The benefits of exercise, physically, mentally and spiritually are out of this world!
“Those who do not find time for exercise will have to make time for illness.” — Edward Stanley
The benefits of exercise are so compelling, i’m about to work out, literally!
I really do love the way I feel after and how I can take care of my body, mind and soul all in the same workout.
Aside from the many medical reasons people should be working out:
- lower blood pressure
- lower cholesterol
- prevents cancer
- prevents type 2 diabetes
- strengthens the heart muscle
There are a plethora of physical, mental and spiritual advantages to exercising as well.
The following list will surely motivate you to get up and start living healthier, if you’re not already doing so.
Let’s jump in.
The physical benefits of exercise:
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen
This is my favorite quote to get self motivated when I need it.
Because it is seriously that simple, show up.
And lets face it, if i’m going to work out, I want to see results! Don’t you?
I want to see that I am physically getting fitter.
And I know I am not going to get the results I want if I don’t simply show up!
So, no matter what your physical goals are, here is some inspiration to help light that fire under your butt:
1. Weight loss: The most obvious reason and first choice a lot of people start working out, is weight loss. Stick with a consistent schedule and you will lose weight.
2. Become more Flexible: The best time to stretch for flexibility is during or after a workout when your muscles are warmed up.
3. Strengthen your Muscles: A consistent weight training program, which can include various styles (tai chi, yoga, weight training), of a few days a week, over time, will strengthen your muscles.
It has also shown to add mass to your muscles and improve endurance.
You can read more about that in this article, How to Improve Your Strength and Flexibility.
4. Strengthen your Bones: Weight bearing exercises have proven to be the best for strengthening your bone density, walking, aerobics or hiking are a few examples.
5. Reduce Fatigue: This one is so huge for me because I fight off fatigue all too often.
Sometimes, I never have the energy to work out, but it is the working out that will give me energy I crave.
Just like WebMD says, you have to be more active to reduce fatigue.
Low impact exercises are best to do this.
It can be easier said then done though, I know, but the rewards can truly be worth it.
I have experienced them myself and it’s amazing. I urge you to experiment.
6. Reduce Headaches: You can use regular exercise to prevent headaches but if you already have a headache, exercising won’t help.
7. Better Skin: Blood flow helps nourish the skins cells and perspiration helps detoxify the body.
Excessive sweating can cause acne though so I recommend to workout with no makeup on.
8. More Productivity: The two things that increase our productivity are mood and our energy levels.
A workout in the morning for about 30 minutes at low impact will suffice, so will a 20 minute afternoon walk.
9. Burns fat: To expel one pound of fat you have to burn 3,500 calories.
The general rule of thumb is simple, eat less exercise more to lose fat.
10. Increases Energy: Any aerobic exercise that elevates your heart rate and release endorphins will give you some energy.
When I work out I can always tell when I start getting to the feel good zone, I get warm, my lungs clear, tension begins to subside and I begin to feel more energized.
It’s funny, the time when I’m doing the most work on my body is ironically the most relaxing time of my day too.
11. Slows Aging: Physically, we all know exercise can slow down the way our bodies age.
You can tell when someones body looks younger than it is because the appearance of old aging is minimized by firmer skin and stronger muscles.
Moderate to intense exercise over time has proven to slow the aging process of the brain by ten years.
12. Boosts Sex Drive: In men it reduces erectile dysfunction and in women it promotes sexual arousal.
13. Helps aid in Digestion: Being sedentary can cause constipation. So it makes sense physical activity aids in digestion.
It says here that aerobic exercise speeds up your breathing and heart rate which stimulate the intestinal muscles thus helping you have bowel movements more easily and softly.
14. Alleviates Pain: Exercise has shown to cut arthritic pain and body stiffness.
Endorphins, a natural acting painkiller, also reduces pain.
Stretching, low impact aerobics and a set of range of motion exercises should be a great start to you finding some relief for your body aches and pains.
The Mental Benefits of Exercise:
“It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.” — Cicero
The best part of working out for me, is the overall mental clarity and general happiness it brings to me.
If you’re in a bad mood or stressed, or your all high-strung and the last thing you want to do or think about is working out, work out!
So many times I’ve let my feelings and emotions sit in the driver seat to never end up working out, only to be left feeling worse.
I had to force myself to do it no matter what.
Because I finally realized, it was the physical act of working out that was giving my mind the sense of calm and clarity it needed, not the other way around.
If I am working out for the mental benefits, I need to just get moving no matter what because I know I cannot rely on my emotional state (which is probably pretty poor at the time if I am exercising to improve my mind or gain emotional control) to get to the treadmill.
I have to physically force myself there, and then, amazing things can happen.
15. You Become Happier: During exercise, a protein called BDNF (Brain derived neurotrophic factor) is released from the brain and is linked to happiness.
BDNF also influences learning and memory and plays a role in drug and alcohol addictions.
And of course the famous release of endorphins and dopamine during our work outs are playing a huge role in making us feel happy.
Krista Stryker goes in to more detail about it in her article, 6 Reasons why Exercise Makes you Happy.
16. Gain Willpower: Willpower is self-control and training yourself for improvement.
You’re exercising will power every time you chose to work out.
