Ten Reasons to Exercise Regularly

Most people understand the significance of exercise in general terms, but listing some of its specific benefits clarifies why exercise improves everyone’s quality of life.

1. Exercise increases your lifespan.
The average lifespan in America as of 2011 was 78.7 years. Countries like Slovenia have surpassed us in this regard due largely to Americans making poor lifestyle choices. Among other things, exercise reduces your chances of getting cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It also strengthens your bones, clears your arteries, and lowers your blood pressure. These and other health benefits spell longer life.

2. Exercise improves your appearance.
Exercise reduces body fat and oxygenates the body. Hence, people who exercise tend to have better complexions and svelter physiques than those who don’t.

3. Exercise helps you feel better about yourself.
Exercise allows you to reduce stress and blow off steam in productive ways through the stimulation of certain brain chemicals. Combine this with an improved physical appearance, and you’ll feel happier, more relaxed, and increasingly confident.

4. Exercise increases your energy level.
Exercise increases endurance and improves muscle strength. A stronger heart and deeper lung capacity lead to higher energy levels. This allows you to accomplish considerably more while taking in the process with greater acuity.

5. Exercise improves the economy.
U.S. healthcare spending has reached around $3.7 trillion. Life-threatening conditions like heart attack, stroke, Parkinson’s, and cancer would be greatly reduced if more Americans exercised, which in turn would lead to a massive reduction in healthcare costs. This makes exercise an economically prudent and patriotic gesture.

6. Exercise teaches good habits that carry over into the rest of your life.
Regular exercise requires planning, to include short-, medium-, and long-term goals for those actively involved in serious exercise regimens. This planning includes inductive and deductive reasoning and a constellation of other necessary tasks, such as learning the mechanics of diet and other health science topics. Those who exercise turn their bodies into case studies in health and well-being. The discipline and critical thinking skills required, here, carry into the rest of one’s life.

7. Your mind works better when you exercise.
Exercise improves memory while slowing memory deterioration due to aging. Memory plays a central role in comprehension, imagination, and critical thinking. Exercise also accelerates neural activity, which means it helps you process information more quickly. In an increasingly complex and competitive world, we want to capitalize on every mental advantage we can, and exercise is an excellent way to do so.

8. You create new social circles for yourself when you exercise.
Since those who exercise share a common interest, they tend to band together in various ways and offer each other encouragement and support. Thus, anyone feeling isolated or insecure can often find exercise partners to alleviate these anxieties. Humans are highly social animals, and exercise offers the perfect opportunity to socialize in singularly productive ways.

9. Exercise allows you to connect with nature.
Exercise can get you out of the house and into the beautiful world surrounding you. Connecting to nature changes a person’s consciousness and energy level, and every day in nature is an endless exploration of the living planet. You never know what you’ll see next when you’re exercising outdoors.

10. You learn new things about yourself when you exercise.
Exercise is always a journey of discovery. You learn your limitations when you work out, but you also discover that you can accomplish far more than you had previously imagined. You gain clearer insight into how your body works, and when you exercise, you start seeing other people in a different light. You notice things like skin tone, energy level, and body motion in those around you. From this, you are better able to gauge your own physical progress and appearance. You lead a more enriching, purposeful life that makes you happier to be alive and sharing your experience with others.

If you haven’t exercised regularly in some time and have decided to start doing so again, be sure to pace yourself, and enjoy the process. Have fun exercising. Don’t set standards and goals that are too difficult to achieve, and listen very carefully to your body. Take your time, don’t be too hard on yourself, and work your way back into shape at a sensible rate. This will keep you on task and looking forward to each new day. You deserve nothing less.