6 Benefits of Exercising Reguarly

6-benefits-of-exercising-regularly

Whether it was from your 5th grade P.E. teacher, your mom or your varsity coach, you’ve probably heard just how important exercise and physical activity is for your health. However, the benefits go beyond just the slightly-more-obvious physique side of things. Exercise is very beneficial for both your physical and mental health, productivity and overall life quality. (*Note this doesn’t mean if you don’t exercise you can’t or don’t have a quality life…there have just been studies shown that exercise can increase overall feelings of happiness and relaxation in life.) Although there are tons and tons of benefits to exercising, here are 6 simple benefits. Hopefully this–if nothing else has–will fuel you to start exercising regularly.

Stimulate Happy Chemicals

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals create a positive feeling and a euphoric state of mind while also eliminating pain (by connecting to receptors in your brain). The short story? Exercise=Endorphins; Endorphins=Happy You. (And yes all those Legally Blonde watchers, this is exactly what you are thinking!)

Boost Your Brain

Studies have shown that exercising helps boost brainpower by improving overall brain performance. It also sharpens your memory and increases your learning. Even leisurely activities of exercise help keep your brain fit and active (not just your body!) which will help fight off memory loss and keep certain skills such as vocabulary.

Improves Self Confidence and Body Image

In today’s society, it sometimes seems that many women (and men) are lacking in the self-confidence and positive body image departments. Exercising regularly will lead to you seeing fitness improvements that will surge your confidence. And sure, part of it does come from seeing your physical body change and seeing yourself as more attractive. However, even just being able to run faster or farther or lift heavier, regardless of how you look, can improve your self-esteem and the way you see your body.

Increase Productivity

Everyone wants to be more creative and productive, especially in the middle-of-the-afternoon slump. Solution? Exercise! Research has shown that people who exercise regularly tend to be more productive in their work. Also, “creativity power” is boosted up to two hours after working out. So even if you think you don’t have time to workout during your busy day, finding time for a quick walk or bout of exercise may be more beneficial than you may think!

Boosts Energy/Mood

When you feel sluggish or tired, I’m sure the last thing on your mind is to exercise…but maybe it should be the first! As mentioned before, exercise increases endorphins which boosts your mood and leaves you feeling happier. Exercise and other physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues in your body which can boost your energy. Next time you feel low-energy, take a walk or slight jog around the block.

Combat Bad Health Conditions/Disease

Regularly exercising can help you combat a range of health issues and concerns including, but not limited to, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Working out boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is good cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly for a healthy body system.

Overall, being active is one of the best things you can do for your health! But want to know the best part? In all the research and studies, there is nothing that ever limits your exercise.  Nothing says your exercise has to be running 3 miles, or heavy Olympic Lifting, or doing 3 different workouts a day…the point is just to exercise regularly: whatever that means for you! Maybe it’s taking a walk on your lunch break every day or fitting in a workout in between classes. As long as you are being active on a pretty regular basis (3-5 days a week), your body and health will thank you! Exercise because you want to take care of your body–after all, it’s the only one you get!

What are your thoughts? What are some of the reasons you workout and the benefits you get from it?

 

What Exactly Is Healthy Living?

                                                          What Exactly Is Healthy Living

Those desserts are so unhealthy…Wow she’s so healthy, I wish I could be like her….My New Years Resolution is to become healthier…I’ve been so unhealthy lately…

Most people have probably thought, heard, or said some variation of the above things. But, there’s just one little problem: what exactly is “healthy”?  In between social media, magazines and today’s society, the image of healthy has gotten quite distorted. It seems that numbers on a scale, dress sizes or a certain body image defines who is and isn’t healthy. Now I’ll be completely honest, I’ve gotten wrapped up in that argument way too many times: believing, thinking and feeling that healthy was a number, a size, an image. But, repeat after me: it’s not! HEALTHY IS NOT A ONE SIZE FITS ALL! I think this is one of the hardest things to understand for anyone trying to be healthy. (Heck, it still trips me up some days.) Healthy doesn’t mean you have to size quadruple 0, or that you must workout 8 days a week, and eat nothing but kale. Healthy means making great choices when it comes to eating, exercise, sleep, stress management and drinking water. It involves your mind, body and spirit; it means listening to your body and taking care of yourself. Now, sure swapping your chips for vegetables as a snack is a good thing and getting some exercise and movement in every week is beneficial to you and your body…but there is no specific formula. It’s all about being yourself and finding the beauty in your own healthy ways.

That being said, there are a few key components to keeping up with your health.

Water: Water is so important to our bodies–considering they consist of 60% water–and it is key to our health to stay hydrated. Most health authorities suggest drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Sleep: Sleep can positively affect your metabolism, learning, memory, mood, immune function and many other health aspects. The amount of desired sleep can depend on age, but it is generally recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

Stress Management: Although stress is inevitable, finding ways to manage the stress is important. Journaling, meditation, taking deep breaths, soaking in a bath, doing yoga and working out are all good examples of ways to destress. Explore different options to find what works best for you–again it’s not a one way fits all.

Exercise: Exercise boosts our metabolism, immune system and overall health as well as leaving our bodies feeling happier and healthier. It doesn’t even have to be  a super-intense workout: a light jog or a nightly walk can do the trick.

Eating: Make good-for-you food choices the majority of the time, but still find room to enjoy a small treat here and there. Try to stay away from processed foods (anything packaged) and head towards fruits, vegetables and lean proteins (eggs, Greek yogurt, cheese stick, turkey, chicken, etc.) Cooking your own meals, if possible, is a good way to ensure you are making better food choices too.

With these 5 components, you can tailor your choices to fit your life. We can’t all workout 7 days a week and eat amazingly clean, but we all can live a healthy lifestyle by making great choices for ourselves. Choose to be healthy because you love yourself and your body and want to take care of it. Whatever choices you make, choose them because they make you happy. That is exactly what healthy living is and what being Beyoutifully Healthy is all about.

What are your thoughts? What does healthy living mean for you?