(Besides Weight Loss)
Personally, I LOVE any type of exercise. It’s been a part of my life since I was little, but sometimes we need a little motivation to get moving. Losing weight is one reason to exercise, or to simply not gain weight, it’s especially on people’s minds around the beginning of the year. Between New Year’s resolutions, and summer coming up, it’s easy to get caught up in the next best fad exercise to help lose those extra 5-10… or more pounds. You may be thinking “well those things don’t motivate me” well…
It certainly isn’t what I want my kids to associate exercise with, just a way to make sure that they don’t get fat? NO! In itself it is a good reason, but I think that we need to focus on the other benefits BEFORE we introduce those thoughts to ourselves and our children. We need to think about how…
…Exercise is a…
There is NOTHING like being stressed out, feeling out of control when you are staying at home with two little children. I can’t take it out on them, I can’t go anywhere most of the time (one car family, growing to a two car family soon!), and it is FREEZING outside right now, so a natural stress reducer like exercise is just what I need, most of the time. Other times I just need some chocolate, which isn’t bad… if you keep in a moderate amount, something that doesn’t happen when I’m going to chocolate for stress.
2. Increaser of Relaxation/Better Sleep
I know that when I have had a good 30-45 minutes of heart pumping exercise, I sleep so much better at night, even though it is broken sleep, thanks to my sweet boys, I know that the sleep that I am getting is knock-out, deep, sleep.
3. Energy/Mood Booster
The natural high that comes from exercise is untouchable! I love finishing a long run, a tough lifting routine, or a long yoga session, and getting that euphoric feel. You know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, try exercising and you’ll see what I mean.
4. Improves Ability to Do Other Things
I don’t know if you have found yourself trying to do something that you used to do all of the time without any effort, you go into the situation with the same ease and passivity that you used to, only to find that you just… can’t… quite… do it anymore! It’s infuriating! My first thought is.. no way, I’ll just try again. Then my thought goes to oh no… how can’t I do this?! This is the type of situation I want to steer clear of for as long as possible. It’s a part of life, but we can at least prolong the inevitable.
5. Disease Fighter!
This is huge! Not only for those who have chronic disease like type 1 Diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic back pain, arthritis, asthma and high cholesterol, but it also fights heart disease, CANCER, type 2 Diabetes and so much more!
7. Bone Strengthener
This is HUGE for women, but men can also be affected by bone loss. Strength training is a must for young and old. I used to think that strength training/ weight lifting would make me bulky and man-ish, but after a few weeks of lifting, I found that I was getting the lean look that I had been seeking. A lot of it was diet too, but strength training was definitely what took me to that next level.
8. Age Fighter
Did you know that you can actually fight the aging process? Young or old, I take this as a huge bonus to exercise!
9. Heart Strengthener
You know the muscular organ that pumps your 1.2-1.5 GALLONS of blood through your body almost every minute? The one that is super hard to replace, and is absolutely necessary for life. All of these are great reasons to remember how important exercise is to all of us. I know that I want my heart to be in tip-top shape, you know just in case the zombie apocalypse happens…
10. Body Image Enhancer
I know that I used to have a huge body image issue, but over time exercise has truly given me a better body image. It does help that it has helped tone up some of the places that I was insecure about, but it has also given me a huge appreciation for what my body can accomplish. I know that I can run, jump, lift weights, swim. These are all such huge blessings that can be easily taken for granted; I know that I didn’t used to think about it that way before, but if you can do all those things, or even a few of those things you are fortunate, because not everyone can.
11. Just Fun!
When you think of exercise what do you think of? A gym? An exercise class where there are a bunch of ladies laughing and shouting? Those are just a few ways that you can exercise. You can also: go on a hike, canoeing, a walk, chop some wood, run around with your kids at the park, clean your house from top to bottom.
I find it harder to easily exercise during the winter because I love to be outside to get my move on, but that just means being more intentional during the winter, and if you can’t stand thinking about it as exercising, think about it as a life change, and you’ll love it even more.