Maybe you are in the contemplation stage of starting an exercise routine; you think it’ll be good to start being healthier and you are ready to make the jump. Congratulations! Now, let me tell you why you should take the jump.
Exercise has a ton of benefits that are short term and long term.
Exercise also leads to immediate and lifelong results if you keep at it.
Here are just a few short term benefits; you will sleep better. Have
you noticed you’ve been tossing and turning or having trouble falling
asleep? Well when you start exercising, you will start sleeping better
and almost immediately, as in, within the first few days! You will have
more energy. Not only are you now sleeping better, but exercise releases
a ton of natural chemicals that help you facilitate energy better. You
will WANT to eat healthier. Exercising helps you keep better control
over bad decisions when it comes to what you eat. You won’t want to work
so hard to be healthy just to put junk into your body. A long term
benefit of that is you will lose craving for junk! A few other long term
benefits of exercise are reduced risk for heart disease (the #1 cause
of death in the United States!), as well as decrease your risk for
diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, and even mental issues
and dementia as you age. Your memory will improve as well.
Benefits are great, but I know most people chose to start
exercising not only to be healthy but to look good, and that is when
results come into play! Exercise will help you shed fat, tone your
muscles, and feel great about yourself. Don’t get discouraged though if
you don’t wake up after day 1 looking like Miranda Kerr. In general, it
takes 4 weeks for friends and family to notice a change, 8 weeks for you
to notice a difference, and 12 weeks for strangers to realize a
difference. So don’t give up after the first few weeks! Not to mention,
you should start an exercise program because you want to have a healthy
lifestyle, not just look good. Long term benefits and results coincide; I
dare you to make a doctor appointment for a physical and get a full
blood work up done. Go back in 6 months for another physical and see how
much you’ve lowered your lipid and cholesterol levels. I guarantee you,
your doctor will give you a high five.
So you’ve been exercising for a few months, you are looking and
feeling good and then you hit a plateau. This is common! It is time to
switch it up or increase the intensity. When you first started, maybe
walking a few miles a week was enough to shed some pounds. Try jogging
or interval training, incorporate strength training, try a new class at
the gym. Don’t get discouraged, get innovative!
There are very few reasons a person shouldn’t exercise, but if
there is EVER a concern, talk to your doctor. They will lead you in the