Looking for a good reason to exercise? Well, here is 27 life changing reasons to begin, continue, or to reaffirm your commitment. It is October. It is getting colder and waking up it is getting colder and much easier to talk yourself into staying in bed and sleeping late. This is the same viscous cycle that begins each year and lasts through the holidays which leads to the ever popular New Year’s resolution of weight loss. Don’t be that guy. Stick to your commitments and this year resist the urge and crush the little voice in your head.
But, lets not get to ahead of ourselves. Halloween is first. I will give a FREE year membership to anyone who dresses up as the Lab Rat and sends me a picture (must be a full body costume;). Below, is probably the coolest gift I have ever recieved. Lisa Manfredi (Leg Presses 500lbs, bodyweight pistol squats for 10 reps,50 pushups easy, and New Jersey state road racing champion) carved this awesome pumpkin of The Lab’s logo….AWESOME! Does anyone know how to preserve a pumpkin?
27 Universal Rewards of Exercise
The number one reason that most people are out-of-shape is that they don’t exercise enough. And no, the old 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes is NOT enough. That is simply for cardiovascular health. No 10 minutes, or 20 minutes to fitness, or whatever that crap is. Exercise encompasses a little more than that.
They say love conquers all. Well, if love isn’t enough exercise IS! Read below for why I feel exercise will solve all the world’s problems!
I’ve often wished that I could give each and every one of you a personalized pep talk to get you up off the couch and into the gym, day after day. So here’s my pep talk in bullet form – 27 rewards that you will gain from regular exercise. This is no way near a comprehensive list but a good start.
Do yourself a favor and print this list and post it where you’ll see it every day. When you need motivation or encouragement simply read over this list and feel your motivation soar.
- You’ll reset your body: Exercise has been described as a giant reset button. A good workout will block appetite swings, improve your mood and even help your sleep. If I miss even a single day of exercise WATCH out. It’s a mood stabilizer and a calming agent all in 1. My painful Prozac if you will.
- Your clothes will fit better: Consistent exercise will tone and tighten your body, causing your clothes to not only fit better but to also look nicer. Also exercise ensures that soon you’ll be trading your clothes in for smaller sizes. Wouldn’t you rather spend your money on nice clothes than prescriptions? Also, these nice clothes will be great for job interviews as sadly, statistics say that leaner more fit people are thought to be more intelligent and better employees. While that may be ridiculous, perception is reality, and simply one more reason to get in shape.
- You’ll be less stressed: I don’t have a type A personality. It’s triple A. If I miss a workout my head might explode. Seriously though, it is the best chill pill and helps you untangle any aggression or frustration you may have bottled up. You have enough stress in your life. A good workout invigorates your muscles, leaving you relaxed and less stressed.
- You’ll have more energy: WebMD tallied research studies and concluded that 90% of them prove exercise increases energy levels in sedentary patients. Next time you feel fatigued, fight it will the most powerful tool available: exercise. You will take in more oxygen, and rev your metabolism. You will be more use to being vibrant and active leading to more and more activity with less of a drain on your system. Sort of a “gateway drug” for more movement.
- You’ll be stronger: Power, the ultimate aphrodisiac (we will use strength and power synonymously here even though they are much different;)! Exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, two things that you use throughout each day. When you exercise consistently you’ll be pleasantly surprised when difficult tasks begin to seem easy. The ability to be active, functional, and SELF SUFFICIENT
- You’ll be less likely to binge: Exercise has a powerful anti-binge effect on the body. This is due in part by an increase in sensitivity to leptin, a protein hormone, which has an appetite-taming effect. Likewise, catecholamines (epinephrine and nor-epinephrine…aka: adrenaline) are prevalent which also blunt hunger.
- You’ll burn calories: You know that excess body fat is made up of stored and unused calories. Fight back by burning loads of calories with fat-blasting workouts and elevating your resting metabolic rate with new lean body mass 24 hours per day.
- You’ll be more confident: Who doesn’t wish they walked and talked with more confidence? A consistent exercise program will do just that. As your body becomes more fit, watch as your confidence sky-rockets. Work better, play better, do everything better!
