows this better than a distance runner 😉

Exercise can also combat or protect from various diseases and health conditions… isn’t that motivator enough?

Other suggestions for “extra” movement in your days…

Look for ways to move more. Take the stairs, park farther out at the store, get outside and do some yard work ( I love using a push mower simply for the extra work it gives my body to do it) garden, play with your kids, go ride a bike anything that gives you some extra movement in your day.

These activities though, don’t take place of those 30 minutes (or more) of heart pumping, sweat inducing, exercise ( fast walking, running, cycling, swimming, rowing… get it ?)  make sure you get that time in…. anything else is gravy.

And finally, after awhile, making that investment into yourself to do purposeful exercise, your body begins to change. The outer look (aesthetically) almost becomes a by product of what you’ve been doing. I don’t know anyone who isn’t happy with those changes that show up from an investment of hard work.

Understand too, that this is a habit and a daily discipline you will have to school yourself in until it becomes something you can’t imagine NOT doing. Trust me, you will get to that point. You just need to be as intentional and purposeful about it as anything else you find to be important in your life.

Your health and well being IS important. Shouldn’t you do things to be pro-active about keeping yourself healthy and well ?

You are definitely worth it =)  Do you have a favorite activity ?

exercise benefits

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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