It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.
Does it mean I must spend 5 days in the gym for at least an hour? Spend weeks and dozens of hours on training to see minimal results if any at all?
For a lot of people out there exercise is tightly connected with lots of pain. Some instantly imagine this Arnold Schwarzenegger looks, his famous diets of eating 8+ times per day, spending your entire life in gym and worrying about when and how to do it. Pain of getting out of home, stress of losing a lot of time. Pain of putting lots of effort for very little return and so on. It is truth, everything in life has its downsides and upsides. Exercising definitely has some downsides.
But the upsides are so great it is hard to explain to someone who has not felt it before.
I will save you from those hard based statistical numbers and here are my top 4 benefits of regular exercise.
1. You will actually need less sleep.
How is that even possible you may ask?
Your body gets tired after an exercise therefore you will sleep better once you are actually sleeping. During the deep stages of NREM sleep, the body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle, and strengthens the immune system. Because of exercise, we are more likely to spend more time in deep sleep which is the best quality sleep we can have.
2. Your mood will generally be more positive.
Especially in the morning it feels like you can do about anything you want in life. Any challenge looks scalable and doable. Not sure how it works but just try it and you will know what I mean. Your creativity increases, good ideas seem to flow into your mind seamlessly. Challenges start to look good rather than overwhelming.
3. It boosts your productivity.
A day after an exercise and a healthy sleep can be more productive than a whole week. We have very little time to get important things done, therefore productivity is the key to success. Some tasks may take up to 4h hours yet same tasks could be done in 40min, how is that possible? Exercise increases our focus, clarity and ability concentrate.
4. It will help you to eat healthier.
Food is fuel, I have always seen it that way. Your body is a machine and food will fuel it through the day. Good food will make this machine to work better and bad food will get you off the grid sooner than you would like. Exercising will increase our appetite, our metabolism will work better therefore we are more likely to eat better too.
I remember the days when food was my enemy, would starve until can’t bare it any more, would buy some bad food and stuff myself. Then would regret doing it yet repeat it the very next day.
Exercise will fix this problem immediately as you will be very hungry after workouts and will crave for good food. As our bodies adjust to any circumstances, good exercise will make your body demand good nutritional values from good food sources, which will make you crave for those healthy choices.
Good news everyone, we only need about 150 minutes or 3 hours of good physical activity per week to stay fit and healthy.
This activity can be about anything which gets you break your sweat. Sweat – would be my way of measuring whether it is a good exercise or not. Surely you can count walking and cycling seamlessly as a physical activity but if you can not break sweat then you are not engaged well enough; won’t get your heart beat faster and it won’t get those muscles engaged.
Does it make you want to get out there and take some action? So go out and do it!
My next article will tell you how to hold yourself accountable to never miss a session.