12 Tips for Fitness Motivation
Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training 1 November 2023
1. Heart health
Engaging in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart. Your heart is a muscle, and pushing it to work hard a few days each week may help to improve your cardiac output. If you engage in cardiovascular activity on a regular basis, you may lower your overall resting heart rate, which is good for your health long-term.
2. Glowing skin
When you exercise, you increase the blood flow around your body. Your post-workout glow may not last all day, but you’ll look more radiant right after your session. If you’re lucky, the healthy glow will make you look and feel great.
3. Improved posture
Exercising on a regular basis may make you become more aware of your posture. As you gain body confidence and movement awareness, you become more conscious of what feels right for your body. Slouching may become a bad habit of the past. As an extra bonus, good posture makes you look taller.
4. Fewer aches and pains
If you have sore and stiff joints that are caused from sitting down all day, moving more often will help to alleviate that stiffness. Joints that are immobile tend to get sore. Once you’re moving on a regular basis, you improve the range of motion, and movements of everyday living become easier to perform.
5. Improved body composition
When you make exercise a part of your lifestyle, you’ll start to notice changes in how you look and feel. You may lose excess body fat and gain lean muscle mass, which is great for your appearance and it also helps your body to become more efficient at burning calories. Having a high percentage of lean muscle mass requires more calories just to sustain itself than someone of the same weight who has a higher percentage of body fat.
6. Feel happier
Performing physical exercise can make you feel happier in your daily life. One of the reasons for this is that your body releases an increased amount of endorphins when you’re active. Endorphins are your body’s natural happy hormone. You may also feel happier because you’re taking good care of your body. This sense of accomplishment can often make you have a greater sense of well-being.
7. Control your weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain and help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
8. More energy
Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. When you exercise, your body must deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues to help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily tasks.
9. Boost brain power
Working out on a regular basis may help to improve your brain function. Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. Studies suggest that a tough workout may also increase levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body. BDNF is believed to help with decision-making and higher learning.
10. Less stress
Exercise may act as a temporary diversion to daily stress. When you’re exercising or having fun doing activities, you’re generally not thinking about the things in your life that are difficult. Taking time out of your busy day to focus on yourself can reduce the feeling of stress. Less stress can also help with weight loss, because many people eat unhealthy foods to combat stress.
11. Meet new people
Exercise provides an opportunity for social interaction that may otherwise be lacking in your life. Starting a new activity can help you find a new circle of friends or provide you with a healthier opportunity to reconnect with old ones. So often we go out to eat to socialize, but doing an activity is much better for your waistline.
12. Better sleep
Being active can help to improve your sleep habits for several reasons. Exercising raises your body’s core temperature. As it cools back down to normal, it can help you to feel relaxed and ready to sleep. Because activity can help reduce your stress levels, drifting off at night may become easier.