Let’s face it, working out is hard work. Working out is time consuming. Working out makes our body hurt. And yet there are many awesome reasons to keep pushing yourself to go work out and make it through another sweat session.
Of course there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, but beyond that, working out pays off in a lot more ways than you might think. Your mood, your smarts, your confidence, your performance at work, your energy levels, your chronic disease risk and so much more hugely benefit from a daily workout session.
Whether you already love to work out or are looking for a reason to love it, working out is so much more than burning a few extra calories or building six-pack abs. Physical activity improves you from the inside out way beyond the walls of your gym.
Here are our TOP 7 reasons why you should work out today.
#1 Exercise Is a Happiness Booster
You’ve probably experienced it yourself. You feel awesome after an intense workout. Intensely. Immediately. Unequivocally. There has been study after study that confirms that there is a direct relationship between working out and an increase in the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and of course endorphins. One particular study found that high-intensity training actually has a similar impact on your brain as cocaine. Science is totally on board with Henry David Thoreau who states that we cannot be our happiest without exercise.
#2 Working Out Increases Self-Confidence
If you need to build up self-confidence, working out is one of the most powerful tools you can use. Particularly strength training has been found to increase self-confidence, because after spending hours in the gym, you realize that you can now do things that you couldn’t do before and more often than not, even things that you never thought you were able to do. Just like physical activity builds you up physically it also builds you up emotionally, which translates into your work life as well as your personal life. If you put in the effort at the gym consistently, you see positive changes and that’s so powerful that it will transfer into your life outside the gym.
#3 Exercise Gives You Energy
It may seem weird to you to think that using all that energy in your training session actually gives you more energy, but that’s exactly what study after study confirms. Sure, you may feel a little bit tired right after your workout, but the rest of your life will look and feel a lot easier. The reason why exercise energizes you is that it improves your blood flow and with that you can distribute more nutrients and oxygens to the parts of your body that need it the most, which produces more energy. Just 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week for 6 weeks can help you to fight off fatigue and gets your energy flowing again.
#4 Working Out Reduces Stress
Life can be extremely stressful between work, family and friends, social life, chores, financial obligations, and everything else you have to deal with. However, the good news is that working out has been found a proven stress reliever. Just think about it. There is a reason why even the busiest people in the world make time for a regular exercise regimen. No matter what you have to deal with and what keeps your mind busy, a short, intense sweat session can help you to reset your brain and let go of all that built up stress and tension. This is due to the fact that exercise reduces the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline while at the same time increasing the feel-good hormone endorphin and the good-mood chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Sure, working out itself puts low-level physical stress on your body, but it can be pretty relaxing mentally.
#5 Exercise Optimizes Brain Function
If you want to improve your brain function, get moving. Research shows that exercise — especially dynamic exercise — is directly linked to an increase in the neuro chemical Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). Dr. John Ratey, the author of the highly inspirational book ‘Spark’ coined BDNF as ‘Miracle Growth’ for the brain, because exercise-induced BDNF creates new neural connections and pathways, which makes formulating new ideas as well as learning easier. It has also been found that aerobic exercise — the kind of workout that makes you sweat and gets your heart rate up, improves your memory.
#6 Working Out Decreases Your Chance of Chronic Illnesses
Having a regular exercise routine helps you to stay healthy, live longer and prosper in life. So if you are looking to prolong your life and live happier, healthier and more fulfilled, make exercise a top priority. Several studies show that among other things, exercise has been proven to decrease the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colon cancer. Working out just 30 minutes a day several times a week is enough to reap the preventative health care benefits of exercise.
#7 Exercise Helps You Win at Life
When you set and achieve fitness goal it will become a lot easier to set and achieve goals in every other area of your life. Keep in mind, the goal-setting and goal-achieving cycle is a learned trait and when you reinforce winning, your mindset will change and you will be much more willing to work tirelessly towards achieving your goals, which will lead to a positive outcome. In the beginning, your victories will be small, but over time, you can achieve bigger and better things. And the more you get positive outcomes, the more you think of yourself as a winner and you will be a winner in anything.
Even when we have the best of intentions to stick to a regular workout program, sometimes it can be really hard to drag yourself to the gym. For most people the aesthetic benefits of working out aren’t enough motivation anymore, so if you need a little extra push to put on your workout shoes and get out the door. Whenever your motivation is dwindling, have a look at what a regular fitness routine can do for you and you’ll never have to worry about lack of motivation ever again.
FROM HORMONES TO NEURONS — YOUR BODY NEEDS A WORKOUT
Joschi & Monika