5 HEALTHIER WAYS TO RETHINK WHAT EXERCISE MEANS IN YOUR LIFE

Exercise and staying active is more than just about your physical appearance. Here are a few reasons to stick to a routine that keeps you both mentally and physically healthy.


BY: KATIE HAKE RDN, CD

Ever have those days where you just don’t feel like working out? Or maybe you ate beyond your comfort levels and felt the urge to go hard on the elliptical to make up for all the calories you ate?

That is when exercise can start to feel like a chore or a punishment.

However, it’s important to remember that exercise is more about loving and respecting your body, regardless of the outward appearance. It’s about looking beyond the scale, and owning your strength and confidence from within.

If you are still working on finding that happy balance with exercise, here are a few reminders on why it can be helpful.

1. You are happier and more optimistic.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.” Do you ever find yourself angry headed to the gym, then you can’t remember even why you were even mad afterwards? Thank you endorphins!

2. You are more focused.

As a result of increased blood flow, you are literally improving your cognition and other functions of the brain. This is why I am such a fan of morning workouts, as it can help you stay productive for the day.

3. You have more energy and sleep better.

A study once reported that, “People who engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise may see a difference in sleep quality that same night.” The endorphin rush may give you a jolt of initial energy, however it will allow you to sleep better at the end of the day.

4. You are more confident.

You know that feeling when you master a new move? Run faster on your mile? Lift a weight you’ve never lifted before? Chances are, you leave the gym with your head a little higher. This confidence slowly over time exudes into every area of your life, because when we do hard things in the gym, we realize what we can really achieve.

5. You are less stressed.

Research shows that exercise may be even more effective than medication in treating symptoms of anxiety of depression. You learn to cope with stress and negativity by this positive outlet, allowing you to take a calmer and clearer approach to things.

So get moving, and find your happiest place yet.

Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: LAWRSON PINSON

Katie Hake, RDN, CD is an Indiana-based Registered Dietitian, national fitness presenter, and owner of Katie Hake Health & Fitness. It is her mission to empower women to overcome their need to measure success by the numbers and find their fierce. For more tips on finding your fierce, visit www.katiehake.com

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