We are three months into the new year and I’ll bet a lot of us have already forgotten or given up on our resolutions we made on New Year’s Eve. But I think with this new year, there’s a new way to to treat ourselves: Kindly. I think we could all use a break from our very loud, sometimes mean inner critic telling us all that we do wrong.
For that reason I did not list “losing weight” or “looking better” as one of my resolutions and I am not going to put it on this top ten list of reasons I need to work out. There are easily ten other reasons!
I’m more productive when I exercise. I get more done, quicker. Why? Studies prove that exercise increases concentration, enable us to soak in more information, work more efficiently, and be more productive.
Reduces my stress levels. I don’t know about you, but when I am stressed I can whip myself into a frenzy and get too busy to exercise. That’s when I need it the most. Virtually any form of exercise, from a walk to aerobics or yoga, can act as a stress reliever. It’s like meditation in motion—when I’m done I’ve often forgotten the day’s irritations because I’ve been focused on a single task—making it through the exercise. After that, I am energized and I can remain calmer.
Helps manage my autoimmune diseases. While it is counterintuitive, exercise can help control pain that’s associated with various conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia and lupus. And if you don’t have any issues—exercise reduces the risk of chronic disease.
Good for bone density as we get older. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Physical activity helps you build muscles and strong bones and may also help prevent osteoporosis. I’m short, I don’t need to be hunched over as well.
It’s a memory booster. Exercise causes the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size. It improves brain function and protects memory and thinking skills—and Lord knows, I need that!
Gives me a feeling of achievement. Sticking with something and seeing improvements in strength or competence makes me more confident. That confidence can flow into all other parts of your life which is a pretty good feeling.
Strengthens bond with your partner and improves your sex life! Going for hikes, walking the dog or going kayaking opens up communication, gives you something productive to talk about, and creates an even stronger bond. And that can make sex can be way more fun. Stamina is up, endurance is higher and flexibility is better. Enough said.
Balances moods. I’m relatively even-keeled and not moody. But I can’t say that for everyone in my family. And while it’s nice to know that science has proven that exercise balances moods, it’s even better when you see it at work in yourself or your family. It reduces irritability, decreases anxiety and raises the happiness factor. Basically it’s like free therapy!
Helps me sleep better. Sleep is a good thing. Having healthy and regular exercising patterns helps your biological clock set itself, and leads to ease in falling asleep and sleeping through the night better. We live in a busy world, and most of us can use as much sleep as we can get.
Makes me feel GREAT. My endorphins kick in and I am a happy mama. Happy mama leads to happy baby which leads to happy family.
Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, relax you, and lower the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. It can also improve your sleep which we moms all need. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of control over your body and your life. And what Mama doesn’t want that?