The top reason people usually choose to get healthy is to lose weight and look good. While there is nothing wrong with loving your image, there are other reasons for getting fit. Without other motivations, people may be content to stay in an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are 13 Reasons why you should consider a lifestyle upgrade even if you are happy just the way you are:
1. You will relieve stress
You wake up, stumble to the kitchen and pour yourself a cup of ambition - and that’s only the first three minutes of your hectic non-stop day. Add in work, traffic, family, social media, news, and your landlord expecting you to pay the rent every single month and no wonder you are stressed. It’s easy to forgo a healthy meal and your workout routine when you just want to crawl into bed with a bag of chips. However, the Mayo Clinic says sticking to the plan can make you feel calmer, and relieve that stress monster knotting up your shoulder. According to Harvard Health, getting your sweat on can reduce the body’s stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline. But wait, there’s more. As an added bonus, it can produce endorphins, which are these feel-good chemicals that act as a completely natural, and totally legal painkiller. That is one simple way to boost your mood and say Namaste.
2. Your boss will appreciate it
When working 9 to 5 it is easy to fall into the drone patterns of eating quick take-out food and unhealthy snacks while sitting for hours at a time. According to Population Health Management, these habits are linked to a 66% increased risk of low productivity in the workplace. When you forgo a workout, you are 50% more likely to have low productivity. With bad food clouding your brain power and lack of exercise causing you to miss out on a good night’s sleep, you may not be helping your company’s bottom line. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly sleep better and have an easier time concentrating. So when you are considering that 4 pm donut and skipping out on your evening jog, think about that promotion you want. Take that walk you were meaning to take because a healthy you can help your boss and may just walk you right into that corner office.
3. You will save money
Those dollar value meals aren’t really a good value when you add it all up at the end of the year. Not only does your wallet take a hit but your arteries do as well. Preparing healthy meals at home is economical money and time-wise. Meal prep isn’t just a fun trend. It can really help make your life easier and improve your health in the long run. It will help you eat less, with pre-proportioned meals, and you know what goes into your meals, assuring that you are consuming healthy foods. That’s a better value than trying to fill up on empty calories. Consider the time and care you spend now as an investment and preventative medicine for the future. You may have fewer medical bills since a nutritious diet and active lifestyle can prevent chronic diseases.
4. You can relieve allergies
It’s hard to breathe deep through those deadlifts when you can’t breathe at all. Allergies are a nuisance in general, but when you need all your lung capacity, clear eyes, and full hearts, it’s a total drag. Congestion and sneezing can be enough to sideline you during Spring Fever. However, according to Total Gym Direct, getting that blood flow pumping can pump those allergens right out of your system. Plus, Faith And Fitness, points out that improving blood flow can prevent inflammation in the tissues around your nose, mouth, and lungs. That can help relieve sinus congestion. If you still need a little extra help clearing the passageways you can always take a decongestant or hit the steam room after your workout.
5. You can ease PMS
It’s easy to reach for a bottle of Advil and eat them like they are M&Ms but if you want a healthier way to ward off cramps and mood swings, give cardio a try. Greatist cites one study done with teen girls who performed 60-minute cardio sessions for 8 weeks and found that their PMS was drastically reduced. Another helpful cure is a healthy diet. Chocolate is always a go-to at that time of the month but fiber can ease bloating and food with magnesium, like leafy greens, can lessen cramps. No word out on the effect of watching Beaches.
6. You can finally quit
Consider exercise and eating right as the best diet ever. Whatever you are trying to resist, running can give you a high that will replace your vice of choice, be it cigarettes, alcohol, or Jamocha Fudge. According to Greatist, scientists that studied endorphins found it to have the same effect on the brain as addictive substances. The brain chemicals released are a high. In this study, the mice they were using eventually chose using a treadmill to a fix of amphetamines. So there is hope for those of us who dread hoping on it every morning.
