Advertising
Advertising

3 Reasons To Workout Today

3 Reasons To Workout Today

We all know the benefits of getting to the gym. It makes us leaner, stronger, and more energetic. It’s good for us. We all know that we should workout.

So, why is it that more often than not, we neglect to make it to the gym? I mean we know that all the benefits related to hitting the gym are positive, but for some reason, after a long day of work, sitting on the couch and watching Breaking Bad re-runs sounds like a better decision.

You see, the hardest part about working out, is taking that first step, and getting off the couch (or not sitting on the couch in the first place)

Once we’re in motion, we realize how much we over exaggerate how “hard” exercising is, and how much we underestimate the feel good benefits related to fitness.

You’ll almost always finish your workout in a better mood than you started. Most of the time you just need that first push to get you moving.

Advertising

So then, why should you workout today? It’s hard work, it’s time consuming, it makes you sweaty…….

It Makes You Happy

Have you ever heard of somebody that regretted a workout? There’s no doubt about the relationship between exercising and being awesome.

Countless studies show that exercise is known to improve moods, lower depression, boost self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve your sleep quality. One study even suggested that high intensity exercise stimulates the brain the same way cocaine does [1].

When you put your body through intense exercise, your brain produces natural feel good chemicals called endorphins. They’re often described as “euphoric” and are also released during sex and laughter.

You’ll almost always walk  (or crawl) out of the gym in a better mood than you walked in.

Advertising

It Makes You Smart

Not exercising properly means less brain activity and less ability for you to achieve and succeed, in anything.

A study done on over 6,000 people showed that those with more fat experienced 22% more cognitive decline than those who were normal weight. That means being out of shape not only slows down how quickly you move, it slows down how quickly your brain works.

There’s no shortage of research that shows a positive connection between exercise and the brain.

Exercise accelerates our Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF is an important hormone that controls how we learn things and how much activity we have going on in our brains.

It’s often referred to as “Miracle-Gro for the brain” by Professors of Psychiatry at Harvard.

Advertising

It’s no wonder why a billionaire entrepreneur like Richard Branson claims his number one “secret” to productivity is exercise. He runs over 400 companies and exercises daily.

He’s also 63 years old. What was your excuse again?

It Makes You Sexy (duh)

At first, most of my clients come to me with aesthetic goals such as “rock hard abs” and “toned booties”. Looking great naked is a huge motivator, and a perfectly fine reason to work out.

But exercise makes us sexy in so many other ways.

It teaches us the process of achieving anything worthwhile in life:

Advertising

Goal Setting -> Planning -> Deadline -> Commitment -> Discipline -> Accomplishment -> Satisfaction -> Bigger Goal -> Repeat

By achieving our goals in the gym, we reinforce the idea that if we set a goal and work towards it, the outcome will be positive.

And just like that we’ve increased our sense of self-worth and built the rock solid confidence that’s needed to take on anything in our way and create the best life possible for ourselves.

At first, it’s easy to see this fitness thing as a chore. But it’s not just about burning calories or looking better naked (although those are very important).

It’s about a million perks that make your life better. It’s about loving yourself (but not in a narcissistic douche-bag kind of way).

Fitness is a celebration of a healthy body, and you should be celebrating everyday.

Featured photo credit: photopin via flickr.com

More by this author

3 Reasons To Workout Today The 4 Biggest Fat Loss Myths Around Today 6 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

Trending in Lifestyle

1 7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life 2 10 Emotional Regulation Skills for a Healthier Mind 3 How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life 4 Signs You Need an Attitude Adjustment (And How to Do It) 5 How to Get Through a Weight Loss Plateau (Step-By-Step Guide)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

Advertising

The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

    Advertising

    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

      Advertising

      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

      Advertising

      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

      Read Next