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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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