We often hear "weight loss" as a primary reason to exercise. However, we often forget that exercise has many other health benefits, irrespective of weight. Seeing results in the gym doesn't just mean physical results, it can also mean improved mental, emotional, and digestive health!
Here are 11 health benefits of exercise:
Reduces anxiety, stress, and depression
Increases self-esteem and confidence
Enhances sex life (for both men and women)
Improves cognitive function
Increases muscle mass and strength
Maintains bone health
Improves balance and flexibility
Prevents or manages chronic diseases, such as: cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dementia
Improves digestive health
The key to unlocking these potential benefits of exercise is to choose physical activity that you actually enjoy! This makes exercise easier to begin, and also increases the likelihood that you will stick with it. Try a group fitness class, dance class, or pick activities you can do with friends and family - such as bike riding, swimming, skating, or try a team sport, such as basketball or soccer.
Home exercises can also be helpful if you're short on time, don't have access to a gym, or don't have available childcare. Here are a couple workout videos you can follow at home:
Whichever way you choose, try to elevate your heart rate at least once per day. Even if that means taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, parking your car furthest away in the parking lot, or going for a brisk walk outside during your lunch break. Adding in some resistance exercises (using weights or your body weight) is a bonus!
What ways do you enjoy daily physical activity? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!