By Lauren Denos: 4/1/2015 (Fitness)

Exercise is not just about weight loss, it is so much more. The trouble is when people only see it as a means to lose weight, they see it as a short term activity, sometimes torture. When you see it that way, it is just something to deal with and push through for a few months, and then you can go back to what you were doing before. But this mindset will not get you the strong healthy body you desire.

Instead of going that route, pay attention to the things working out is improving for you that has nothing to do with weight loss. If you do it for these reasons, you are much more likely to put a positive spin on your workouts and keep them up for life.

First, find something you actually enjoy doing for exercise. I have talked about this a lot, but it rendering mentioning again. This will make a huge difference and help you like working out and keeping the habit. It can be dancing, playing soccer, mountain biking, doing martial arts, surfing, lifting weights, etc. Whatever you actually enjoy. Now onto looking at the non-weight loss benefits of exercise.

Although weight loss and getting ripped seem to be at the top of everyone’s mind when it comes to working out, there are these things to look at, too:

#1 It can help with many mental aspects including: depression, anxiety, stress-management, moods and helps increase self-esteem. One of the big key factors of why this works is the hormones that get released when you workout. It is still theory of exactly how this works, but what we know so far is that when we exercise our brain and nervous system release endorphins that are natural opiates, which causes good feelings in the body. The body uses these hormones as natural pain relievers, and may be one of the key reasons we feel good after we workout.

#2 When you workout your blood vessels dilate, allowing for a greater volume of blood flow throughout your body. Exercise oxygenates the blood, therefore allowing for better transportation of oxygen throughout your system as well. This better blood flow, in turn, allows for better memory, and helps you feel more mentally alert. Plus, it helps you feel more energetic. Test this out next time you are tired (for reasons other than way too little of sleep). Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks or do some other kind of workout. Then pay attention to how you feel afterward. If you just did 2 or 3 jumping jacks, you may not notice a huge difference. Yet, when you go out for a 30 minute run, it is much more noticeable.

#3 Exercise makes every day activities easier. This simple fact should be enough to motivate anyone! When you are working out you will start to notice how your daily activities are much more effortless to perform. For example, if you are training your legs and going on some uphill runs, you’ll find that climbing the stairs at work or at home gets pretty easy and you won’t run out of breath so quickly. Or, if you are doing squats regularly, bending down to pick things up is not only easy, but you are also a lot more graceful while doing it.

#4 It helps increase your insulin sensitivity. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people have some sort of blood sugar issue, which is a staggering amount. The good thing is exercise is one great, cheap way to help keep control over your blood sugar problems. Exercise can increase insulin sensitivity for up to 16 hours after performed. This is why people with blood sugar problems should do some form of exercise every day. It is recommended to do a variety of cardio and weight training, regardless of what form you choose to do.

#5 Exercise strengthens your bones, helping to fight against osteoporosis. Our bones are living tissue just like the muscle in our bodies. When we use them, they get stronger and denser. As we get older, our bones get more brittle making accidents a little harder to bounce back from. Working out is very important for the health of you bones. The best kind of exercise is weight bearing, which is where you are working against gravity. Moderately heavy to heavy weight training has also been shown to be very beneficial, especially since it seems to be easy for most people to work their lower bodies out even with a run or dancing. However, for the cardio lovers, the upper body tends to get neglected often.

#6 It can help you see a different perspective on situations. Along with better lung capacity and stronger muscles comes a different perspective on problems. You may notice that issues in life that seemed hard before might not actually be that bad. This is common amongst many athletes. Because they are constantly challenging themselves with their physical training, they are going past their current limitations. They start to see things more like a challenge that they can overcome, verses something that will take them down. When you are working out and you want to stop and you tell yourself 5 more reps, 4 more, 3 more, 2 more, 1 more, you are learning that you can overcome anything that you would normally consider hard, because you do it every week in the gym.

This article is only touching on a few of the reasons of why exercising is good for you. You will no doubt have other reasons of why you want to add more in or continue exercise in your life. The point is to remember that you are doing this for more benefit than simply weight loss. Exercising is supposed to be part of your lifestyle, because it makes you more equipped to handle things in your daily life. Enjoy your life to the fullest!



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