Whether it’s a game of soccer, group class at the gym or a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a vacuum. Having a workout buddy not only makes it more fun, but it can also help you push harder during your sweat session.
And that’s a good thing! Here are nine ways working out will change your life:
1. You Will Feel Better
It’s pretty counter-intuitive to work out and feel more tired, but exercise has a way of boosting your endorphins (the good mood chemicals) which can make you feel energized. This is especially helpful in these stressful times.
Regular exercise can improve your sleep which feeds into almost all of the other benefits of working out. According to John Hopkins Medicine, moderate aerobic exercise can help you get more slow wave sleep and reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep.
Find ways to enjoy your workouts, like joining a fitness class with friends or finding an exercise video you love. Making exercising fun will help you stick to it over time.
2. You Will Look Better
Anyone who regularly lifts a weight, hits a yoga mat or runs on the trail knows that exercise such as svend press has many benefits beyond burning calories. It also helps you look better, both inside and out.
Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and reduces the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, which are all common risk factors for cardiovascular problems as we age.
Working out increases the size of your muscles, which creates a lean, toned physique that looks great. It also improves your skin tone and boosts the circulation that brings oxygen and nutrients to your cells.
Finally, exercising promotes deep and restful sleep which combats the aging effects of lack of sleep such as sagging skin, eye bags and premature wrinkles. In short, exercise makes you look younger and healthier in every way.
3. You Will Have More Energy
When you work out regularly, your body will have more energy. You’ll be able to get through your to-do list without feeling tired and sleepy. You’ll also be able to get a better night’s sleep because your body will be releasing all those helpful neurotransmitters mentioned above.
A good way to boost your energy is by exercising outdoors. Just a 20-minute walk, yoga session or bike ride can do more for you than a cup of coffee or energy drink.
You’ll also find that you have more energy if you work out at the time of day when you feel your best. This could be first thing in the morning, right before lunch or even on the weekend. Ideally, you’ll want to work out at least three times per week. This will help you see the biggest results and keep your energy levels consistent.
4. You Will Be More Confident
Our bodies were made to move, and working out can help us feel more confident about our own abilities. LIVESTRONG notes that if you keep up a consistent routine, you will likely see long-term improvements in your body that will build your self-esteem.
Aim for a mix of cardio workouts (like running, swimming, cycling or walking) and strength training like weight lifting or bodyweight exercises. And don’t be afraid to “date” different types of workouts until you find the ones that make you feel strong and capable, says McSpadden.
And if you find yourself struggling at the gym, remember that everyone had to start somewhere. Learn the high-traffic times and stick to a plan that works for your schedule. You’ll get the hang of it soon enough. And enlist a gym buddy to help you stay accountable and motivate each other.
5. You Will Be More Successful
We all want to be successful in our careers and personal lives. However, not everyone is willing to put in the work it takes to achieve that success. Those who are, have discovered that working out is one of the most important tools for boosting their success.
Exercise has a calming effect and helps relieve stress by increasing brain chemicals. This makes it easier to concentrate and think clearly. This is why many entrepreneurs and freelancers claim that their fitness routine is a major component of their success.
So the next time you think about skipping your workout, remember that it’s not just a waste of your time — it’s an investment in your future success. You’ll thank yourself later.
6. You Will Be More Healthy
Exercise can make you healthier by keeping your weight under control, lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and protecting your mental health. Combined with a healthy diet, it can also help you ward off cancer and other illnesses. Regular exercise also keeps your bones and muscles strong, and can even slow down the aging process.
Whether you’re an avid gymgoer, a class-taking enthusiast or a person who prefers at-home workouts for whatever reason, it can be hard to stick to your fitness goals. But don’t give up! Even small changes in your daily routine can reap huge benefits. You’ll find that your body and mind will thank you for it. Especially when you can tackle day-to-day tasks with ease because of improved balance, strength and fitness. Your brain will actually grow as you work out too!
7. You Will Have More Time
Whether you are a gym goer, a regular fitness class attendee or someone who has had to pivot to at-home workouts during the coronavirus pandemic, successful exercise means moving regularly. And while your workout routine may look different now than it did a couple of months ago, the benefits remain the same.
Working out is a great way to release stress and feel happier. Plus, your muscles and bones will get stronger, so doing day-to-day tasks (such as carrying groceries or climbing a flight of stairs) will be a breeze.
Showing up for your workouts cultivates discipline, which is useful for many things in life, from launching a business to staying in a relationship. And a strong support system—a fitness fam or friends that work out together—can also help keep you motivated. Just like brushing your teeth, exercise should be a part of your daily routine.
8. You Will Be Less Stressed
Working out is not a magic cure-all for day-to-day stress, but it’s one of the most effective ways to help. It curbs levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline (as long as you’re not overdoing it) while flooding the body with feel-good endorphins and calming brain chemicals.
You’ll also sleep better as you get into a regular exercise routine. Experts recommend getting at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five days a week, although it’s okay to break it down into three 10-minute workout sessions if you can’t fit all that in.
You’ll likely feel sore at first, but don’t let that discourage you from sticking with a fitness regimen. The soreness will decrease as your body adapts to the new movement and starts building muscle memory. This is known as the “repeated bout effect.” The more you exercise, the less sore you’ll be.
9. You Will Have More Friends
Even if you’re working out alone, your exercise will feel like less of a chore if you have a friend or exercise partner to motivate you. You are also more likely to keep up your workout schedule when someone else is counting on you. You don’t want to let them down, and you will push yourself harder to meet their expectations.
Gyms typically have common areas where people can interact casually and strike up conversations, especially during peak hours before and after work. Additionally, many gyms have clubs and communities that offer opportunities to connect with other members who share similar interests.
Attending these events is a great way to make new friends and get the social interaction you need. You can also find new friends by taking a class or joining a group fitness team.