Change your life with fitness, what’s your why?
You may asking yourself “change your life with fitness, what does that even mean?”. Well let’s talk about why you’re looking to get involved with fitness. Is it because we want to lose weight, is it because we want to look good, or is it because we simply know that in some way, shape, or form, we know that it’s good for us? If you’re looking to make fitness a part of your life, here’s a great article about how to begin your journey!
That’s the question we ask ourselves. Why do we exercise? Each person has a different reason. Some of the most common reason people exercise are the following:
Enjoy who we see in the mirror
Build strong, attractive muscles
Manage different illnesses
Decrease likelihood of disease
Build a stronger connection with our partner via partner workouts
How does exercise help us manage stress?
The body is a complex thing. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different chemical processes and things going on in the body at any given time. When you think about it, it truly is an amazing thing. That somehow, our body is able to react perfectly in sync with the things that are going on around us at all moments. And what do we do to thank our body for all of these amazing adjustments? We go to work, we stress, we come home, we stress, we go to bed, and then do it all again the next day. By becoming involved with exercise you truly can change your life with fitness. Let’s talk about that.
Chronic Stress Reduction
Stress is something that over time can take a real toll on our body. This in turn can affect us mentally as well. Chronic stress is something that occurs over time. It can be caused by things that happen to all of us, including being late to work, having a bad day, relationship issues, and an entire other host of causes. So what?
Being under stress is something that we all suffer from, but why does it really matter? We’ve all been told that stress is bad, but up until I learned the physical science behind it, I did what everyone else does, push it aside and say “yeah yeah whatever”. Dealing with stress is just one of the ways you can change your life with fitness.
Cortisol’s Effect On The Body
When we’re under stress, our body releases a chemical called cortisol. When this chemical is released it essentially helps us with our “fight or flight” response. This fight or flight response is activated when we put ourselves in a stressful situation. It’s important to note that this response is extremely important! That is until we are in this mode for more and more time each day.
Cortisol continues to be released which actually breaks down the storage forms of glycogen and other areas we store excess energy from the food we eat. This creates accessible energy for us during these times of stress. Well, that’s good right?! Well, actually no.
When we are living a stressful life, we continue to break down these energy stores so we can have accessible energy. Eventually, our body reuptakes these excess amounts of energy and stores them as fat. OH NO, so what can I do to decrease this reaction?
The Pleasure Chemical
One of the answers to this is EXERCISE. By exercising regularly, we release other chemicals in our brain called endorphins. One specifically named dopamine is released in our brain when we exercise. This chemical is called our “Pleasure” chemical and is essentially why after exercise our stress levels decrease, and our feelings of pleasure increase resulting in our elevated mood post-workout! Just another great benefit to help you change your life with fitness.
Exercising Can Help Us Lose Weight
Exercise In Combination With Diet
Duh right?! Well, believe it or not we have a saying in the fitness world “You cannot out-train a lousy diet”. Get your diet right if you’re hoping to lose weight. It’s so much easier to cut out that donut that costs you 200 calories than go out and jog for a half hour to burn 200 calories. The choice is yours.
Increase Lean Muscle To Burn More Calories
The real benefits of weight loss by utilizing exercise come from the fact that by exercising you can increase the amount of lean muscle you have on your body which actually causes you to burn more fat due to the increase in metabolic rate.
Essentially this means by adding lean muscle, you’re burning more calories per day due to the fact that muscle burns more calories than fat. You also release a flood of chemicals in your brain that help you feel better after exercise as mentioned above!
Increase Your Mental Clarity
The Dreaded Mental Fog
Have you ever gone to work in the morning or woken up, and felt what I like to call “the mental fog”. You’re up and you’re awake, but for some reason… you just don’t feel all there. I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too. It sucks. One way of overcoming this problem is by getting yourself up and moving in the morning!
Decreasing Mental Fog
Something as simple as a minute of jumping jacks will increase your blood flow and start bringing the nutrients you need which are in your blood, to different parts of your body (including your brain). Other ideas for movement in the morning include: Doing 3 sets of 10 pushups, take your dog for a walk, go for a short jog around the block, or even go up and down your stairs for a little while. Get your body moving and you’ll be starting your day ready to succeed!
Drink More Water
What else can you do in the morning to help increase your mental clarity? GET WATER INTO YOU!
At night we go 6-9 hours without drinking and fluids. We lose water when we sleep due to our body breathing, regulating temperature, and doing other essential bodily functions. Thank your body for all the hard work it’s been doing while you sleep, but indulging it in a nice big glass of water.
It can be tought to start your journey, if you find that you’re lacking the motivation to begin, consider giving this a read. I hope this article has given you some insight on how efficient exercise is in order to help change your life with fitness.