17. Emotional Control: The powerful brain health benefits exercise produces is responsible for a greater ability to control your emotions.
18. Improve Brain Function: Exercise reduces the chances of neurodegenerative disease like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Check out this video with Wendy Suzuki where she talks about the brain changing benefits of exercise.
19. Reduce Stress: Because our bodies feel better when we work out, our minds do too and we are less stressed.
20. Improve Memory: The mind is an amazing thing.
It’s said that the reduction of insulin resistance, production of BDNF and other physiological changes during exercise are the key factors in improving our memory.
21. Positive Attitude: How could we not have a more positive attitude when we are working out on a consistent basis?
Having more energy, getting better sleep and looking and feeling sexier all promote positive attitudes.
22. Improves Cognition: Working out has proven to improve blood flow to the brain thus improving cognitive abilities in children and adults.
It’s also long-lasting!
23. Soothes Anxiety: Can you believe that you can walk your anxiety off?
It only takes five minutes.
24. Concentration: After exercise, the brain is better able to concentrate and focus for longer periods of time.
That’s actually why I wrote this article on why its better to meditate after you exercise.
25. Anti-depressant: I am not even going to get factual on this one.
We have all heard that exercise is the most underutilized anti-depressant and if you haven’t, you have now.
But, for this one, I’m going to get personal because I know firsthand, exercise is a better anti-depressant than any pill.
After my second daughter was born, I had really bad post-partum depression.
They put me on several different medications that I did not like.
I finally took it in my own hands and decided to start working out.
Within a month, I felt a HUGE difference in the way I felt and acted.
I was happy again.
26. Mood Stabilizer: Over time, a consistent work out program alleviating stress and depression will support a stabilized mood.
27. Self-Confidence: If we look better we feel better.
When we take control of our lives and engage in regular physical activity heightening our body, mind and soul, we feel so much better about ourselves inside and around others.
28. Improves Sleep: The drop in body temperature after a work out stimulates sleepiness.
29. Helps ADHD Symptoms: Exercise increases dopamine and releases endorphins which help you focus better.
Also, it is good for getting out excess energy.
30. Attention to Nutrition: When you start worrying about your physical health it’s only natural that you will begin to care about the foods you’re eating.
31. Attention to Other Healthy Habits: When you’re taking care of your body and you begin to feel results, it motivates you to continue choosing other healthy habits, such as taking care of your mind and meditating.
32. Sustain Sobriety: All these benefits of exercise:
- Relieving stress
- Positive attitude
- Pain relief
help prevent relapse and promote happiness, which is going to help stay sober.
33. Aid in Recovery: It’s meditative, self improving, it’s an open door to other positive lifestyle choices too and should be used as the number one sobriety tool in recovery.
I absolutely attest to this and know it has helped me recover from drugs and alcohol.
34. Self-Control: Something a lot of people in recovery don’t have.
I know I didn’t.
Hell, a lot of people in general lack self-control.
But, a regular and consistent work out routine alongside Yoga, has shown to improve self-control and self-regulation abilities.
35. Instant Creativity: The best time to do something creative is directing after a workout when your brain juices are flowing!
Also a good time to meditate!
36. Develop Coping Skills: Ah, this is a good one.
Exercise can help us cope by getting out any excess energy, stress and tension; aid in calming our minds allowing us to think clearly for any other coping mechanisms that may complement our progress.
The Spiritual Benefits:
“If you always put limit on everything you do, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” — Bruce Lee
37. Mentally Prepares you for Meditation: Better circulation, pumped up heart rate, brain boosting power and improved concentration are all ways exercise prepares your mind for meditation.
38. Promotes Mindfulness: Mindfulness is when we are paying attention to the present moment and when we’re working out, we are present.
39. Improves Relationships: Asking your spouse or loved ones to take a walk with you, stretch or do some yoga can improve your relationship and help you bond.
40. More Sociable: Working out gives us the confidence we need to be more sociable and able to make friends.
41. Clear Head: Because stress and depression can cloud our minds and judgement, exercising to remove them permits a clear head.
42. Improves Wellbeing: The endorphins released during exercise lifts your mood and energy levels alleviating anxiety and depression giving you a strong sense of wellbeing.
43. Clears Chakras: The best exercise to clear your chakras is Yoga.
Here is a whole list of poses for each chakra.
44. Elevates our Positive Vibrations: At higher vibrations we feel better physically, emotionally and mentally.
That’s what exercising does for us.
45. Heightens our Intuition: We become more in touch with ourselves and our intuition when our blood is flowing and our minds are clearing.
There is an overwhelming amount of proof that exercise is the best thing we can do for ourselves.
I feel like a better Mom too, knowing I’m setting a good example for my kids by taking care of my body and my health.
We have learned by reading this…
That we physically benefit from exercise by increasing our flexibility, relieving aches and pains and burning body fat.
Mentally we gain emotional control and diminish depression and anxiety.
These are all great benefits that also affect us spiritually by raising our vibrations and becoming more in tune with ourselves.
I encourage everyone to exercise, not just for ourselves, but for the little eyes watching too.
I hope you found a little inspiration today.
What motivates you to work out?