Want to be sharper at work? Feel less tired at home? Spend some quality time with your spouse? How about enjoying a cookie without guilt? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions (and who wouldn’t?), exercise is the answer. Here are five fitness facts that may help inspire you to get off the couch.
Exercise Boosts Brainpower
It is a known fact that not only does exercise improve the body, it also helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. All that makes for a more productive day.
Science has proved that those who are active and who exercise are much more productive at work. Improved productivity not only makes you a better worker, it makes things better for everyone in the workplace. Therefore, companies with less wasted work hours and less sick time end up with lower health care costs and an improved bottom line
Movement Melts Away Stress
As much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you’ll experience less stress in every part of your life. “Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction,” says Cedric Bryant, Chief Exercise Physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. He says it also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.
You’re not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. When you’re less stressed, you’re less irritable – and that could improve relationships with your partner, kids, and co-workers.
Exercise Gives You Energy
When you improve your strength and stamina, it’s easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.
Though exercise may make you feel more tired at first, that won’t last long. The physical tiredness you feel after working out isn’t the same as everyday fatigue. Besides, once your body adjusts to exercise, you’ll have more energy than ever.
Half an hour a day is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.
It’s Not That Hard to Find Time for Fitness
The key is to use your time more wisely. Think about killing two birds with one stone. Take your kids to ride bikes together, and you’re getting physical activity while enjoying family time. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek in the backyard.
Indeed, squeezing in two or three bouts of 15 or 20 minutes of activity is just as effective as doing it all at once. Vacuuming the house in the morning, riding bikes in the park with the kids in the afternoon, and then taking a brisk walk in the evening can add up to an active day.
Recent US government guidelines say that to lose weight and keep it weight off, you should accumulate at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. But half an hour a day is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.
Fitness Can Help Build Relationships
Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it’s with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week. Put succinctly, exercise is always more fun when there’s someone to do it with. So plan to walk with your spouse after dinner every night or meet your sister or that friend for tennis or an aerobics class instead of lunch.
Besides, people who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.