7. You can clear up your skin
They say beauty comes from within. If that is true, you are in a world of trouble if within you is a bunch of Sour Patch gummy worms and Dr. Pepper. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, what you eat can affect your skin and controlling your diet can have a role in preventing breakouts. While there are other factors that may cause acne, environmental, and hormonal, etc., the one you can control is what you are eating. A big blemish that suddenly appears could have been caused by sugar, dairy, or processed items that sound like they were made in a chemistry lab. So if you’re using lots of scrubs and mud masks to no avail, try eating organic and healthy foods for that peaches and cream complexion.
8. You can improve your sleep
There is a reason that prisoners of war are kept from sleeping as a form of torture. It makes you feel all sorts of crazy, and your body doesn’t function well. Your first instinct when you can’t sleep is to want to sleep more. But what if the secret was to try to stay awake. Really awake. Getting moving and introducing vigorous exercise into your daily routine can snap an insomnia spell. The Sleep Foundation studied more than 2,600 men and women and found that even two hours of exercise a week led to a 65% improvement in sleep quality. That means they had an easier time falling asleep, staying asleep and felt more alert and less cranky during the day. Which is great for the person…and a bonus for everyone around them.
9. You may live longer
One of the benefits of living a healthy life is that you may get more of it to spend. Not to say that salads and sit-ups will let you live forever, but they do go a long way in letting you live longer. According to Harvard Health, regular exercise can help lower your blood pressure which will lower chance of heart disease. It also helps to control blood sugar levels and that can you sidestep diabetes. There is also some evidence that exercise can reduce the risk of cancer. Colon cancer was reduced in men by 24% and lung cancer by 20%, which makes that the most valuable pick-up game ever. With all of these possibilities of sending Father Time and his pal with the scythe packing, there is no reason not to get that heart rate up.
10. You can improve your brain function
The cliché used to be that athletes in school weren’t that bright because they spent all their time running around on the field. Now there is evidence that those practices and games helped to make them just as smart as the brainy kids. When oxygen to the brain is cut off, people are at risk of becoming comatose. So it makes sense that the opposite is true. More regular oxygen flow to the brain can help it function and create healthy brain cells. According to Time magazine exercise of the physical variety can lower your risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well as slow down your brain from aging by a decade. Not only that but a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine even differentiates on which type of exercise you can do, depending on what part of your brain you want to boost. The study showed that aerobic exercise improved cognitive function while lifting weights can improve memory. So instead of hitting the books, next time hit the bags, and you will be doing your heart, and your brain, a favor.
11. You will have less sick days
If you are sick to death of taking days off to nurse a cold, then you need a way to keep yourself in good health. While eating healthy foods and getting enough vitamin D and C are smart ways to improve your immune system, an overlooked way of shielding whatever flu is flying around is good ole fashioned exercise. According to Medline, there are several theories on how working out can keep you from coming down with something. Physical activity helps to flush bacteria out of your lungs, and you sweat out harmful toxins. Getting your heart rate up also gives a boost to your white blood cells which help fight off disease. It also lowers stress levels which when left unchecked, can weaken the immune system. You don’t even have to train hard. A simple half-hour walk a few days a week can greatly improve your resistance. In no time you’ll go from patient zero to zero days off.
12. You will ease depression
There are many reasons that depression can hit hard. Whether it be chemical, seasonal, or situational, a wave of mental illness can hit like a ton of bricks. There are many important solutions, like anti-depressants, and cognitive therapy, however, according to Greatist, one study has shown that exercise may hold a key to improvement. Subjects who suffered from depression and exercised regularly for four months showed great improvement. 60% of the subjects claimed their depression had lifted completely. While exercise only is not the treatment for everyone, it is a great supplement and a nice mood booster for some who are down in the dumps or suffering from SAD.
13. You can have better sex
If none of the above reasons move you, this one might be the one to get you running. Ace Fitness claims that regular physical activity can improve your sexual performance. According to the Huffington Post, a study at Emory University found that men who exercised more had fewer instances of erectile dysfunction. And practicing the horizontal hula can help the ladies too. By working on their abs and core, women can build a stronger pelvic floor. So, get moving as a couple in the gym and reap the benefits in the bedroom.