Calorie after calorie, pound after pound, America is quickly becoming obsessed with obtaining that perfect body, yet most people rarely believe we can achieve that model-flawless look, so we give up trying after a while. Everything else starts to take priority-our jobs, school, kids-even socializing. While each of these things are important in life, exercising has so many benefits physically, mentally and even emotionally, and here’s the catch: you don’t even need that bathroom scale to start noticing results. Health is so much more than what you see on that tiny screen. Here are some benefits you probably don’t even think about. Forget the scale, and instead begin incorporating exercise into your weekly routine simply for these 5 reasons.
1. “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands” (Elle Woods, Legally Blonde).
Well said, Elle. While this may be a scene from a movie, her reasoning for exercise has proven to be true! Those that workout more have said to have lower anxiety and higher overall levels of happiness. From personal experience, by incorporating fitness into my daily routine, I can honestly say that my quality of life and contentment have improved. Are you dealing with stress, depression, or mixed emotions that don’t seem to make any sense? Give exercise a shot. It’s cheap, easy and well worth your time, quite possibly even more-so than therapy!
Increasing our endorphins through rock climbing!
2. Exercise is an adventure.
Whenever I enter a new city for the first time, one of the first things I like to do is go for a run. Get lost on purpose-discover new art, architecture or nearby parks. You can learn tons about a city just by going somewhere new to workout. It’s possible you will even discover new sights in your hometown you’ve been living in for 20 years. Sometimes these moments turn out to be more fun than visiting touristy sights. Instead you get to see each city from a local’s perspective!
For those of you like myself living in a gloomy state most of the time, there are still adventures for you. From rock climbing indoors to swimming to joining a pick-up game of racquetball, you can still have fun and make some new discoveries. The gym can even be a great place to go, but rather than an outdoor journey, you can create a social adventure through interacting with others. Try a new class, get a new workout partner, or experiment with a new machine you’ve never used. Whether you’re inside or outside, exercise will give you stories.
Who said exercise has to be boring?
3. Motivation and goal setting
Have you ever reached a point in your life where you felt stuck in this constant cycle of a routine? Exercising will give you a reason to have goals and stay motivated. By doing this you are guaranteed to feel a new sense of pride and accomplishment. Try to run a 5k, or even make your goal something as crazy as “learn to like going to the gym”. By keeping yourself motivated in one aspect of your life, you might even be able to change other parts for the better as well.
4. There’s no need to stress.
Adults these days are incredibly focused on losing weight. What the media fails to tell us is that if you were to simply make a habit of exercising, there’s no need to stress about weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. It is not the number on the scale that determines how healthy you are, but rather your day to day lifestyle choices. If you’re doing what you can to help out your body, why stress? Ignore that scale and simply try to make better selections in life.
Running+climbing trees=great exercise if you're up for a fun challenge!
5. It’s free, easy, and will not take up your whole day.
30 minutes of an elevated heart rate. That’s all that is recommended. If you can allow yourself that much time each day, you will be happier, healthier and more confident. No one has regretted the time they spent at the gym or out on a run. The hardest part is moving up off the couch and making exercise a habit. Ditch that one re-run of Friends you’ve seen a million times before and give working out a shot. Both your body and mind alike will thank you later.