Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of our lives. The first steps are always the most challenging. We have all been there, done that. We have spent too much time lounging on the couch, eating junk food, downing drinks and basically taking our health for granted for way too long. We procrastinate and delay and give ourselves too many reasons to avoid exercising.
However, here are just five reasons to help you get off that oh-so-comfortable couch and start working out!
WHY SHOULD YOU START?
- Because you love yourself: Don’t work out because you hate your body, but because you love it. Working out is not about punishing yourself, it’s about pushing yourself to test your limits, to get healthy, to get fit. Don’t let a flight of stairs make you feel breathless or carrying those heavy bags from the supermarket make you feel tired. What you give your body in tiny portions every day will go a long way in the future.
- Because it boosts your energy, immunity and your mood: This may sound contradictory, but working out and exercising actually helps to overcome fatigue. It boosts your energy level even in daily activities. It improves posture, increases oxygen levels and releases endorphins in your blood stream. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body. Exercise also improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs, and muscles.
- Because it improves memory and intelligence: Exercise improves cognitive functioning like memory, reasoning, intelligence and attention span to name a few. As oxygen flows more freely to your brain, the part of your brain involved in planning and reasoning benefits immensely particularly in situations that require you to respond quickly. Memory also benefits from a general lowering of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Because it makes you more productive and creative: One of the direct benefits of improved cognitive abilities is the boost in productivity and creativity. Exercising is all about achieving goals, be it short-term or long term. This instills a habit and attitude in us which makes us more goal-driven even in our daily activities. Exercising is also associated with improved divergent and convergent thinking, which are considered the two pillars of creative thinking; the former involves thinking of multiple solutions for one problem, while the latter involves thinking of one solution for a problem. Two very famous examples are Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg who prefer ‘walking meetings’ instead of the regular ones.
- Because it can be a whole lot of fun to work out: The trick is to choose an exercise routine that works for you and that you enjoy. So, take that dance class you always wanted, go for a hike or learn any form of martial arts. It gives you a chance to unwind, spend some ‘me-time’, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. After all, the more fun you have while doing something, the more likely you are to stick to it!
So, get out there and get that body to work. Have fun in the process and there is no way you will ever regret it!!