The first thing that comes up in people’s minds when they hear the word “Exercise” is a scene of people working up a sweat, lifting weights, running on a treadmill, etc. All of these physical activities can contribute to our health and well-being.
Aside from getting toned figures, better endurance, and greater agility, exercise elevates our mood due to the burst of endorphins throughout the body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in charge of relieving pain and stress. Furthermore, exercise has also proven to help mitigate the effect of long-term depression. This shows that not only does exercise affect our physical health, but it also plays a significant role in keeping our minds healthy.
Knowing how exercise and movement can result in a more positive self-image, let’s further establish their positive effects on our bodies.
Lifting those weights, doing sit-ups, and push-ups will make your muscles work harder. These result in increased muscle strength, size, and endurance. Strength exercises also help keep the bones strong as people advance in age. It’s recommended for adults to engage in strengthening activities at least two days a week.
Dedicated exercises can also improve the body’s flexibility. Stretching the muscles will allow the body a full range of motion and will even make chores and other physical tasks easier to do. Having a flexible body also reduces the risk of injury since there will be more control in movement. Better posture and reduced aches are bonuses.
Physical fitness is defined as the body’s condition and ability to perform efficiently to conduct daily activities. If you can do various activities with the least exerted amount of effort, that is an indicator of how physically fit you are. Whether it’s cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, or a quick run to the store, exercise will give you both the motivation and efficiency to complete these tasks in no time!
Metabolism varies per person as it greatly depends on genetic makeup, age, and sex. The body's metabolism varies from one person to another. Some may have a slower metabolism than others which is why it's important to keep it in balance and in tune with the rest of the body.
Exercise is the most effective concerning this. Since there may be instances wherein the food eaten is more than what the body can properly process, instead of allowing the food to become fat, the energy can be used to work the muscles instead. An added benefit would also be increased thyroid function which balances the release of thyroid hormones. Exercise has been found to decrease the release of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) which causes people to experience anxiety, mood swings, tiredness, difficulty sleeping, and goitre.
A significant number of studies have proven that physical activities can significantly reduce the risk of acquiring various diseases. These diseases include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression and anxiety, and even neurological disorders like dementia. Exercise can even relieve the withdrawal symptoms and reduce the urges of those suffering from addiction.
However, there is another emerging obstacle that we to be mindful of.
A study conducted in 2018 found that worldwide trends show insufficient physical activity. Sitting for too long and being sedentary for more than an hour can increase the risk of developing dangerous chronic diseases. The human body was not built for prolonged periods of sitting and doing so can weaken our leg and gluteal (the bum) muscles.
Since the abdomen is bent while sitting, food digestion can also slow down. Slowed digestion can lead to bloating, heartburn and constipation. In addition, the body experiences decreased flexibility which can make certain tasks require more effort.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has elaborated on the issue and now encourages people to increase their physical activities and commit to regular exercise. Committing requires the empowerment of the mind because as you go through each day in your fitness journey, you must become your cheerleader. Once you’ve reached empowerment, your goals become clearer and your objectives more precise. The only question now is, “how do I start?”
It’s always more motivating when there is a visual prompt that shows us how well we’re doing something. When it comes to physical fitness, investing in a good tracker can give you the push you need to be consistent and stay on track.
There are tons of emerging trackers in the market for people who are particular with monitoring their progress. As it can be overwhelming to find out the best choice for your needs, I’ve compiled a list of suitable trackers to help you reach your fitness goals.
Fitbit’s Charge 4 model is considered the top fitness tracker due to its wide range of features. It boasts of having GPS, a SpO2 sensor for blood oxygen, resting heart rate, a sleeping tracker and can even be linked to your personal Spotify account for added music motivation. The wearable is also water-resistant and can track data from up to 20 sports and activities like running, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), yoga, and many more.
The next one in the market is the Garmin Venu 2 which has 22 hours of battery life, a storage of 2000 songs, and a VO2 (maximum rate of oxygen consumption) tracker. It’s considered the best Garmin lightweight smartwatch in offering not only an exercise tracker but also an inactivity tracker to show if you’ve been idle for too long.