- You’ll have fun: Believe it or not, exercise can be extremely enjoyable. Remember how fun it was to run around as a child? Tap into your inner child as you find a mode of exercise that gets you excited. Everyone has a different formula or style of exercise they prefer. However, make sure yours is not one sided and only covers cardiovascular, strength, or flexibility. All 3 are necessary!
- You’ll reduce your blood pressure: Exercise has been proven more effective than medication in reducing blood pressure to normal levels. A single workout has been shown to reduce blood pressure for the day and regular exercise reduces overall blood pressure in the long run. Likewise, the increase in blood pressure cause an increase the strength of your vascular system making stress less damaging to the vascular structures and pathways.
- You’ll lose the jiggles: Regular exercise tightens flabby arms, legs and waistlines. So wave goodbye to the jiggles with a solid exercise program. Weights, yes heavy ones will increase density and tone of your muscles. Think about 45 pounds of steel vs rubber. One is solid and compact (and small!) and the other is bulky and large (but STILL the same weight). So, don’t be confused here, heavy weights with excellent form is your friend for ‘tightening’ and ‘toning’. Seek out a qualified professional to show you how to do this…bad form WILL hurt you!
- You’ll increase insulin sensitivity: Researchers at Laval University in Quebec discovered that exercise improved insulin sensitivity dramatically. Peak after-meal insulin levels dropped by more than 20 percent after as little as 3 weeks of consistent exercise. Exercise or insulin and glucometer needles…tough choice.
- You’ll sleep better: Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep? Exercise is a powerful sleep aid. Your tired muscles encourage your body to quickly fall asleep so they can get their overnight repair work done. Many times insomnia is just miss placed anxiety and stress. If you have read this far you will know why better sleep is one of the first benefits of exercise!
- You’ll lower your risk of heart disease: Regular exercise strengthens your heart and makes it more resilient against disease. A sedentary lifestyle is a major risk factor for heart disease, so rest assured that consistent exercise is your ally against disease.
- You’ll feel great: Vigorous exercise releases natural endorphins (happy hormones) into your blood stream that dissolve pain and anxiety (yes, just like chocolate). You’ve probably heard of ‘runner’s high’, this can be achieved by any great workout. As I said earlier, Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. When you feel it for the first time in the gym you will be hooked. If you can get past the part of focusing on any pain or discomfort. With exercise the trick is being COMFORTABLE being UNCOMFORTABLE!
- You’ll lower your risk of diabetes: Studies show that exercising as little as half an hour each day can dramatically reduce your risk of diabetes. If you are at risk of diabetes, or already have diabetes, regular exercise is the most effective treatment for reversing the disease. With my own two eyes I have seen years of diabetes erased with mere diet and exercise. Life re-beginning at the ripe age of 50!!! Yes, it is possible. One step at a time.
- You’ll meet cool people: Me, yes. I am always at the gym;) You could benefit from a group of new, energetic friends, right? Gyms, bootcamps, workout centers and even the jogging trail are all great places to connect with fun new friends. The family that sweats together stays together? Right, something like that. But, what better way to push yourself than with a support group of like minded individuals. Sort of a mastermind group of personal transformation and long term health. Some of my best memories in life have been training with my closest friends and training partners. Pain is a great thing to share. Misery loves company, right?
- You’ll improve your BMI, weight, but most importantly COMPOSITION: You know that maintaining a healthy BMI is key in disease prevention ( so the health ‘experts’ say). Exercise is the best way to keep your BMI under control. However, BMI is merely a height and weight factor. If you remember our steel vs rubber example from above you know that this factor is not very reliable and does not account for muscle mass…which, is highly functional tissue which allows for a happier, more functional, self reliable, and calorie filled lifestyle!
