health benefits of exercise

Many people think that exercising will only change people’s appearance physically, but it can also be life changing in other ways. Working out has been proven to help with self esteem, confidence, and physical well being. Even big named celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson and Charles Barkley have endorsed workout routine and diet routines. There are even network television shows such as “The Biggest Loser”, that encourage weight loss. Gym memberships are bought and New Year’s Resolutions are made every January from people who desperately want to change their bodies. However, many people though give up way too soon because they don’t see the results they are looking for as fast as they want. Daily exercise can improve and benefit people’s lives in ways they can’t realize until they start.

Let’s start off by talking about how working out will change the body physically. Working out, specifically resistance training will increase muscle mass and make bones stronger. Even though it may hurt, people will see a difference in the way they look. Exercising also helps the lungs and heart stay healthy. When working out, body rate increases drastically which means the heart has to work harder to pump oxygen into the muscles. The lungs on the other hand are bringing in oxygen to provide energy as you are exercising. Over time the body’s blood pressure will lower and be able to use more oxygen. Another obvious physical effect of working out and what most people go to the gym for is fat loss. According to The New York Times, “American adults continue to put on the pounds. New data shows that nearly 40 percent of them were obese in 2015 and 2016 (Richtel and Jacobs 1). So it’s obvious to see why most people’s main objective in the gym is to lose weight. Even slight weight loss such as 10-20 pounds can increase health in many ways, such as relieving joints, lower chance of getting hypertension, lower risk of getting diabetes, and lower chance of getting heart disease. Overall the benefits of working out and exercising can increase physical health tremendously and increase the chance of living longer.

Exercise has been one of the most effective ways to improve mental health. “An estimated 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in the United States” (Bowerman 1). Research shows that exercise can make a big impact on depression, anxiety, and mood. While working out, your body releases endorphins, which trigger a positive feeling in the body and reduce pain and stress in the mind. Several psychological studies have shown that exercise can be used to help treat alcoholism, anxiety, depression, and addiction. After only 20 minutes of physical activity people will release endorphins and their mood will increase for two to three hours after that. Even though most people hit the gym to trim their waistlines, there are real mental benefits of working out.

Exercise has also been shown to increase self confidence and self esteem. Many people have felt low self esteem and have talked negative themselves or their bodies. In “Exercise: It’s Not Just Physical” the author states, “instead exercise and health professional nals should incorporate psychological skills including behavioral contracting and goal setting.” (Todorovich 1). Seeing success in the gym after months of hard work, people have no choice but to feel good about themselves. Many people feel a sense of accomplishment after their workout, which can increase their mood throughout the whole day. After following a good routine and diet plan, people will have no choice but to feel more powerful inside. Self esteem, self confidence, and a positive attitude are all benefits of daily exercise.

Body image is one of the main causes for eating disorders and other unhealthy behavior. Negative body image is primarily a problem for women. According to Dosomething.org, “Approximately 91% of women are unhappy with their bodies and resort to dieting to achieve their ideal body shape.” Researchers say people should find physical activities that they enjoy, and make them into a social occasion. Ways to improve self image is to avoid comparing bodies to others, making realistic goals in the gym, and focus on respecting and loving your body. Even though it may be hard for many people, starting up an exercise routine will make you feel more empowered and respect yourself much more.

Unfortunately for most people, even knowing all the benefits they can get from working out, they still stop and go back to their old ways. According to Jill Peterson from Bodybuilding.com, “sixty six percent of all Americans New Year’s resolutions was fitness and health related” (Jill 1). After six weeks the study shows that half of the people gave up on going to the gym. Of all of the people with fitness New Year’s resolutions, seventy three percent gave up prior to reaching their goal. Although there could be legitimate reasons why some of them stopped going, it is easy to see that even the most motivated people cannot follow their workout plan.

There are many reasons why people don’t continue working out very long after they start. The first reason is many people have unrealistic goals when they first step in the gym. Many people promise to hit the gym all 30 days of the months and lose an great amount of weight in too short of a period of time. Most people don’t understand that building muscle and losing fat takes months. says, “You have to lie to your brain and make it think that losing weight is an instant reward so it doesn’t give up on you” (Runzelkorn 1).Goals should start off small and keep gradually increasing. Another reason why people might stop going is because they feel intimidated at the gym. A lot of newcomers at the gym feel intimidated by everyone else or feel like they are being watched the whole time. What many people don’t realize is that everyone is there to improve their body just like the new people. Also the all of the equipment in the gym may confuse a newer gym goer and they are scared to ask for help from a trainer. The key to overcoming intimidation is to ask for help, understand that it will take time, and have confidence in yourself.

Other reasons people stop trying at the gym and in the kitchen is because of fad diets and unhealthy nutrition plans. Fad diets are diets that promises quick weight loss but they can be very dangerous to the body. Example of famous fad diets include the South Beach diet, the Grapefruit Diet, and the Raw Food Diet. The reason many people lose weight when they first try the diets is because they are losing water weight. Once the short diet is over, and people continue to eat their regular meals the weight will come right back on. This makes people even more depressed about their weight and pounds just keep coming on. The best way to diet is to balance out meals with protein, carbs, and fats. Calorie intake should drop slightly from regular intake and not drastically. Drinking water and reducing sugar and starch will reduce fat as well. The key is to not cut anything out of the diet completely at first but just gradually eliminate them.

Overall the benefits of working out are greater than just looking good to impress people. Reducing risk of heart disease, improving mental health, and increasing the chance of longevity are just some of the major benefits of exercise. For most people, all they need is to get started in a good healthy routine and they will see their mind start to shift into a positive outlook in the gym and out of the gym. All it takes is 30 minutes a day and people’s bodies and lives will be changed for the better.

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