Why is physical exercise important? Well, there are many other reasons why exercise is important, apart from the obvious ones, such as getting that hot body you’ve always wanted. You will get an AWESOME array of health benefits, both physical and mental, such as enhanced energy, lowered risk of diseases, and a huge boost in your self esteem and confidence.
In this post I hope to convince you of the many benefits of physical activity. This will hopefully give you the impetus that is needed to make changes so YOU are able to live the amazing life you truly deserve.
It makes all the difference to pick an exercise you actually enjoy!
There are many different ways to keep fit, and all different types of exercises to suit everyone, no matter what your current condition, fitness level, OR budget.
To keep up enthusiasm and ensure that fitness is a long term thing you should choose the sports that you enjoy, or at least pick something you think you may grow to like, then start slowly and go from there.
Often sports that require a partner, like tennis or squash, or team sports such as football, cricket, volleyball, or netball can be a good choice as they encourage camaraderie, and a little healthy competition is great for firing you up for a game. When you do start to enjoy it then hey, it suddenly doesn’t feel like such hard graft.
Self defense, or martial arts classes like karate, boxing, taeqwondo or judo are all fabulous ways to get fit, and knowing you have self defense skills may also come in handy at other times in life.
There is also nothing more empowering than knowing you have a strong and healthy body as it will give you a confidence boost that will change your whole life. That confidence will shine through every aspect of you including your work, drive, ambition, and especially your relationships with others.
The benefits of physical exercise and fitness cannot be stressed enough. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, then exercise (especially weight bearing for depression) will trigger a cascade of feel good endorphins, and will help to burn off stress hormones. This will keep you calm, focused, and ready to take on anything life throws at you.
Something amazing happens in your body when we workout: a chemical reaction releases endorphins and you feel uplifted, even euphoric, and that feeling of satisfaction you get after a good workout can stay with you for days afterwards. So the rewards are many.
Studies have proven that dance classes can reduce anxiety more than other forms of exercise. Dancing helps you to connect with your inner self and there is something primal and free about it. It can pull you out of a low mood and stimulate all your senses making you feel sexy and alive.
If you are too shy for a dance class, then throw on some of your favorite tunes at home and just go for it. Dance like nobody is watching (and maybe check that they’re not first). Soon you will start to feel more confidant than ever. Caution: this really works!
Dancing is a social activity
Dancing is a brilliant way to meet new people, make new friends and socialize. It also offers the added benefits of managing weight, improving coordination, flexibility, motor skills, bone health, and will give you a stronger heart and lungs. This makes it one of the best forms of all over exercise that will cover all bases.
WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE:
To stimulate all muscle groups it is best to do a range of exercises. A couple of good gym sessions, or power walking, stair climbing, hiking, and kettle bells, are all great ways of really flooding the system with a cascade of mood enhancing endorphins.
These endorphins will help vaporize stress and depression, keep PMS symptoms at bay, and serve as a good healthy outlet for anger and frustration – and these fantastic effects can last for hours, even days.
ALL weight bearing exercise will give you more muscle mass and tone, which is good for keeping bones strong, protecting against osteoporosis, improving your sense of balance and coordination, and lessening your risk of injury in general.
The more muscle mass you have the slimmer you will stay:
The more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories you will burn daily, even when at rest, so weight-bearing exercise is also a relevant weight and fat loss tool.
Just be sure to push yourself more as you build up strength and stamina, and remember to up the heaviness of your weights as your body adjusts and becomes accustomed to your regime.
HULA HOOPING – THE BEST BELLY TONER EVER!
If it’s belly fat you want to blast then hula hooping really cuts the mustard, it’s one of the quickest ways to target specifically this area, and something that I have personally tried and had success with. You just have to be steadfast in your commitment – as in do it every day and you really cannot fail.
How I did it:-
In my first 2 months of using a weighted hula hoop (I used it a lot, up to 5×30 minute sessions a week) I went down 2 dress sizes and lost about 8lbs in weight, and I did nothing else differently.