- You’ll increase your endurance: Do you ever get out of breath when walking up stairs or through the mall? Regular exercise builds your endurance for everyday activities. With daily exercise mundane tasks become second nature…and you will complain about lunges and not walking up and down stairs…something that should never be a major life crutch (at ANY age). Instead of being one of those people who say, “I never take the elevator, I take the stairs for exercise.” That is fine and good but, why not say, “I am taking the elevator because I killed my legs in the gym today. Not, because you are to weak to do so (don’t get me wrong, any form of activity is great, but I think you get the picture).
- Your doctor will be impressed: How many times has your doctor given you the lecture about losing weight and exercising more? Exercise regularly and get your MD off your back! Instead of wasting you life sitting in his office for a lecture why not have the need to see him less because you are active and healthy! And he can get back to playing golf! I have a client who used to see about 7 docs when we first met, huge expense to him and the economy. After about 1 year of training he was down to 1 primary doctor.
- You’ll look amazing: Are you happy with the shape and size of your body? Regular exercise works wonders on your physique. Within a few weeks you’ll see shape and tone in all the right places. Anything, and I sincerely mean, almost ANYTHING is possible in the gym if you want it bad enough. I am not talking about lifting 2000lbs ( I’ am trying…haven’t given up YET). But, when it comes to body composition changes…yes, ANYTHING. When there is a will there is a way (damn, I am full of ridiculous metaphors today. But, I promise, I wont say, ” no pain, no gain.” Oops.)
- Posture: The first thing we always cover at The Lab is posture. It is our first tenant and we build from there. Stand taller, eliminate shoulder, back, hip, and knee problems, by simply standing correctly. And of course holding these positions AS you exercise.
- Mobility (also flexibility): Our second tenant. This is functional flexibility in all ranges of motion in the body. Correct these with optimal posture and then add resistance. As much as possible BEFORE posture fails.
- Stability…(also balance, coordination): Stability, our third tenant. With posture and mobility in place. Then stability with these mobile postures leads to strength and reduced risk of injury. Stability is the precursor to balance and coordination which are paramount to not only sports performance but all activities of daily living!!! There it is folks. Check you exercise routine. Does it address this?
- Auto crashes: My favorite stat. You are more likely to survive auto crashes if you regularly exercise. No joke, my mother was hit by a car while running…NO BROKEN BONES (daily exerciser). My brother was hit by a train…NO BROKEN BONES (high school wrestler at the time). I haven’t been hit by anything but the ugly stick so far. Although, I am always watching out for falling airplane.
- Opposite sex, or the same sex, maybe both? Whatever you like! (Warning, the next paragraph is rated ‘R’. Are you above 18 years of age yes or no? If yes, please keep reading): They say all decisions in life are based in a primal drive to appease a certain craving or drive. You know what I mean. Look around, everyone is alive for this reason. Are you not more attracted to someone who is lean, fit, and confident in them self because they are comfortable in their own skin? Your partner and performance will improve..nuff said. Okay, I kept it clean.
- Bone density: I’ am NOT referring to the above benefit. Many of my elderly clients have ecstatically reported MAJOR improvements in bone density. I am still very young but my biggest pet peeve isn’t exactly the female fear of bulking up from heavy weights (maybe it is), nor is it 35lb plates, it is people claiming how hard it is when they get older. This is an excuse and self fulfilling prophecy in disguise taking the easy road out and excusing yourself from hard work. Its NEVER easy. At any age. It is ALL relative and it takes time. I have been training for almost 19 years now and I am improving AND getting older everyday. But, I am not a fair example. My clients are. I have at least 40 current clients who are 50 years old or more and in the BEST shape of their life EVER! Even many who are much older. Its all in application, attitude, and consistency. There is a continuum of what your goal is and how much you are willing to give to achieve it. But, every journey begins with just a single step (Damn, I did it again. The first person to count every cheesy metaphor in this newsletter gets a FEE Lab t-shirt)
Ok, I really need to get back to work, I have a bunch of complaining 50 year olds who need to do some lunges (and yes folks, your knees hurt when you lunge because you have a missing link in either your posture, mobility, or stability…pain free lunges are possible and normal at The Lab). What are you waiting for, the next 27 reasons to get you going? Stop reading this crap and lace up your shoes and get moving!