It may have been easier to stick to an exercise routine during the summer months than now, as the weather turns colder. Walking in the same woods or meadows you may have walked in earlier this year isn’t as much fun if it has become a muddy mess. It can also be hard to find the motivation to run first thing in the morning when it’s still dark or the skies are gray, and the threat of snow is looming. If you’re just starting a new routine, it can be more difficult to get going, to reach the point where it becomes a regular part of your life. It is important to find a way to incorporate exercise into your life though. There are lots of benefits that may help to motivate you.
Improving your mood
Whether you suffer from depression or anxiety, find winter to be a difficult time to get anything done or the stresses of 2020 are causing you to struggle, getting into the habit of regular exercising can help to improve your mood. While it’s not a magical cure, it will make you feel better than if you stayed on the sofa and let your worries play over and over in your mind. Combined with professional help, you can feel the benefits that creating and sticking to an exercise routine can have, including major improvements on your state of mind. You can find help online, and check out online therapy reviews on Relief Seeker, before choosing which practitioner and treatment is the best option for you.
Reducing the risk of serious health problems
Another important benefit of an exercise routine is reducing the risk of numerous health issues, from diabetes (and all the complications it can lead to) to heart disease and stroke risks. Even if you are healthy, it’s important to stay that way. With the current pandemic still posing a risk, improving your immune system and doing whatever you can to reduce the chance of serious health issues can also determine how serious the virus will be if you do test positive. Giving yourself the best chance of staying fit and healthy is highly recommended.
You can also improve bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and hip fracture later in life by slowly building up your routine at your own pace.
Weight loss and improved stamina
Weight loss is the obvious benefit, and the one that most people mention as a reason for exercise. This can also lead to improved stamina. For example, if you started jogging every day or every other day at your current weight, you have to carry that mass, but as you lose weight, you have less to carry with you. In addition to having improved your level of fitness, you should be able to run further and faster. Walking or doing an online fitness class can have the same benefit. You may only be able to walk or follow the exercises for 10 minutes to start with if you haven’t been active for a while. However, as you persist, you will most likely improve and be able to build up the amount of time you spend on your chosen activity. Weight loss through diet alone won’t be as effective. Exercise builds up muscle mass, and muscle burns calories quicker.
Many people say that they get a post-workout glow after exercise. In addition, you’ll probably be drinking more water, which is also good for your skin. If you’re spending more time outdoors, this can benefit your skin, though you may want to make sure that you moisturize, especially if you’re out in certain weather conditions.
Exercise can help you sleep better. Being inactive for most or all of the day can lead to being more tired but unable to sleep at night, perhaps lying awake and overthinking everything, which can contribute to stress. Having something positive to focus on, such as a routine, can help to get your body into the pattern of sleeping at night, and both your mind and body will be able to function better in the day. Finding out what works best for you is important as everyone is different. It could be walking first thing in the morning to make sure that you feel like you’ve given yourself a good start to the day, or running just before you go to bed so that you fall asleep not long after your head hits the pillow. However, you might find that this gets you too hyped up to sleep, and yoga in the evening relaxes you and helps you to sleep through the night.
High energy levels
There’s no denying that you might feel exhausted when you first get started, but over time, you’ll start to notice higher energy levels, being able to do things you either couldn’t do before or might have struggled with. You will notice the difference not just when exercising but also in your everyday life. Even if you have chronic pain or any other medical conditions, you may be able to increase your energy levels and reduce the pain or other symptoms. Obviously, it’s always best to consult a doctor first though.
An exercise routine can also improve your memory and ability to concentrate. Perhaps this is linked to the increased blood flow to the brain, but different studies have proven that there is a link between regular exercise and an improvement in recalling information. You can even lower the chances of dementia.
Doing exercise regularly can also improve your confidence. This is probably linked to many of the benefits listed above. Losing weight and feeling more comfortable in your own skin, having better-looking skin, improved sleep, being able to concentrate on day-to-day tasks without getting distracted or tired, and generally feeling healthier will all contribute to an increase in confidence. This is reason enough to start an exercise routine. It may be difficult to get started in the winter months, but just think of all the benefits and remind yourself of them whenever you feel yourself flagging.