This blog post was written by Trevor Conrod, Fitness Coach at Nivati. You can see more of their content on the Nivati platform and on the Nivati blog. If you want to learn more about Nivati, click here.
Regular exercise has many benefits for our health and wellbeing. And while it's recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per week, that is easier said than done for many. From long work shifts to busy school schedules, it can be challenging to fit exercise into your weekly routine. This blog post will look at ways to achieve what some would call impossible: making time for exercise.
The Benefits of Exercise
We always hear, "Exercise is so good for you!" And while that is true, without fully grasping the benefits of fitness, we leave some incredible motivators on the table. Exercising for more than a personal goal, but for the host of other benefits it offers, can be a great way to stay consistent. Here are the top five benefits you can experience with regular exercise.
- A Daily Boost
Is "autopilot" a term you would use to describe your daily energy? If so, you are not alone. When overwhelm and stress takes over, our energy can quickly deplete and leave us on empty. An increase in energy is one of the benefits of consistent exercise.
When engaging in exercise, your body boosts oxygen circulation throughout the body. This circulation aids the mitochondria (the cell's powerhouse), allowing it to produce and more efficiently use energy. Not only that, but physical activity can also boost other hormones that aid your body in energy production.
- Strong & Sleepy
30-48% of adults struggle with some form of insomnia. And one possible cause of short-term insomnia is a lack of exercise. With little physical activity throughout the day, you have extra energy leftover at night. Or if you end up taking an overextended cat nap, you may be disrupting your nighttime sleep schedule.
Improved sleep quality is yet another benefit of exercise. Consistent physical activity can reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep and help your body achieve longer restorative sleep cycles.
- Happy Joints
When we think of ways to reduce aches and pains, exercise may not always be at the front of the mind. However, strength training and consistent physical activities have been shown to aid in reducing joint pain and other forms of arthritis.
An article from Johns Hopkins Arthritis Centers says, "Regular physical activity can keep the muscles around affected joints strong, decrease bone loss, and help control joint swelling and pain. In addition, regular exercise replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint and reduces stiffness and pain.”
- Weight Off the Shoulder
Exercise and balanced eating habits go hand and hand with weight loss and weight management. Does your day consist of long meetings or classes with little movement? An exercise break is a must for you! Along with burning calories, you will burn calories faster than you did previously after gaining muscle. This is because muscle requires more of your body's energy than fat does. All to say, your weight management process is in full effect.
- A Longer Life
A bold claim, right? Exercise and you will live longer? Not precisely, however, fitness has been shown to reduce early mortality by a staggering amount. Studies have shown that depending on your exercise consistency and intensity, reductions in premature mortality of any kind can reach up to 38%.
Obstacles Between Exercise
Now that we have a better grasp of fitness's incredible benefits, let's discuss how to fit exercise into your daily routine. One important thing to note before moving on is that any exercise is good exercise. Do not discount a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute bike ride as "nothing." If these are the durations you can fit into your schedule initially, that is ok. Focus less on the duration and more on the times per week you did the activity. One 40-minute workout is still less than spending 10 minutes daily each week.
The most common justification for avoiding fitness is a lack of time. However, this may not be the case if we get a little creative with our planning. First, take a complete overview of your day and asses your start and end times. Morning bird? Early morning fitness is a great way to warm and energize the body for the packed day ahead. But what about the evening? Evening fitness can be an excellent option for those looking to de-stress after a long work shift and wind down for a restful night's sleep.
Another great thing about exercise is that we can do it anywhere. Not a fan of traditional big-box gyms? Try out a group fitness class. The class will be structured for you, and you can enjoy the benefits of socialization and group interactions. Or how about a home workout? This is a great alternative for those looking to stay convenient and personal. But that's not all. Besides your everyday activities, simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or biking to work, are great options to get the blood pumping and the body feeling the self-love.
"My co-worker and I make sure to get our walks in after lunch. It's a great way to break up the busy shift and gets us both energized to take on the rest of the day." Betty S., Santa Energy. Betty is an excellent example of getting creative with where we find time to exercise. As mentioned before, Betty's walk is not a 40-minute intense workout but plays a huge role in keeping the body healthy. So add fitness when and where you can. Regardless of how long you can exercise, it benefits you.
Maintaining The Motivation
When understanding how to fit exercise into your daily routine, it's essential to remember that not every day will go as planned. We often expect perfection from ourselves, and we feel shameful when that impossible expectation is not met. This is a harmful way to approach any new routine and will only hurt your progress.
Approaching this new exercise plan should be done intentionally. If you are currently not getting any exercise in your weekly schedule, start by setting a day of the week to start. Regardless of what exercise option you choose, be intentional on that day. It can be a 10-minute walk or a 30-minute home workout. You give yourself a plan to build on by setting a definite date.
Understand the benefits, plan your exercise, and keep the health perks coming!
By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.