Find out more here about how to do this here in this post ‘Best Belly Fat Burner’.
STEPPING UP THE CARDIO:
Cardiovascular exercise: the likes of running, jogging, swimming, cycling, HIIT (high intensity interval training), or basically anything that gets your heart rate up for a significant amount of time has many benefits. These include, most strikingly, a 50% lower risk of heart disease, and a lower instance of many other diseases, including some cancers, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular exercise is also crazily good for your mind and general well being as it helps to blast out depression, anxiety, and low mood. Don’t forget that many exercises are both cardio and weight bearing, such as HIIT, power walking, running, indoor rowing, and kettle bell classes – so you can get the best of both worlds in one session.
Boxing covers ALL bases:
- Boxing is one of the best all rounders for not only its cardiovascular benefits, but also for self defense, muscle building, toning, balance and coordination – plus it’s a great self esteem booster. You can do some sparring at home with a partner and an inexpensive sparring kit.
- If you suffer from joint problems you may prefer to do the lower impact sports, such as swimming or cycling, as these do not pound down hard on joints like many other exercises and so keep the pressure off. BUT, you may need to go at these harder to get the same muscle building benefits as other weight-bearing exercises.
- Swimming uses practically every muscle in your body and is great for people who suffer insomnia as it tires out ALLthe muscles and induces sleep. It also controls blood sugar levels, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduces risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Cycling is also much easier on the joints than many other types of exercise as it is not only aerobic, but builds strong muscles, especially in the legs and abdominals, builds strong bones, and boosts endurance. It’s also fantastic for balance, and a great reason getting out in the fresh air.
Fitness trackers are a great way to keep track of your fitness, and they create accountability for your health and fitness plan. The Fitbit Charge 2 is one of the newest in the fitbit range and has more advanced features than its predecessors. The Charge 2 will track your steps, heart rate, calories burned, sleep patterns, and can lock into your heartbeat to create a personalised breathing plan for you to relax to.
The reason I say this particular fitness tracker is pretty good is because I thoroughly researched it before I bought it for myself, and I discovered it had the best reviews for ease and comfort, plus the best features.
I found quite a lot of testimonies from people who said they always go back to the Charge 2 for this reason, and I found that using mine did actually help me to get into and stick to a routine.
When deciding to embark on any exercise regime you will want to make sure you are eating right. Any effects you get from exercise can be doubled from eating high protein and nutrient dense foods. You should also include specific fat burning foods into your diet as these will really stoke the fires of your metabolism.
I have found that an alkaline plant based diet with lots of plant protein, are superior to animal proteins in the respect that they cause much less inflammation in the body, and therefore can build leaner, cleaner muscle.
This means lots of pulses, lentils, wholegrains, soy, tempeh, quinoa, nut butters, nuts, seeds, and even many vegetables contain protein.
Make sure you get enough protein if you’re in an exercise regime:
You should be consuming between 1-2 grams of protein per kilo of body weight, depending on the kind of training you are doing. If you would like some plant protein ideas then please read my post ‘High Protein Plant Foods’ for inspiration.
My own plant based journey:-
Eating a plant based diet in the past year has totally transformed my body and taken my health to new heights. I just couldn’t achieve this level of health before no matter how hard I tried and truly believe it is something that makes a huge difference to fitness and vitality.
Why is Physical Exercise Important ?
It really cannot be stated enough that physical fitness, alongside a clean and healthy diet, really can change your life forever. You will feel fantastic, have more confidence than you EVER thought possible (I am serious on this one), AND have much higher protection from many major diseases and illnesses.
You can start today to change your life, just baby steps every day lead to huge leaps over the long term, and when you start to feel good you will never want to go back. The better it gets, the better it gets, so they say!
For more in depth advice on other aspects of healthy living such as relieving stress, clearing junk foods from your cupboards, and detoxifying the body, please read my ‘Ultimate Healthy Lifestyle Guide’
If you have any questions about health and fitness I am always pleased to answer them. Just post away below this thread. Thanks for reading!