Health

7 Keys to a Happier, Healthier YOU!

Is there a key to a happier, healthier you?  Is there some secret to happiness and health?  Apparently there IS a key to a happier, healthier you and it’s called … Exercise!

If I’m being totally honest, I need to let you know that I DON’T LIKE TO EXERCISE.  I don’t like to sweat.  I don’t like a racing heart.  I don’t like the itching legs and choking feelings I get when I work out.  So, most of the time, I avoid working out if I possibly can.

But it’s time to quit avoiding the workout and get my exercise on!  I’ve gained some significant weight this year (this is the MOST I’ve ever weighed, ugh!) so we bought a treadmill and I’m walking everyday at lunchtime, either outside if it’s nice, or inside on the treadmill. 

If you struggle with working out like I do, here are 7 keys to a happier, healthier YOU that will keep you motivated to work out too!  This information from the Mayo Clinic (1) will have you exercising regularly in order to reap the health benefits of regular exercise.

7 Key Benefits of Regular Exercise

1. Exercise can help control your weight.

When you exercise, you burn calories.  When you burn calories, you can either prevent weight gain, or in my case, help with weight loss.  The more intense the activity, the more calories burned and therefore the more potential for weight loss.  Consistency is key when working out if you want to lose weight, and some exercise daily – whether for 10 minutes or an hour – is better than no exercise at all.

2. Exercise can combat health conditions and disease.

Did you know that routine exercise can lower your risk of ALL these conditions?!? If that’s not motivation to work out, then I don’t how to help you my friend!

  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Many types of cancer
  • Falls

3.  Exercise can help improve your mood.

Physical activity stimulates brain chemicals that can leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.  Did you know even a 10-minute walk can eliminate feelings of depression in most people?  Walking can also reduce feelings of anger and anxiety and increase feelings of happiness and peace.  You may also feel better about your appearance, boosting feelings of confidence and self-esteem. 

4. Exercise can increase energy.

As strange as it may sound, using energy to exercise actually boosts your energy levels!  Yep.  Exercising improves muscle strength and boosts endurance by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your lung, cardio- and muscle tissues, helping your cardiovascular and skeletal systems work more efficiently, thus boosting your energy levels and perseverance.

5. Exercise can help you sleep better.

When you exercise, you boost your body cell activity and tear down muscle tissue.  These cells need sleep to recharge and heal, so regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper when you do fall asleep.

6. Exercise can help your sex life.

Woot woot!  Three cheers for a healthy sex life, right?  Seriously, though – exercising regularly has been shown to enhance arousal in women, and men who exercise regularly have fewer erectile dysfunction issues than men who don’t.  Exercising also improves energy levels and boosts physical appearance confidence, both of which play a role in a healthy sex life.

7. Exercise can help your social life.

When you exercise with a friend, exercise is just SO much more fun!  I am always the most consistent when I join a class or work out with friends.  There’s the accountability bit of exercising with a friend – you have to show up! – but it’s also more fun to focus on catching up with your friend instead of how many reps you just did.  Trying something new is more fun with a friend too!

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following physical activity guidelines for most healthy adults:

  • At least 150 minutes/week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes/week of vigorous aerobic activity, spread out throughout the week.  To lose weight, you may need up to 300 minutes/week of moderate aerobic activity.
  • Strength training for all major muscle groups 2x/week
  • Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, particularly if you have chronic health problems or any concerns about your fitness and health.

There we have it friends – the 7 Keys to a Happier, Healthier YOU!  I’d love to hear what exercise routine you choose to engage in.  Let me know in the comments below, and maybe I’ll see you out walking one day!

All the best,

Erin

  1. Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389

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