The majority of us know that if you exercise and eat properly you will be rewarded with a healthy physique. For many people, that is where the benefits of exercise end… it’s completely about looks. But, just because you look a certain way does NOT mean you’re healthy by any means. You could be the fittest person on earth but if you have been conditioned (either by yourself, friends, family, or media) to think negatively and deny yourself your own love and self worth because you don’t look the same way a photoshopped woman on the cover of your favorite magazine does, you will never be happy.
We want everyone to know that there are benefits beyond a fit bod that accompany working out and eating well, and they are worth so much more than a superficial six-pack…
| MOOD & MENTAL HEALTH
Exercising leads to your body releasing endorphins, and endorphins cause a reaction in the brain that reduces the feeling of pain in the body. Endorphins can also emit a feeling of pleasure throughout the body while counteracting the effect cortisol(the stress hormone) has on your body. This mood-enhancing outcome of exercising is why so many people choose to go to the gym when they’re feeling down or are stressed out- not only will you feel happy and proud of yourself for taking care of your body but you will find you have a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude), which can affect the rest of your day/life in a seriously positive way.
Exercising increases blood flow, and blood carries oxygen throughout the entire body, including your skin. The more blood and oxygen is carried to your skin, the better the benefits. The Epidermis (skin) is your body’s largest organ, and exercising is one of the best ways to cleanse it (from the inside out, literally). We have an incredible amount of blood vessels in our face and they are very close to our skin. The increased amount of oxygen being delivered to our face during exercise can leave a healthy glow for hours afterward… yes, please! Skin conditions, such as acne, have been linked to high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body, and we know exercise helps to decrease the amount of cortisol in the body. Exercise also helps your body to produce collagen which is what makes our skin firm, elastic, and supple! Just another reason to get to the gym, right? While exercising can exacerbate some negative skin conditions (such as eczema or rosacea) the benefits far outweigh these temporary negative effects. These should not keep you from exercising, there are help and relief for these symptoms, and we recommend talking to your doctor or dermatologist to help find relief for severe skin problems.
Your metabolism is everything that occurs inside your body to ensure you stay alive… yes, the word metabolism means more than how quickly you digest food, and it is pretty dang important! During metabolism, some substances are broken down to provide energy for our cells, this is usually the process that people associate with the word “metabolism”. As we age it is more difficult for us to maintain our muscle mass, and the less muscle we have the slower our metabolism becomes. While your sex, genetics, and age are factors you can’t control for how your body maintains it’s metabolism, one way you help control it is… you guessed it: EXERCISE! The best ways to maintain muscle is by alternate training days with cardio interval training and weight lifting. As long as you consistently put effort into these two types of exercise styles weekly you should see and feel your metabolism take a healthy turn for the best.
Once you make healthy living part of your lifestyle you will begin to notice a shift if your professional life. It is only natural that once you’re getting a daily dose of endorphins your work life starts to change into a more positive experience. You will feel more energized, optimistic, and able to engage in difficult or even undesirable tasks. This outlook and attitude can rub off on others around you, and even attract the attention of like-minded people who respect such a great outlook on life making you stand out of the crowd as a role model and leader. The more confident you become at the gym, and in your own skin, the more confident you will become in every aspect of your life. Confidence is a major roll in success in your professional life as well as personal. Dedication to health channels dedication to making a better life for yourself, which can lead you to work harder at your job and emitting a more positive vibe, which can only help you to achieve your personal life, career, and health goals.
Committing to a healthy lifestyle can make quite a change in your friendships. Some people can become irritated, scared, offended, or even jealous. While most people will be supportive and encouraging in your journey, others can become judgmental and put-off ending relationships in bad blood. While none of us ever want something like that to happen, it does, and the best thing to do is let go of everything holding you back and keeping you from reaching happiness. On the opposite note, starting your journey down the path to health can attract like-minded people and form new, lasting friendships that can continue to help motivate you, especially when you have lost sight of your motivation and inspiration (it happens to all of us).
There is a healthy cycle that occurs when you begin to take care of your body, just as there is an unhealthy cycle that occurs when you treat your body poorly. Think about how you would feel if you were to wake up on a Monday morning and eat ice cream for breakfast, sit on your couch and watch tv, then go to work and drink a cup of coffee and snack on a few cookies. You won’t feel satiated, probably very thirsty, lethargic, and exhausted- certainly not in the mood to go to the gym after work or eat a salad for lunch. The choices you make can affect the rest of your day in the best or worst way. If you eat terribly and remain sedentary all day, every day, you will always feel weighed down, tired, weak, irritable, and unmotivated. If you chose to respect your body by eating a healthy, balanced diet and commit to exercising 3-5 days a week you will continually feel motivated to keep improving your life and taking care of yourself. Eating foods your body needs helps to reduce cravings for what it doesn’t need (cakes and pies and candy, etc) and provides you with nutrients to keep you energized, focused, in good spirits, and motivates you to keep making healthy choices so you can keep feeling so, so good.
The choice is up to you. You have to chose which cycle you wish to dedicate your life to.