So you believe you don’t have the time to work out? Who has a spare hour or two a few times a week. Life is hectic, there’s the pressure of trying to build and excel in your career while still making time for friends and family. Once you start adding kids to the mix, time can get tight. Sometimes you want to spend the precious free time you have slumped on the couch, binge-watching Netflix and binge-eating Doritos (we’re Sweet Chilli Pepper people ourselves). We get it, but let’s say you just take part of that couch time and try to do something more with it? Keep reading to find out why fitting in fitness doesn’t have to be a schlep or take over your life. We’re also going to show you why it’s so hella important to get yourself moving – in whichever way works for you, and exactly how you can go about doing it.
Reasons on why should I start a fitness program
At first it could seem a bit counter-intuitive that when you exercise your body releases cortisol – the same hormone that rises when we experience stress. So how then, does exercise actually reduce stress? The answer is that it does this in several ways.
For most healthy people, the cortisol release returns to normal very soon after exercise and then the magic happens. Our bodies flood with dopamine and serotonin (the feel good hormones) and it triggers a reward response, more about this in a second. According to an article by Huff Post Healthy Living, exercise also counters the atrophying effects stress has on the brain by releasing neurohormones like norepinephrine that improve cognitive function and boost your mood. So essentially, when you workout, you are undoing a lot of the damage caused by the stress of a hard day at the office.
You enter your class, yoga. Because that makes you zen right? The breathing and stretching and searching for your higher self leads to a totally relaxed… everything. It’s a quiet safe space and you have managed to twist your body into a happy baby pose. and whoops!. You farted. Well, it was bound to happen sometime. You furtively look around to see if anyone noticed. They did. Guess what. it happens to everyone. The link between yoga and farting is scientifically proven! Yoga is all about twisting your body into positions it had no idea it could be twisted into. This includes those internal organs where farts originate.
Increases energy and boosts productivity
How does exerting energy give you more energy? Our bodies are magic like that. One way is that regular exercise, like a gym program, improves sleep quality and leaves you feeling more rested and alert. Another, as Pete McCall, exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise tells acefitness.org, exercise increases “blood flow carrying oxygen and nutrients to muscle tissue improving their ability to produce more energy”. So with regular exercise, our bodies become more efficient at converting fuel to energy, helping sustain us through a busy day.
Makes you feel better about yourself
We’ve touched on how regular exercise, like a gym program or team sports, triggers the release of the feel good hormones and engages the brain’s reward system. On a physiological level your brain is rewarding your body for a certain action. On a psychological level, you know you’ve just done something good for yourself, giving you a sense of achievement and a sense of investment in your own health and wellbeing. Looking at Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs below, we can see you’re attending to at least two of the basic human needs, according to modern psychology.
Keeps you from getting sick
Exercise can boost your immune system and help prevent diseases, even reducing the number of colds and flu contracted per year. According to fitday.com, doctors have found that regular exercise boosts the cells in your body whose job it is to attack germs and bacteria. They have found that in sedentary individuals, these cells seem to function more slowly that in those who partake in some form of regular exercise. Therefore if you follow a regular workout plan, your body is better equipped to fight of illness, by attacking bacteria quickly, often before it has a chance to make you sick.
Use the weekend for your weak end
Ok so this one isn’t exactly during your workday, but combining the incremental increase in movement in point one with a couple of good sessions over the weekend will do a lot to improve your overall fitness. Most of us do our overindulging over the weekend and according to sleekgeek.co.za, it’s pretty much human nature, but there are things we can do to mitigate the damage it does to an otherwise healthy lifestyle. One of these is to fit in a gym session or two, as you’re statistically less likely to overindulge after a good workout (you can thank those magic happy hormones again).
Include your family
Feeling a bit guilty a bit guilty about taking the time away from the family? Bring them along! According to psychologytoday.com, couples who work-out together see increased levels of intimacy as they work towards a common goal. Take the kids for a walk to the park or bring them along to the gym. Creating a culture of fitness within your family, gives your kids a health and fitness foundation that sets up for a healthier lifestyle as they grow into adulthood.
Put the screens away
Use your workout time as vital “downtime”. We’re all aware of the importance of “unplugging” and having time away from screens, When you consider the time we spent at our computers, on our phones and tablets and watching TV, the percentage of our day spent looking at a screen is staggering. Instead of running on the treadmill in front of a television, or catching up on a show while you’re on the stationary bike, use the time as a meditation of sorts. Think about the day you’ve had or the day ahead, what did you enjoy? What are you looking forward to? What do you want to achieve tomorrow? Using your workout for introspection can help improve your sleep quality as you’re not lying awake replaying your day while you’re trying to fall asleep. Similarly, forbess.com makes a case for creating dedicated worrying pockets in your day and using that as a practice to reduce stress and anxiety. Your 20 minutes on the treadmill could be your worry pocket, and do a lot to reduce overall stress.
This article was proudly sponsored by VivaGym.
Justrewards Lifestyle members can save up to 35% off their month to month membership with VivaGym.
VivaGym is Your Gym.
If you enjoyed the article, why don’t you leave a comment below to tell us other reasons you may think people should begin a fitness program. Or maybe share this article with family or friends who may also enjoy the read.
Justrewards, your guide to health and wellness