The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Health
Leading a healthy lifestyle is important for most people. Making sure you're getting the right nutrition, reducing stress as much as possible, spending time with family and friends, and maximizing the amount of good quality sleep you notch each night are all important components of living as healthily as possible. But there's one thing that is more important than anything else you can do.
According to the experts at Harvard Medical School, "exercising regularly, every day if possible, is the single most important thing you can do for your health." There are tons of benefits you'll get from regular exercise that can help fuel your ability and motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle. Those include short and long term benefits like:
Improvement in sleep
Decreased risk of medical conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, depression, and many cancers
Exercise is also an important weapon against high blood pressure. When you do aerobic exercise, you're stimulating your blood circulatory system which temporarily increases your blood pressure. That increase forces your cardiovascular system to work harder. When you're done exercising, your blood pressure actually drops to a level that is lower than it was before you started.
There are also proven mental health benefits that you can reap by exercising. Studies show exercise can make a different to your mental health in the following ways:
Improved body image
Increased self-confidence and sense of pride
So, if there are so many great things that come with exercising, why is it so hard to motivate ourselves to do it sometimes?
Why some people avoid exercise
If you fall into the category of people who would rather go to the dentist than go to the gym, you might be surprised to find out that you could have been born that way. Studies on twins have shown that some people are actually predisposed to avoiding exercise. In fact, about half of the difference in physical activity among people is probably inherited.
And while genetics can account for some exercise avoidance, it's not everything. There are other reasons like where you live, how safe your area is, your culture, and your family. If your parents were a positive influence on your fitness, research shows you're more likely to be active.
If you are someone who avoids exercise like the plague, there are small things you can do in your everyday routine to live a healthier lifestyle. Incorporate as many as you can into habits:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
Grow a garden and start digging, planting, weeding, and picking
Maintain good posture as it helps your back and abdominal muscles stay strong
Park in a spot far away and walk a few more steps to the door
The best exercises for good mental health
Whether you're someone who enjoys a tough workout or that person who needs a bit of coaxing to slip into a pair of cross trainers, engaging in some of the best exercises for good mental health should be on your to-do list.
Walking is a particularly good type of exercise for people who may not be excited about fitness. It's low-impact and can be done just about anywhere. Plus, you don't have to set out on a journey of a thousand miles to reap the mental health benefits of walking. Studies show that walking as little as 15 minutes can decrease your risk of becoming depressed by 26%.
For people with the need for a bit more speed, running is a great exercise to keep your mental health in check. When you run, your body produces endorphins that boost your mood. A regular running routine can also help you fall asleep easier and give you better quality of sleep which is key to reducing anxiety and depression.
In addition to being good for your mental health by lowering your risk of developing depression or relieving the symptoms you already have, strength training is also great for building your muscles. And, if you prefer not to go to a gym for your workouts, you can definitely do your strength training at home with some dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or even just your body weight.
The most important thing you can do for your health
With all the amazing benefits that come from exercise, even if you're already in a regular fitness routine or need someone to help you build one out and stay on track, you can definitely benefit from the help of a certified personal trainer. A trainer can:
Make sure you have the proper form which will reduce your risk of injury
Keep your workouts varied and interesting
Ensure you're challenging yourself and not phoning in your workouts
Motivate you to reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be
A certified personal trainer is definitely worth the money as it's an investment in your physical and mental health, which is priceless. At Inspire Fitness Training Studio in Arlington, MA, our certified personal trainers are ready to work with you to build a customized fitness plan and help you stay healthy in body and mind. Schedule a free consultation today to get started! ________________________________________________________________________________
Joe Rindone, NCPT is a certified personal trainer and the Founder of Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington, MA. Joe's passion for fitness has motivated him to become one Greater Boston's best personal trainers. An athlete throughout high school and college, Joe has always enjoyed being active. Currently he enjoys road races, working with his boxing coach, kettlebell training and getting out for a round of golf in his spare time.