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.
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 .
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.
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.
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:
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