It doesn’t matter how hard we try to fight it, but most of us have to move at some point in the day. There’s a store down the street to walk to or a neighbour’s house we want to visit, maybe even a dreaded flight of stairs. Participating in a well-designed fitness program makes all of these daily tasks easier, so let’s take a look at what you’re going to accomplish by pursuing an active lifestyle.
1. Feeling Smarter
The first day of an exercise program can be a tough one. We’re asking our bodies to change the way we’re used to using them. It can be hard to stay positive and motivated when we feel like what we’re hoping to accomplish is months or even years down the road. But as early as that very first workout, you’re going to experience the benefits. The increased blood flow throughout your body quickly reaches your brain and you’re more alert and awake. Your focus afterward is better, making decisions easier, choices quicker, and your overall thinking more clear.
2. Feeling Happier
That first workout makes you happier too! The body reacts to the new challenge by releasing endorphins, a chemical known to reduce pain and produce feelings of euphoria. Our moods lift after exercise, not just from taking that first step toward a healthier life, but on a real chemical level as well. As we mentioned in our post (Exercise and Mental Health, link), studies prove that exercise helps improve the symptoms of depression.
3. Feeling More Energetic
The first week of exercise has dramatic effects on the body as it becomes more efficient. It becomes better at producing energy and your workouts begin to feel easier. You’re going to start to find that your day to day tasks, climbing stairs or walking around the block, aren’t as tiring.
4. Feeling Lighter
You’re not just feeling lighter, you are lighter! After one month of participating in an exercise program your metabolism speeds up, meaning that it burns calories at a faster rate. Even during rest your body is going to be a calorie burning machine. If your goal is to lose weight and you’re eating well, this is when you’ll notice the pounds dropping. Gravity won’t be such a nag anymore while you’re more easily sauntering through your day’s activities.
5. Feeling Stronger
After as little as one month you muscle mass will begin to change as the fibres grow in response to the new workload. You’ll be able to manage your old workouts with ease, and day-to-day chores will start to become less taxing. You’ll be carrying the groceries or picking up your kids and grandchildren with ease. And speaking of chores, exercise itself won’t feel like one anymore as you will actually start looking forward to the challenge.
6. Feeling Confident
So you’ve been doing this exercise thing for a year now. It’s simply part of what you do when you happily start your day. And that’s the key: happily. The mental benefits of ongoing exercise are long-standing. You’ll have improved self-esteem and increased confidence and your body will be better equipped to deal with life’s daily stresses. Your activity will be just another healthy habit, something you barely even think about anymore.
The benefits of regular exercise are unmistakable. If you are unsure of where to begin contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. By building a team of people to work with, your chances of success are stronger, and they can help monitor your progress and modify your plan accordingly as your heart grows stronger, your body becomes more efficient and your fitness grows.
Authored by: Kevin Dyck