3 Benefits Of Exercising & 3 Benefits Of Not Exercising
I love to exercise and I love being fit and healthy. Having spent some time towards the other end of the scale (ie not all that fit or healthy) I really appreciate the differences, not just in terms of looks but in terms of being able to spring to the shops and back and not then feel like I’m about to collapse.
In other words, being healthy and in good shape is important to me, and should be to you too. But when I really put some effort into getting into shape a couple of years ago, I found that the benefits I most appreciated were not the ones I had set out to achieve.
All things in moderation though! So in this post I am going to talk about my favourite benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle and 3 of the best reasons to occasionally abstain.
Benefits Of Exercising – That You Might Not Have Though Of!
Increased Fitness & Energy
Regular exercise makes you fitter! Ok so that’s not a big revelation, but there are a lot of advantages to being fitter and you may not realise how much you will appreciate them. You might think that you don’t really care about being fit – after all, why do you need to be?
But being fitter means that you can do more – not just activities like jogging, but boring stuff like housework will feel less of a chore and even walking up the stairs won’t be as hard.
If you have experienced being unfit, suddenly regaining your fitness makes you feel so much more energetic and quite simply, everything suddenly feels easier!
Takes A Load Off
You might want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons, and while that’s a perfectly good goal, a nice hidden benefit is that losing weight makes you lighter! Again, it seems obvious, but let’s put it this way:
If your ideal weight is 60kg and you currently weigh 80kg (not uncommon) then you are effectively transporting 20kg of extra “stuff” everywhere you go. Imagine carrying a case of luggage with you everywhere you ever went (with no wheels) well that’s what you’re doing.
Losing that weight is like being able to put down the luggage, how much lighter do you suddenly feel? No imagine how extra strain that luggage has been putting on all your vital systems...
Exercise and being healthy increase the strength of your immune system for a few reasons, not least because when you have less fat to carry around and when your muscles are stronger, you spend less effort on all the vital stuff.
Over time your body will be able to spend more time on growth and repair and you will have better circulation and be more energetic as well as having a strong immune response when you do get ill.
Benefits Of Not Exercising – But Only Intermittently!
Even if you don’t think you want to build muscle, you do! Building muscles in your legs, in your arms and in your core will improve your posture and your ability to move with ease. Exercise does that, but your muscles only grow when you rest them.
So if you never give yourself a break, you won’t get those benefits. In other words, the rest between workouts is every bit as important as putting in the effort during the workout.
Time To Recover
Just like your muscles, the rest of your body gets stronger because of the recovery process. Exercise shocks your system (especially intense exercise) and afterwards your body sends resources to key areas for repair.
As part of the process your body rebuilds itself stronger, so if you get all the right nutrition (vitamins, calcium, iron, glucosamine and plenty of water!) your bones will be stronger, your skin will be healthier and your blood will flow smoother!
Time To De-Stress
Finally, it is important to note that exercise does cause stress. Fortunately our bodies are very good at handling stress and the best types of stress are short bursts of intense stress. This is why sprinting is so good for you, but working a stressful job for 20 years can be very bad for you.
Of course, you need to give your body time to recover from those periods of stress, otherwise you can cause a build up of symptoms and miss out on many of the benefits we have talked about above.
So in summary; get out there and use your body all you can, but make sure that you give it plenty of rest and plenty of good nutrition too – that way you will reap the benefits of your new lifestyle that much sooner!
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