The right motivation can make you 70% more likely to keep it up for the long haul, reports the American College of Sports Medicine. But focusing only on weight loss can cut your odds of success by over half, say researchers. A better inspiration: the amazing health rewards you get by being active. A stronger heart and lower cancer risk are well-known benefits, but what are some reasons to move daily?
1. Mental Acuity
Going for a brisk walk or job can make you smarter. Exercisers who walked 20 minutes or ran just two 3-minute sprints, with a 2-minute break in between, learned new words 20% faster than those who rested, in a University of Muenster in Germany study. Getting your heart pumping increases blood flow, delivering more oxygen to your brain. It also contributes to growth in areas of the brain that control multitasking, planning, and memory.
2. Feeling Happier and Healthier
Taking time to move makes you happier, says a study from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. On days workers participated in fitness activities, they reported getting more work done and interacting more with colleagues. People are less likely to miss work due to illness, too. Research shows that those who participate in physical activity just once a week take about half the sick time of those who are more sedentary.
3. Improved Body Image
A good workout equals better body image. A Pennsylvania State University study found that women ages 42 to 58 felt more attractive after 4 months of walking or yoga "even if they didn't lose weight." Also mild exercise can help to beat belly bloating.
4. Reach Deep Sleep
No more poor sleep. A study done by Sleep Journal concluded that women ages 45-50, who exercised at least 30 mins a day, were able to reach REM sleep deeper and longer. That is good news for the many who toss and throughout the night. As you age, sleep patterns start shifting, so you spend more of the night in lighter sleep phases, says Shawn Youngstedt, PhD, an assistant professor of exercise science at the University of South Carolina. Moving daily ensures better sleep at night.
5. Instant Energy
Most people complain about being tired and run on Dunkin Donut's coffee. The University of Georgia researchers after running many studies, concluded that moving your body increases energy and reduces fatigue. Regular exercise boosts certain fatigue-fighting brain chemicals such as norepinephrine and dopamine which give you energy for the day!
The reasons to move are endless. So stop reading and go move your body!
Yours in health,