Does everyone need to exercise?
Let’s start by answering two of these questions right away. Yes, exercise is really that important for everyone! If you want to know why and want to learn some tips to help you start an exercise program, then keep reading.
Our bodies are designed for movement. If we look at our anatomy, it’s clear that we are made to move. We have so many different joints and muscles throughout our body that allow us to move in numerous directions. The capability of the human body is truly amazing!
Ever heard of, “If you don’t use it you lose it”? Yeah, that also applies to our muscles and joints. If we don’t move our joints through their full range, they eventually start to lose that range. If we don’t use the strength of our muscles, they eventually will start to get weak. While it was once easy to sit in a crossed leg position, now your hips just don’t want to go there. While you once had the strength to carry 5 grocery bags at a time, now you can only carry 2. Exercise at the very least allows us to maintain our baseline function as we age, but really the possibilities you can achieve with your fitness are endless.
If this hasn’t sold you on exercise yet, let’s take a look at a FEW of the benefits that can come from exercising.
5 benefits of exercise:
1. Exercise boosts your mood.
Exercise has been shown to cause an increase in the chemicals in your brain that are associated with an elevated mood. It also reduces the level of stress hormones in our body. So basically exercise is like a natural anti-depressant. Also, who doesn’t need less stress in their lives?
2. Exercise decreases the risk of developing many different diseases.
In particular, exercise is great at decreasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes type 2. While we can’t control everything about our health, we do have more control than we think. Exercise is a way to take back this control.
3. Weight training improves bone strength.
This is important for everyone but especially women. Women are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis (low bone density which increases the risk of fractures) after menopause. I know my fellow women out there, it sucks but there are things we can do to prevent this. Weight training has been shown to have a major impact on improving bone density.
4. Exercise helps you get a better night's sleep.
If you ever had a day where you were super active, you most likely will have felt very tired that night. For example, say you spend a day moving into a new apartment; chances are you will be exhausted at the end of the day and fall right to sleep that night.
When we are sedentary (inactive) for most of the day, we might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. When we exercise, our body will be more likely to want to rest at night and sleep. The only consideration is some people may find difficulty falling asleep if they exercise too close to when they go to bed so just keep that in mind.
5. Exercise helps prevent injuries.
Now, of course you can injure yourself exercising, but you can also injure yourself by not exercising. When our muscles become weak from lack of use this leads to less stability in our joints. Less stability in a joint means that it is at a higher risk of injury. Weak muscles are also more prone to muscular type injuries from everyday activities. Also, like I mentioned previously, certain types of exercises help us to keep our mobility. (Side note: mobility is different from stability.)
If you feel like you have no idea where to start with exercising, it may be a good idea to work with a personal trainer or a physical therapist. Keeping proper form with your exercises and progressing in the right way are super important aspects in preventing injuries that can occur from working out.
If you are someone who sits for much of the day, I have a FREE 5 day program that is designed specifically for you. In this program we work on strengthening muscles that become weak from too much sitting and stretching muscles that become tight. It’s really great for any level of fitness.
There are definitely more benefits from exercise than I just listed but I hope I sold you with those 5.
How to get yourself to start exercising:
Change your mindset around exercise:
If you’re someone who just totally hates exercise, maybe you haven’t found the right type. There are so many options out there you just have to find what you like and enjoy. If you enjoy the exercise you’re performing, it’s way more likely that you’ll be consistent with your workout routine. Don’t be afraid to try out different types exercise to find what resonates with you!
I know my fitness routine has evolved and changed over the years. I used to really enjoy running and now running is one of my last choices of exercise. I much prefer weight lifting and yoga. Since I genuinely enjoy these two activities, I am pretty consistent with my workouts.
I personally feel that for the overall health of our physical body, it’s important to incorporate three aspects into your fitness routine. These three aspects are weight training, cardiovascular training, and something that challenges your mobility/flexibility.
With that said, remember that exercise doesn’t have to be something you find at a gym. Maybe you really enjoy playing tennis and that totally counts as exercise, tennis is exhausting!
For the days you really just don’t feel like working out:
There are always going to be days where you just don’t feel like working out. I have those days for sure. What I’ll tell you is that when I don’t feel like working out and I’m dragging myself to do it, that feeling usually goes away within the first 10 minutes of my workout.
Don’t they always say that getting yourself to the gym is the hardest part? It really is true because once you get your body moving, your motivation starts to come back up and you’ll be glad that you didn’t skip your workout.
Make a workout schedule:
I find that when I outline what I’m going to do on each day that I’m way more consistent. If I want to skip working out on Friday, I’ll be reminded that Friday is a lower body day and I’m less likely to skip because I already set it for that day.
So make yourself a schedule. It doesn’t need to be detailed at all, just a general description of what workout you are doing on what day and what days are your rest days. I really think you’ll find this helpful!
I hope I have convinced you that exercise is super important for everyone. There are so many benefits to it and it’s something easy we can do for our overall wellbeing. The most difficult part is starting, so commit yourself to start today!
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Exercise and physical activities:
Before beginning any of these exercises, you should consult with your physician, assess your fitness level, and follow all safety instructions.
Any/all information provided by Dr. Tara Salay is of general nature and should not be taken as medical and/or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health and/or medical condition. You should be in good physical condition and able to participate in these exercises and you should understand that when participating in same, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in these exercises, you agree that your participation is voluntary and that you are participating at your own risk. By engaging in these exercises you agree to assume any/all risk(s) of injury. Should your participation in these exercises result in injury, you agree to release, discharge, and hold Dr. Tara Salay a harmless from any/all losses, liabilities, injuries, and/or damages resulting from any/all known or unknown claims and/or causes of action.