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4 Reasons To Exercise (That Aren’t Weight Loss)

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It seems like fewer and fewer people these days are making exercise a regular part of their daily routine. Less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week, reports the US. Department of Health and Human Services. Getting into the habit of working out regularly isn’t just hard physically – it’s hard socially and emotionally. A lot of exercise motivation bases itself on weight loss and body shame, but there are plenty of other reasons to stay physically active that don’t have to do with weight or size. Here are a few sources of motivation you can use to get you outdoors and staying active.

Exercise Can Reduce Stress

The daily grind of work, school, home life, and more can be incredibly stressful, to the point that many people develop health issues as a result of stress like TMJ. Women are affected by TMJ more often, with 9 women to every 1 man experiencing pain from TMJ. While exercise might initially seem like just one more to-do on the list, working out can actually be a helpful tool for managing stress. Finding an activity you enjoy that keeps you active can help you process stress on a daily basis.

Exercise Gets Easier Over Time

Starting a new workout routine is incredibly challenging, no matter what shape you’re in. However, your body is built to keep you healthy during your workout. For example, the average person has two to four million sweat glands working as the body’s coolant system to protect it from overheating. Over time, your body will start to adjust to the routine and the activities you’re doing, meaning it’s only going to get easier. One day you’ll be able to look back at where you started and see just how far you’ve come, and that sense of accomplishment can be incredibly helpful.

Exercise Can Prevent Health Issues

Weight and health are in no way synonyms, and exercise can help improve certain aspects of your health regardless of size. Regularly including cardio workouts into your day can improve your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, strengthening them and helping you prevent certain types of physical health issues that might require eventual treatment. This is especially true for heart conditions; with the cardiopulmonary bypass being developed in 1953, strengthening your cardiovascular system is essential for avoiding this treatment being necessary. Additionally, these systems are responsible for your endurance, meaning strengthening them will only make exercise easier.

Exercise Can Be Social And Entertaining

Worried you don’t have time for exercise? See if you can work physical activity into your day in a way that allows you time to be social and enjoy the company of friends or family while doing something you enjoy. Try taking a dance class, or even just going on a short hike through your local park. Not all exercise has to feel like work – some of the best physical activity happens when you’re not thinking of it as extra effort. Have fun when you’re creating your daily routine, and you’ll be more likely to not only stick to it, but look forward to your workouts.

Not all exercise motivation has to be based on weight loss and body shaming – there are plenty of reasons to stay physically active regardless of size. What gets you up and moving during the day? How would you suggest staying motivated to exercise?

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