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More Than Just Looking Good! How Improving Your Fitness Can Improve Your Health written by Anna Johnson
When many of us think of exercise, we think the main aim is weight reduction, toning and to increase our fitness. While these are high on many peoples priority list they are not the only things to factor in when it comes to getting fit.
Regular exercise doesn’t always need to be strenuously sweating it out in the gym, or running for hours. There are plenty of alternative ways and reasons to increase your fitness and strength and by doing so you will reap the benefits with your overall physical and mental health.
1. Increased Energy Levels
First and foremost, on the list is the increase of energy that you will receive from partaking in regular exercise. The first step is always the hardest but once you make the leap you won’t look back. At first you may seem more tired and worn-out than usual, however once your fitness starts to increase so too will your energy levels. While lounging on the couch relaxing might seem like an easy option, the long term gains in your overall energy once you get up and start moving, will soon outweigh the desire to sit still.
2. Boost Your Self Confidence
Even if your exercise regime isn’t necessarily designed to decrease your weight, the increased activity will undoubtedly improve your physical appearance which in turn will have a positive effect on your self-esteem. The boost you will feel in your own self-confidence is huge. Getting your body moving will help clear your mind and knowing that you are doing something for the improvement of your overall health will give you a whole new outlook of yourself.
3. Feel Happy
We are sure you have heard it before and it’s true, exercise helps to improve your mood! Increasing your heartrate by engaging your body and getting your blood pumping helps the brain bump up the release of feel good hormones (endorphins), instantly making you feel happier. Studies have shown that exercise is regularly factored into treatments for patients suffering with anxiety and depression with amazing outcomes for their mental health.
Your stress levels will also reduce as a result of enhanced moods. One of the reasons is that while you are exercising you are less likely to be thinking of other stressful factors in your life! Pretty much any form of exercise, be it taking to a punching bag, engaging in a team sport, taking a nice long walk or a gentle jog can help to relieve stress.
Relaxation usually occurs post exercise also as a ‘knock on effect’ of the release of endorphins. There are also many types of exercise such as yoga, stretching and some forms of meditation that incorporate breathing techniques which can help invoke relaxation. And it goes without saying that after a good exercise session your body will be more relaxed due to the fact you are tired.
6. Get More Done
When your levels of motivation are lagging throughout the day, simply switching up your activity, getting out and going for a walk or doing some stretching in the fresh air, can work wonders for refreshing and re-energising your system. This change in scenery and boost to your energy levels will reinspire you to get back on track and focus on the tasks at hand.
7. Stay Strong
While we all know exercise is important for weight control, many people don’t realise the important role it plays on the body systems that you can’t see. Weight bearing exercise is super important for keeping bones in optimal condition and helps reduce the risk of problems such as osteoporosis. Maintaining strong and healthy muscles which provides good muscular strength around joints also aids in the reduction of joint injuries and improves posture by ensuring your major joints are supported.
8. Straighten Up
A strong and healthy muscular system helps to maintain good posture. Ensuring that your major muscle groups such as the buttocks and back muscles are strong, will help you keep an upright posture. Similarly, a strong core will prevent issues within your back.
So as you can see there are many benefits of regular exercise that go way past just your external appearance. Exercise should be viewed as part of a holistic approach for balanced health and factored in as important part of your day.
What are some creative ways you incorporate fitness into your own day?
Author of this article:
Anna Johnson holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage and Certificate in Advanced Sports Massage. She is interested in natural therapies, remedial massage remedies and is a great advocate for the ‘prevention is better than cure’ theory. Anna also works on the marketing team and blogs for Little Bloke Fitness