Too Many Reasons To Workout
Did you know in 2008, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services actually released guidelines regarding our physical activity? They did. They actually came out with an official recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. They determined that that was the minimal amount of time needed for most health benefits. If you’re a go-getter, they also mention that additional benefits come with additional physical activity. Also, though, if you’re not quite ale to get 150 minutes per week, they do also state that some is better than none. Definitely, don’t throw in the towel just because you’re not there yet.
What are these amazing benefits that you should be seeing and feeling as you continue to push yourself and keep physically active? Well, I’m so glad you asked:
- Lower risk of death – With so many people you love and care about, and so many people who love and care about you, why not try to live a long life. You can be there for your loved ones. You can see your children grow up. You can watch the world change, and share your knowledge and wisdom to help it change for the better.
- Lower risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon and breast cancer – Wow! That’s a mouthful! It just reduces your risk of so many terrible things. If the goal is to live a long life, to be there for all of those loved ones, quality of life becomes an important factor. You want your health to be in the best state possible, so that you can enjoy life. So you can have good experiences. So you can make good memories. So you can leave your loved ones with good memories. There’s no guarantee that you can prevent everything, but by not putting forth the effort, your changes of facing and having to deal with one of these ailments first-hand goes up. A lot, actually.
- Weight loss – You could want weight loss for superficial reasons or for health reasons. Personally, I like to maintain a healthy weight for both. I don’t think there’s any shame in that. Caring about your appearance, and wanting to present a pleasing image is actually a really good thing. It is a sign of a healthy mind. Not caring about how you look, and just letting yourself go can be a sign of depression. Not a good thing, but many people experience this at one time or another in their lives. Weight loss for health reasons can include all of the previously mentioned benefits and more. To name just a few more: reduced knee and back pain, easier breathing, more energy, and better immune function. The list could go on and on.
- Better cardio and physical fitness – This one might seem obvious, but any fitness newbie might appreciate the reassurance. Basically, if you stick with it, it gets easier. Eventually, you will be able to do more than you ever thought possible. So, when you’re working out, huffing and puffing, feeling like death, hang in there. Your fitness level will improve. You will be able to run farther, lift heavier; you name it, you’ll get better at it!
- Less likely to fall – This is a huge one for the elderly, but it actually applies to everyone. Let’s face it, many of us have a clumsy day, and we fall. Most physical activity actually improves balance. Balance improves grace and natural stability. Ultimately, this leads to less falling.
- Reduced depression – Depression is tough. Because it makes a person feel helpless, it can make it very difficult for a depressed person to put effort into working out. However, as Legally Blonde 2 infamously reminds us, exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy.
- Improved cognitive function – This is actually an awesome benefit, particularly relevant to older adults. Working out is very stimulating for the mind. The elderly who consistently workout tend to have better brain function. No doubt it would be easier for your loved ones, if, as you grow old, you retain significant cognitive function.
There are so many reasons to workout. It’s proven to help you. There are so many things you can do. There are sports, weights, walking, running, martial arts, dancing, yoga, pilates, hiking, etc, etc, etc… You can work out with solo, with a friend or loved one, or with a team or class. Find something you enjoy, because this is your life! Get all that you can out of it.