LIKE THIS POST? Get these delivered right to your inbox

6 Reasons to Love Your Exercise Routine

Everyone knows that exercise is part of almost every healthy lifestyle, but it’s easier to convince yourself to do something when you’ve got a concrete list of benefits to look forward to. It’s hard to get yourself to the gym if your only motivation is “my doctor said I should.” Here are just a few of the concrete benefits that you can start enjoying as soon as you start exercising.

Physical Health

To get the obvious stuff out of the way: exercise is good for you. It can lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and lower the likelihood that you develop diabetes in the future. Those are not at all small benefits, they can be completely life changing, and life saving. However, they are all preventative. As grateful as you may be to not have a heart attack, it’s hard to motivate yourself on not having something. As much as you can tell yourself “this is good for me,” it’s hard to feel the benefits in a way that really motivates you. Instead, focus on the positive changes that exercise will make for you right now.

Creates Structure

Having a set time to exercise during the day and set days during the week helps create a structure to your weeks and days. Especially if you work from home, have irregular hours, or are a stay-at-home parent, that sense of structure can be life-saving. You know that on certain days you will do a workout, and on those days you will need to do your,pre workout warmup and your cool down routine afterwards. A set schedule creates a reliable routine of good habits that you can reinforce and rely on when things get tough. 

Increases Metabolism

Exercise also boosts your metabolism, which means you can eat more of the things you love, and that’s a benefit that you can start enjoying right away. Obviously you don’t want to get yourself into the habit of thinking that exercise is just a way to let you eat more food. Exercise is an end in and of itself, not a cheat code to let you eat more doughnuts. That said, there are good, practical reasons for wanting a faster metabolism, and getting to eat more of what you love is one of them.  

Gives you Energy

A faster metabolism also means more energy to do the things you love all day long. One of the side effects of exercise that’s a little counterintuitive is that while you might be completely wiped after a hard workout, the constant practice of working out every day will actually boost your energy levels overall. So you’ll have more energy all day, to do the things you really want to do. 

Helps you Sleep

Structure to your days and weeks, combined with reasonable amounts of exercise during the day means not only more energy all day, but also a regular and reliable sleep schedule. You’ll fall asleep more easily and wake up ready to run — literally. Sleep is essential to both your mental and physical health. 

Mental Health

Another side effect that’s a little harder to measure but no less important is the positive effect that all these factors combined can have on your mental health. Physical health, a structured routine, a better metabolism, more energy and a healthy sleep cycle are all building blocks for mental wellbeing. Exercising can help you burn off your anxieties and manage your stress. The importance of your mental wellbeing cannot be underestimated, and the role of exercise in helping you manage that wellbeing can be vital. 

Exercise isn’t a punishment for bad behavior but it isn’t a cure-all, either. It’s a fun and addictive activity with concrete benefits for your mind and body. It’s an end in and of itself, and well worth the time and energy you spend. It can be frustrating, especially when you’re just getting started, to build up the strength and the habits of exercise, but it will be well worth it in the long run.