People often associate overall health and wellbeing with their weight, body fat percentage, or the amount they can squat/bench/deadlift. While, yes, a large number of people that exercise do so to shed some pounds or gain muscle, there are a lot of other improvements in life that working out or getting more active can do for your life. Check out my list of 5 convenient results that come from not being a couch potato!
Less fatigue, more energy
Believe it or not… Making yourself tired by way of lifting weights or even going on simple walks every day can actually make you less tired overall. There is a lot of science to explain here, but the gist of it is that putting your body at work will force it to adjust and adapt to your lifestyle. This means that taking the stairs won’t be so tiring, moving furniture won’t be such a nightmare, and you are able to last the whole day without burning out as quickly.
According to Oregon State University (an outstanding institution — a few of my relatives are graduates!), getting up to exercise for a total of 3 hours every week can improve your sleep quality drastically. This is incredible news for people like me who have previously suffered from insomnia and hyperactivity during resting hours. Since my change of lifestyle, I notice that overall, my sleep lasts a big longer and I have less trouble waking up in the morning.
Junk food cravings could decrease
As a result of doing work regularly, your cravings for sugary or otherwise nutrition-deficient food could significantly decrease. I have read studies before that showed making one good choice early on in the day is likely to snowball into more good choices. This could apply to nutrition and overall health, as well. If your life is focused on getting daily work and improving your body, you become a little bit more conscious in what you eat. Likewise, that focus to improve the weights you lift or your total mile run can help you avoid thinking about junk food.
Lower your blood pressure
Blood pressure is often a big deal in older adults. We have talked about blood pressure and cholesterol before on this post, but regular exercise can actually help lower blood pressure. Your heart rate increases significantly when doing cardio work, so you are forcing your heart to work rather than sitting idle and potentially risking heart problems.
I cannot stress how important this is enough. Since doing my daily runs and other activities like bocce, I have noticed improved confidence in myself. I am in my 50s, so naturally getting up to move frequently should be difficult. However, I feel young again and assured that I am physically capable of handling cardio work. We go on hikes consistently as well and some of the trails can get difficult. Still, I thrive through these adventures and hardly find myself getting winded.
Active living can also be linked strongly with improved mood and reduced stress. This all goes under confidence because it deals with how you feel with yourself.
Hopefully everyone has found at least one perk of exercising above that constantly motivates them. Obviously, there are more benefits of living actively, like losing weight, being more lean, setting good examples to your children, etc. These are some of the lesser known ones that I believe will help people either get started on the “new you” wave or keep going on their journey. Don’t forget to set your goals so you can quantify your progress! Likewise, make sure you enjoy yourself and are doing something active and exciting!