Five compelling reasons to get into the exercise habit

14 May 2014 by in Business and finance

A report by the British Heart Foundation has suggested that high intensity exercise can lead to an increased risk of heart rhythm disturbances. But before you kick off your running shoes and head for the sofa, remember that the benefits of regular exercise outweigh the risks. In fact, a healthy adult should aim to do 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week. Perhaps you, or somebody you know, needs more convincing. So Kate Cook, author of The Corporate Wellness Bible, has compiled these five compelling reasons for ditching the onesie and donning those long-neglected jogging bottoms.

Why bother to exercise? Here are five compelling reasons
You may hate the idea of it, but taking exercise is life-changing and has real benefits if you’re aiming to lose weight. Once you get into the exercise habit, you won’t want to stop.

There are loads of different ways of exercising and it doen’t have to involve being shouted at by an angry man in a tracksuit with a whistle (unless you want it to).
There are loads of different ways of exercising and it doesn’t have to involve being shouted at by an angry man in a tracksuit with a whistle (unless you want it to).

 1.     Exercise uses up calories. You will lose weight by cutting down on the calories you consume, but if you’re active too, your weight loss will be faster. I love food and working out means I can eat more. It also means that I don’t end up losing any weight, but just maintain the weight I am. When you exercise you build up muscle, which gives you shape; even thin people can use muscle tone. Muscle burns up more energy than fat tissue.

2.     Exercise gives you a buzz. You’ve probably heard of the runner’s high, that happy, almost euphoric feeling during an exercise session. Experts put it down to a combination of factors – a release of endorphins, hormones that mask pain and produce a feeling of well-being; the secretion of neurotransmitters in the brain that control our mood and emotions and a plain old sense of achievement. Whatever gives you the high, there’s no doubting the feel-good glow it gives you.

3.     Exercise boosts your confidence. Every time you work out or play a sport, you’re doing something positive for yourself, which is mood-enhancing in itself. When you start to see the results in the mirror, your self-esteem rockets. As soon as you see results, you will find it easier to stick to your weight loss plan, too.

4.     Exercise reduces your appetite. As well as being a good distraction from the allure of the fridge, exercise slows the movement of food through your digestive system, so it takes longer for you to feel hungry.

5.     Exercise helps you keep weight off. From a dietary perspective, the trouble with only tackling your weight loss is that it is usually quite hard to maintain your weight loss in the long term. Once you have reached your goal and are a little less strict with yourself, the weight can begin to come back. Studies have shown that people who have successfully lost weight by taking exercise as well as a sensible approach to food are better at keeping their weight stable longterm.

The key to incorporating exercise into your life is to find something you enjoy. I do believe there’s something for everyone. Some of us love swimming. For others, it’s running or tennis. These days gyms have a huge variety of classes on offer, ranging from the highly choreographed to gentle classes featuring very simple moves. There’s no excuse for at least not trying some of them out. If you really don’t like gyms, there is walking, which is a very good exercise indeed. It is easy to get into the habit of taking regular walks. Just one foot in front of the other, walk out of your door and keep going.

Corporate Wellness