Top Reasons to Exercise

Whether we do it as often as we should or not, we all know that regular exercise is second only to a healthy, well-balanced diet when it comes to achieving and maintaining good health.  Below, we look at a few of the top benefits of regular exercise, including some that go beyond the obvious physical fitness side of things.  One of the best things about regular exercise is that its benefits are available to all of us, regardless of gender, age, or current health status.

The physical benefits

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In a time when so many of us are overweight, one of the main benefits of regular exercise remains weight management.  When combined with a healthy diet, exercise is the best way to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.

If you have been diagnosed with diseases or conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol, regular exercise can be one of the keys to managing your condition.  Those with joint and muscle issues can also benefit from regular exercise.  Regular exercise, especially cardiovascular exercises (like walking or swimming), can be great at improving circulation, which helps manage a number of different conditions.  Of course, never engage in any exercise regimen that your doctor has advised you to avoid.

Regular exercise can definitely increase your energy levels, which can make it easier to get through a long, busy day.  Also, as long as you don’t exercise too soon before going to bed, you are very likely to find that you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly if you exercise regularly.

The psychological benefits

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Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and may even help fight depression.  A little brisk cardio releases chemicals and hormones that have been proven to boost your mood and energy levels.

Engaging in regular exercise is good for you.  Knowing that you’re doing something good for your health can make you feel better about yourself.  Additionally, once you start seeing the benefits of your hard work, you might even see your self confidence begin to grow.  Also, as friends, family members, and coworkers see the change in you, they might be inspired to follow your lead, something else you can feel great about!

Other benefits

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If your lack of energy and lowered self esteem resulting from “letting yourself go” have had a negative impact on your sex life, re-igniting that spark can be another benefit of regular exercise.  If you’re single and looking, increased self confidence in addition to looking your best can also make you more likely to be noticed by others, giving you a better chance of meeting someone new.

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for more adult conversation or a busy professional looking to extend your personal or business network, exercising in a gym or other group setting (or even connecting with like-minded exercisers through an online group) can be a great way to make new friends.  If you share exercise as a common interest, you’re also more likely to help each other stay motivated.

To achieve the most benefits possible, try to include both cardiovascular exercise (like walking, jogging, dancing, or swimming) and weight training exercises.  You should aim for at least two hours of moderately-intense or at least one hour of vigorous exercise per week.  Again, if you have any underlying health conditions, make sure you follow your doctor’s advice on recommended exercises or regimens.

Here’s Why You Should Hire a Personal Trainer

If you’re trying to get in better shape, you might be considering hiring a personal trainer to help you achieve your goals.  Hiring a trainer can be costly, though, and maybe you’re wondering if it’s actually worth the expense.  Can a trainer really tell you anything you don’t already know?  In a nutshell–probably so.  There’s a ton of information available to us today that can certainly help us reach our fitness goals.  There’s also a ton of misinformation.  A certified personal trainer can help you separate fitness fact from fiction and fads and help tailor a routine that best suits you.  Also, a trainer can be a great cheerleader in your corner.  Below, we’ll discuss a few reasons that make hiring a personal trainer a good idea if you can afford it.

Personalization

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A trainer can work with you and develop a program based on your age, gender, current weight and fitness level (or lack thereof), and any health concerns you might be facing.  There is no true one-size-fits-all way to get in shape.  A qualified trainer understands this and will know what exercises or regimens best fit your needs.  Many trainers can also share great nutrition information that can further help you on your journey while taking any current health issues into consideration.

Since part of a personal trainer’s job is to monitor your progress, he or she will also be able to modify your program if it doesn’t seem to be working as well as you’d both like.  Since different bodies respond to different workout programs in different ways, having a trainer to guide you can save you the aggravation of trying to stick with something that “everybody” is raving about by knowing when it’s time to try something else.

Education

Another part of a personal trainer’s job is to share with you some of their knowledge.  Trainers understand how muscles work together and why one exercise might be better than another.  They also have the knowledge to help you sort through some of the fitness hype that’s so prevalent today.  They can give you true pros and cons of different trending workouts and programs, some of which might be phenomenal for some, but awful for you.

Safety

Many people sustain exercise-related injuries because they aren’t doing the exercises properly.  Improper use of free weights or weight machines is not going to get you the results you want, and could cause minor to very serious injuries.  A trainer can teach you proper technique and form, which lessens risk of injury and increases chances of success.  If you have ongoing health issues, a trainer can steer you away from exercises that could do more harm than good and explain why other exercises are more beneficial to you.

Support

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Having a trainer is like having your own coach and cheerleader in one.  His or her reputation and livelihood rest on clients being satisfied, so your trainer could actually be even more motivated for you to succeed than you are! It can be hard to stick with a routine on our own.  Making a commitment to a trainer makes us more likely to show up and stick with it.

In addition to being there to offer guidance, education, and motivation, personal trainers are also there to help us celebrate our victories, both great and small.  This can be critical in raising and maintaining our level of confidence in ourselves and our goals.

In short, the expense of a personal trainer is well justified if you want truly informed guidance to help you reach your goals, the support to help you see it through and celebrate milestones, and knowledge that you can take with you and use long after your contract has ended.