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Fitness 101: Much more than just looking good.

The average Joe routine:

Monday 8:30 am. You wake up to the alarm blaring from your phone. You muster up the strength to lift one of your eyelids up, see the time and shut the alarm. A strange sound appears from within your belly that appears to be some kind of extra-terrestrial beacon within your body. You feel strange. Then you remember what happened last night. You figure out that this extra-terrestrial noise is not a beacon but the sound of undigested jumbo pizza followed by numerous shots of soda and doughnuts. You get off the bed, see yourself in the mirror and notice the disproportionate contours of your waistline, the double chin, and those swollen feet. “ I must start going to the gym from today and start eating healthy !” you say to yourself. But this motivation gets thrown in the bin just like every other day for the past several years as soon as you open the fridge and see the leftover pizza from last night.

Mirror Mirror on the wall?

If this sounds familiar to you then you, dear reader, are not on the right track! We often think that physical fitness is all about how good you look, the kind of body-fitted clothes that you can wear and the confidence that you carry with your well-toned and muscular body. Yet science has proved that fitness is much more than just how great a person who adopts a fitness lifestyle looks.

Mom, I’m sick!

The most important benefit of regular fitness is that it prevents and combats many diseases and ailments such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, and diabetes. According to Mayo Clinic, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Not only that, regular exercise can help prevent or manage a long list of health problems which include, stroke, depression, various types of cancer and arthritis.

Because I am happy…

In this day and age of busy professional life and strenuous study routines, our moods tend to go haywire ranging from severe anxiety to depression. But 30-minute cardio or weight lifting session can lift your mood to the clouds, make you feel good about yourself, your appearance and even boost your confidence. There are generally some brain chemicals at play here to produce this natural high.

Preserve your brain

As we age many brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s destroy our brain cells and in the process, we lose many brain functions and cognitive abilities. While exercise can’t cure these diseases it can certainly act as a shield against the brain decline which shrinks the hippocampus after the age of 45 and the most effective age to ward of such decline is between 25 and 45.

Say hello to greater creativity and productivity

According to various studies, a heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterward. Locked out of ideas? Can’t finish the project? Go hit the gym for an overhaul of your brain and body both. Not only that if you feel glued to your desk, cubicle, bed, sofa or whatever piece of furniture to even get up and get yourself a glass of water and are too lazy to break the shackles of captivity then the solution might be a short walk or a light training session. Workers who engage in regular exercise and fitness are more productive than their couch potato counterparts. Finding it difficult to decide when to exercise? Research shows that mid-day is the best time because of your body’s biological clock.

The Bottom line

More simply if you don’t want to be the average Joe which I described at the beginning of my article and want to get the most out of your life then regular physical activity whether it is in the form of cardiovascular training or weight training can go a long way to positively impact your life not only immediately but also many years down the line. Still reading this? Go find a treadmill and some weights!



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