Alright, let’s be honest – it never was just for your body, but your body does all the heavy lifting, which is why some of us avoid it. It’s one thing to know how good exercise is for you. It’s another thing to do something about it, especially if it feels like your days are already too full, and you’re exhausted by the end of those very full days. Starting anything new can feel like a pain.
Fortunately, you can start off slow, and you can start off with only the amount of exercise you need. For adults, the average is considered to be 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or, if you’re ready to push it, 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.
What Does Exercise Do for You?
We can skip the stuff everyone talks about – losing weight, toning muscle, etc, etc. There are some internal benefits that really help your overall wellness that are incredibly important to consider, beyond your weight.
- Your mood and mental health can improve due to the chemical released during exercise
- Your cognitive skills can be kept sharp – judgment, learning and thinking can all be kept up due to the proteins and chemicals released during exercise
- Your risk of heart disease decreases because you are increasing blood flow and strengthening your heart when you exercise
- Exercise helps your body manage insulin and blood sugar levels
- It can help you quit smoking
- It can reduce your risk of some cancers
Exercise can also help strengthen bones, as well as muscles, improve your sexual health, improve your sleep and generally help you live longer.
If you’re not the type of person to do this on your own, or perhaps you need a little motivation, exercising with family, friends or other groups might help motivate you. These don’t just have to be exercise-centric functions, either. If you plan something fun to do with a social group, you’ll have a reason to run there and back.
If organizing this yourself or depending on someone else to set it up seems like too much, you can also join an exercise class, or a hiking group or a sports team. The challenge can be fun, but also make it something you enjoy. Doing what you love while also exercising is a perfectly healthy goal.
Starting an exercise routine or regimen can seem daunting. Exercising at all can often feel like a chore. When you look at the benefits to your mind alone, though, it’s worth it to try and do whatever your body can handle, and work up to your new ideal exercise routine. Whether exercising with a group or on your own, or doing it for the stats on your fitness tracker or smart watch, staying motivated is key, but so is finding a healthy motivation. Like putting on an oxygen mask in a plane, it isn’t selfish to do it for yourself first, it’s the smart thing to do.