Few decisions in life can equal the influence of introducing health and fitness into the fray. The benefits run much deeper than the aesthetic improvements that draw so many in the first place. A fitness lifestyle can help with anxiety and depression, provide regiment for the aimless, build self-esteem and accomplishment, and yes, it can help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve human performance too.
Read below for five uncommon reasons you should embrace fitness within your life.
1. The Epiphany of Control
As you commit to your fitness routine you’ll begin seeing your body change over time. Pounds will be lost and muscles will grow. Your brain will begin registering that your efforts are correlating to a positive result. Consistent application of this begins to manipulate the plasticity of the brain, subtly strengthening neural and psychological drivers that impact everyday life. You’ll soon realize that you have control over how your body looks and performs.
Control, then, is a sensation that is no longer desired, but felt. If you can lift weights, run miles, and choose fruit over bagels, then you can do anything. Fitness gives the physical, mental, and emotional strength needed to tackle life. It gives you control.
2. Everyday Success
Studies have shown that happiness for most individuals is derived from feeling successful in life. Whether it is rising the corporate ladder, raising beautiful children, or having a medal placed around your neck after a long race – we want to feel like we matter.
Fitness provides an opportunity to feel successful every day. Going to the gym to lift weights, take a class, or do cardio is a positive decision. Foregoing the gym to run outside, play a sport, take a hike, or just play with your kids is equally as beneficial. Your body will obviously benefit from the activity, but your psyche will prosper from the sensation of accomplishment.
3. Improved Sleep and a (likely) Longer Life
Following a training program will regulate your body’s energy systems and positively impact your sleep cycle. Sleep is when the body’s biology repairs itself, so it is imperative to train hard and recover equally.
The additional caloric expenditure during your workout, paired with the need to recover your muscles, will lead to you seeking your bed at an earlier hour. Getting to bed sooner will also serve to help you spend more time in REM (rapid eye movement), the period of sleep which the body is resting best.
This boost in sleep does more than just make you feel better at work the next day too. Increased sleep quality can help prevent everything from depression to a stroke. It can also help maintain a healthy set point for body weight, which means lower body fat, increased muscle mass, and a more normalized metabolism and eating schedule.
4. Improved Relationships
Romantic relationships benefit from both partners engaging in activities that improve themselves, the family as a whole, and ensure the health and wellness of each individual. A lifestyle shaped by fitness accomplishes all of the aforementioned things, especially when shared amongst partners.
It is more than just reshaping your body in order to attract your mate, although there is no harm in making yourself desirable to the one you love. The greatest benefit is the mutual understanding that both of you are trying to improve to benefit yourselves and your partner.
Taking a long run through the park, lifting weights, or setting up next to each other on a yoga mat is a declaration that you are in it together. You both commit to being the best versions of yourself in order to equally strengthen your body and your relationship.
Currently single? No worries, as studies have shown that regularly exercising not only boosts the fitness of your body, but also your confidence. You’ll evolve a different aura that attracts people towards you, and helps you keep them interested.
5. Increased Physical Resiliency
Aches and pains are not a necessary complication of getting older. Surely you won’t feel the same as you felt at twenty-five, but you shouldn’t suffer just because there is a number larger than four in front of your age.
Training regularly can improve the resiliency of all tissues in the body. Muscles, tendons, nerves, and even bones benefit from regular strength training exercise. The heart, lungs, brain, and metabolism benefit tremendously from cardiovascular programs.
- Lifting weights can help prevent osteoporosis and osteopenia, as well as strengthen the muscles and tendons to resist against injuries that could occur in everyday life.
- Training frequently can increase neuromuscular coordination, which is important for balance and movement skill, two components that are critical in preventing falls and injury.
- Cardiovascular training can help prevent heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and other conditions that lead to medication and decreased quality of life.
The adaptations your body will make as a result of training will better prepare your body for life itself.
A fitness lifestyle is so much more than just burning calories and building muscles. It is about fostering the opportunity to grow your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. Embrace the lifestyle and enjoy the evolution!