It’s far too easy to skip a day at the gym, but unless you’re ill or still recovering from your last workout (in which case you’ve over-trained), you might want to reconsider the benefits that come with exercise before you decide to ‘just take it easy.’ An accumulation of 30 minutes or more of moderate-to-high intensity exercise for most days of the week can significantly improve the quality of your life. From preventing illnesses to boosting confidence and self-esteem, the following list gives these and many more reasons why it’s in our best interest to keep moving and stay active.
Better posture for better health
The time you spend at the gym can help you improve your posture. Good posture not only keeps you looking taller and leaner but it is also important for the proper functioning of your body. When your body is in proper alignment, your internal organs such as your lungs, kidneys and liver will perform their jobs more easily and to a fuller capacity thus keeping your body working more efficiently and effectively. This will improve your breathing capacity and increase your energy levels. Your digestive system will also work better for food to be passed through your system unhindered, lessening the chances of a bloated gut. Weight training is a way to help you achieve good posture by strengthening your muscles so they are better able to support your spine. Keeping your midsection (abs/lower back) fit can give you the strength to walk, sit, and breathe for a healthier you. You will also be less susceptible to having neck and back pain. Keep your chest up, shoulders back, head up and stomach in.
Live healthier for longer
Exercise helps to boost your immune system to be stronger and better able to fight off sickness and disease. The risks of high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke can be reduced with regular physical activity. A healthy body weight increases longevity. Researchers estimate that for every hour of exercise you do, you increase your life expectancy by two hours.
Boost your energy
Inactivity and poor lifestyle habits can leave us feeling drained, tired, and bogged down. Fight off these feelings of fatigue with exercise. Exercise increases your body’s blood flow which will give you more energy and stamina and boost your brain power to be more productive and achieve more out of life.
Stop weight gain
Exercise helps your body become a better fat burning machine. After the age of 30, our lean body mass (muscle tissue) starts to decrease and as a result slow down our metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories and fat). Weight-training is a good way to increase your lean body tissue and help speed up your metabolic rate, enabling you to burn more calories even at rest.
Exercise acts as a natural therapy to alleviate stress. The production of “feel good” hormones (known as endorphins) is increased through exercise, helping to improve your mood and suppress depression. Exercise also helps to release tension in your muscles to relax and sleep better too. By feeling happier and more at ease, your ability to cope with stress will be greater. We may not be able to control what happens around us, but we can at least control how we react to it and not let stress affect our health negatively. You’d be surprised with how much as little as a 10-minute walk can help to relieve stress. The confidence you’ll get from accomplishing your workout will carry over into tackling other challenging tasks in the office or in your personal life.
Sculpt a sexier body
A combination of cardio and weight training can help sculpt your body to have better muscle tone and strength. With a more shapely and sexy body, you will look and feel better in and out of your clothes. A healthier and more fit body naturally exudes an aura of strength and confidence that won’t go unnoticed.
Slow the Aging Process
Exercise helps to keep you looking younger. The improved blood circulation from exercise helps to remove wastes and toxins and to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your cells. This leaves your skin looking clearer and healthier, taking years off your appearance and giving you a more youthful vibrance and radiant glow.
Build stronger bones.
Regular weight-bearing exercise helps to build strong bones which may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging. The loss of bone mineral due to osteoporosis causes the bones to be more fragile and more prone to fractures. Perform weight-bearing exercise like walking, running, or weight-lifting for at least three times per week to keep yourself from being at risk.
Increase your confidence.
Gaining control over your health and improving your body image is empowering. Not only will your self esteem and self confidence be improved as a result, but this energy will show in everything that you do. The psychological benefits that comes from an improved sense of well-being leads to a more optimistic outlook on life. This will help to improve your relationships with others, but more importantly, it will help to improve your your relationship with yourself. By allowing your body to operate at the top of its game, you are giving yourself the chance to get the most out of your life. Your gym time is your time to take it.
Every month Anna Wong, personal fitness trainer to the stars, will be writing a column for Asiance Magazine. This column is dedicated to your questions and concerns in health and fitness. Your suggestions and requests are welcome. This column is for you so your feedback is important. To contact Anna, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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