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9 Unexpected Ways Exercise Improves Your Life

9 Unexpected Ways Exercise Improves Your Life

At the age of 95, America’s famous fitness and health guru Jack Lalanne was asked: ”Jack, how do you do it? How do you keep up with the pace of daily workouts? Don’t you ever feel tempted to fall off the wagon? His answer: ”You bet I do. But I don’t do it.”

From the age of fifteen to ninety-five, Jack Lalanne exercised every morning without failure; his passion for exercise served him well throughout his entire life. Your probably wondering: how could a man at the age ninety-five bring himself to workout every morning? Well, you’ll know the answer why in this article, as I share with you 10 unexpected ways exercise improves your life.

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1. Exercise Increases Energy

Ironically, movement gives us more energy. If you ever experience days of feeling sluggish and unmotivated, getting yourself to a gym and flexing your body can allow room for more energy. There is a fine line between exhaustion and tiredness. In most cases, ones’s ”tiredness” is little more than a temporary situation, and one that can be changed significantly with a little exercise.

2. Exercise Builds Confidence

We’re not talking about ego inflation. Exercise can build new levels of confidence, zapping anxiety, which then makes it easier for us do the things we normally put off doing. You see, the confidence you receive from exercise not only allows you to feel better about your overall image, but you can apply this new wave of confidence to virtually every area of your life, allowing you to overcome some of the things you may have once avoided. When it comes to taking the next step in your new vocation, exercise may be a key ingredient to your success

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3. Exercise Strengthens Bones

Just like muscle, bone is a living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. No matter your age, having healthy bones is vital. As we age, a loss in strength and bone mass is unavoidable, so it’s very important that we work our muscles by the use of heavy weights to maintain as much muscle and bone strength as possible. This in turn will benefit us down the line when it comes to our older years, preventing falls and fractures.

4. Exercise Hypes Your Metabolism

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been known to eat everything in sight — anything from up to 12,000 calories a day! As hard as he works, he doesn’t expend 12,000 calories in physical activity; yet he doesn’t gain weight. That’s because exercise increases the number of mitochondria in the form of increased muscle. And increased muscle means you burn more energy at rest, which improves your metabolic status. Through exercise, the rate at which you burn calories at rest increases, which allows you to eat better. Not only this, but metabolic improvements translate into disease prevention, as a study of thirty-eight thousand american men showed that physical activity was more potent in preventing heart disease, even whilst maintaining their weight, because of the metabolic advantages.

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5. Exercise Improves The Immune System

Exercise improves the immune system because it helps flush bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing the chances of getting flu, cold or other airborne illnesses. Not only this, but due to the rise in body heat temperature of physical activity, this can prevent bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight off infections. Studies also show that exercise can detect illnesses earlier, because it sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a quicker rate, allowing you to fight off potential bacteria coming your way.

6. Exercise Burns ‘Stubborn’ Fat Deposits

The stomach and lower back areas of the body get most of our attention when it comes to looking good and feeling good. Unfortunately, the body wants to hold some extra fat in these two areas — it’s a survival thing. Whilst it’s okay to have a little body fat, we live in a day and age where food isn’t scarce and our demand to look the best we can is more our concern. Exercise is the only way to burn off these stubborn body fat deposits, as diet alone isn’t enough. High-intensity exercise has shown to rid these stubborn body fat deposits most effectively, along with having the correct nutrition.

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7. Exercise Builds Mental Strength And Discipline.

Exercise is a reflection of character and personal values. Pushing yourself to work out takes mental discipline. This mental strength and discipline to workout regularly usually takes effect in other areas of life, also — the discipline to eat correctly. The strength to take on new life challenges. The discipline to be more self-organised and structured. When it comes to working the body and pushing past the pain barriers, we not only develop a better physique, but strength of mind that will stay with us virtually forever.

8. Exercise Keeps You Fit Even If You’re Fat

It’s better to be fat and fit than thin and sick. Those carrying the extra pounds but still take up some form of exercise, are usually better off than the skinny person who does no exercise at all. Exercise mitigates all the negative effects of obesity and visceral fat, health complaints and longevity. So it shows that even if you are fat but take up exercise, you’ll likely live longer than the stick thin model on the magazine covers. 

8. Exercise Improves Longevity

If Jack Lalanne wasn’t a good example of how exercise can improve life span, take another example of 80-year-old body builder Jim Arrington, who is still lifting strong today! There’s no doubt that exercise can improve one’s lifespan significantly; unfortunately, exercise seems only to be a rare habit amongst older individuals. However, studies do show that those who remain consistent with exercise throughout their entire lives, better the chances of still going at it well into their much older years.

9. Exercising Leads To Better Habits

What most people don’t realise is that the habit of regular exercise leads to more empowering habits. A person who is consistent with exercise is usually someone who is consistent in many areas of life that serve them well — nutrition habits, goal setting habits, career habits, etc. Rarely do you find a gym lover not being an overall health lover. If you can motivate yourself to be in the gym regularly, the chances are, you’re able to motivate yourself to do more of the things in life you want. If you think about: those with serious weight issues don’t exercise. Those who don’t exercise aren’t reading health books. Those not reading health books don’t value health. Those who with no value for health don’t have a track record of habits to get in shape. The habit of exercise usually follows a track record of other healthy habits.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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