MyFitnessPal is one of the best apps available if you want to keep a fitness tracker app on your phone. It has a database of over 6 million food items, customization based on the user’s goals, stores up to 350 workouts, and you can easily log both your food intake and physical activity. The app can be integrated with other apps and devices too, making it a very flexible app to have.
Before starting any workout, it’s important to get the blood properly flowing first. This leads to increased body temperature and the muscles can relax and contract more easily. Warming up will ease your movements and decrease the chances of muscle strain.
For approximately 5-10 minutes, do warm-up exercises like light biking, brisk walking, jumping jacks, torso twists, and lateral shuffles. It’s also important to keep in mind that warm-ups will highly depend on the type of exercise you’re planning to do afterwards.
Following a routine is not only applicable for navigating the day and getting ready for bed; it’s also a necessary aspect of your fitness journey. You can start slow and gradually increase your workload as you feel your body’s strength, endurance, and flexibility improve.
The list of cardio exercises is almost endless. To improve heart health, cardio features the continuous movement of the arms, legs, and hips. These movements aim to efficiently spread oxygen throughout the body so you don’t immediately feel tired. Let me share with you these three cardio exercises that are both fun and exciting!
Dancing is not just a form of art but also a good way to boost your fitness. From Ballroom dancing to Zumba, dancing integrates music to movement making it suitable for all ages. It also helps you become more mindful of your movements since dances require specific choreography.
Gone are the days where boxing is just a sport we see on television. With fitness boxing, you’ll be able to perform martial-arts-inspired movements aside from punching techniques. Furthermore, your hand-eye coordination will get better and you’ll develop faster reflexes.
Fitness can also be achieved beyond the walls of the gym or the studio. Hiking provides an exciting experience for those who are feeling adventurous and want to get away from the busy city. You can bond with Mother Nature too! As you take in the fresh air, you’re constantly working your muscles and improving your balance as you tread through rocky and hilled areas.
To be able to move and lift heavier objects, bigger and stronger muscles are needed. As people advance in years, many become prone to losing muscle and bone mass. To prevent this, include exercises curated to increase your strength and other muscle functions.
By using weights for resistance, weight training gives the muscles a good amount of stress to eventually get them to adapt. The key is to slowly increase the weights and number of reps done during your weight training sessions.
This portable piece of equipment has an endless number of exercises. Whether it’s the looped band or the one with handles, resistance bands open a new door for fitness-on-the-go.
Move your body with ease and alleviate body pains by engaging with workouts dedicated to increasing flexibility.
An ancient practice of movement and meditation, Yoga’s benefits have spread all around the world. With a focus on breathing and the body’s abilities at present, Yoga has been proven to help people develop a positive body image and practice mindfulness even outside the routine.
Pilates involves great concentration as the body is made to accommodate particular ranges of motion. Each move requires a specific breathing pattern without completely working the muscles into exhaustion. Before being more widely used, Pilates was a way for injured athletes to slowly and safely return to more intense exercises to maintain their fitness.
After going through an intensive exercise routine, the muscles experience tiredness and fatigue. Listen and become more aware of the needs of your body by practising mindfulness in every activity you do. A long, strenuous day must be rewarded with sufficient rest and sleep. Before you lay on your bed, consider establishing a bedtime routine with the help of the Blissful Sleep Experience.
If at one point in your fitness journey your mind begins to entertain negative thoughts, always go back to your reasons for pursuing better physical health. These reasons will surely give purpose and direction to your actions as well as the motivation you need to succeed. Trust me, you’re already well on your way to success!
If you feel your restlessness and unhelpful thoughts, emotions and habits are deeply rooted within you, please enjoy a consultation from Mind Motivation Coaching on Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT).
RTT Therapy incorporates Neurolinguistic Programming, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Hypnotherapy to deliver fast results. Through hypnosis, RTT can access the mind's subconscious to discover and change or reprogram certain beliefs acquired through the years that stop one's growth and peace of mind.
RTT can be applied in different aspects of one's life like self-confidence, healing from past trauma, quitting addictions, stopping unhealthy behaviours, and counteracting stress, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence.
Are you ready to start your journey towards more freedom, abundance, happiness, and success?
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“Myia’s work is ROCKET FUEL for transforming clients!” - Patty Aubery,
President of The Canfield Training Group