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Working Out Isn't Just For Weight Loss

Ilana Mekler

“The moment you’re ready to quit

is usually the moment right before

a miracle happens. Don’t give up."

Did you know that working out isn’t just for losing weight?

Who would’ve thought?!

 

There are many benefits to exercising. If you are in need of some fitness motivation, you are going to want to keep reading...

We are going to tell you about different activities that you can do at the gym or at home (or on the road) to benefit your health and well-being.

Here are 5 different activities to add to your daily workout routine to create a healthier you:

Yoga

Yoga gives you the ability to be more in tune with your body. Through simple movements, yoga exercise increases your overall wellbeing. The yoga community gathers people on a regular basis. Roll out your yoga mat in a class or find a fitness video on YouTube that you can follow along to. 

Benefits of yoga:

    • Protect from injury by increasing muscle strength and balance
    • Increase flexibility
    • Improve your respiration
    • Helps with stress. Yoga helps to develop coping skills improving your positive outlook on life.

FUN FACT: There are over 100 different types of yoga, so it is possible for anybody to try.

The yoga community is ever growing. Making new friends or even meeting people that share your common interests comes naturally because you will probably see the same people over and over. Of course, you can find classes in any yoga studio or gym, but did you know that many communities/cities offer free yoga in public areas? Many of these classes at beginner level so do not feel intimidated. 

Biking(Cycling)

Cycling pushes your mind and body in different ways. Riding a bicycle encourages you to get moving and forces your muscles to work in ways that they don’t normally work.

Benefits of biking/cycling:

    • Helps you sleep better
    • Strengthens your core
    • Gives you a mental boost

If you plan on going outdoor cycling, imagine how many great things you’ll find, like a local café or a quiet park. Changing your scenery helps pass the time quicker, too.

Stationary cycling is great if you prefer staying indoors or if winter weather is getting in the way. Stationary bikes like Peloton are super popular now for at home workouts.

The Peloton membership allows to follow scheduled workouts, try any class from their database, and even follow other riders to get motivation. Stationary bikes like Peloton position your legs to prevent back injury, too!

There are also stationary cycling classes that you can take in a studio or gym, the most popular being SoulCycle

Rowing Machine

Maybe you have seen that person sweating like crazy at the gym pulling on those handles vigorously, that’s the rowing machine!

You burn up to 50% more calories using this machine than you would by using the elliptical (Wow, did you read that? We said 50%!).

Benefits of the rowing machine:

    • Improves sleep quality
    • Boosts metabolism
    • Increases endurance
    • Prevents injuries through strengthening 

Instead of making a beeline towards the not so effective elliptical, opt for the rowing machine for a powerful upper and lower body workout.

If you use a rowing machine in the evening, this actually will raise your body temperature and when your body cools down after the workout, studies show that you are more likely to have a deep sleep.

Try fitting your rowing machine exercise into the end of your day, preferably two hours before going to sleep. 

Strength Training

Cardiovascular exercise is important but you also need to build muscle, which is wear strength training comes in. Lifting weights is one of the best gym workouts because it increases lean muscle mass and as we age, our muscle mass decreases. 

Benefits of strength training:

    • Boosts metabolism
    • Calms anxiety
    • Improves cardiovascular health
    • Strengthens bones and joints
    • Improves sleep quality

Strength training also prevents injury, increases your ability to do things on your own that you normally would not be able to do (having better balance, lower your risk of falling, lifting heavy bags/boxes), and is good for your mental health.

Power Walking

We know you saw your mom and your grandma do this years ago, but brisk walking is REALLY good for you. Walking, we mean quickly, two miles a day can give you the same results as if you were to go jogging.

Having a regular routine of walking will give you a better sense of self and will help you be more productive throughout your day.

Benefits of power walking:

    • Lowers high blood pressure
    • Lessens the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
    • Improves circulation
    • Reduces stress
    • Increases good cholesterol
    • Decreases the chances of having cancer or stroke 

“A study found that people who did the equivalent of 11.5 miles of brisk walking weekly improved their glucose tolerance by 7 percent” (Jessica Magala 2018 pg. 97).

Make sure you are consistent with it! Being outside and getting fresh air while you exercise will do your body good.

Create Inner Peace

When you have a few moments after your improved amazing workout, refocusing your physical and mental space is crucial.

Try this simple mediation technique:


Sit comfortably, close your eyes,

breathe naturally, focus on your breath

and how your body moves.

Do this for two to three minutes every day

and increase as you improve. 

Final Thoughts

Let’s focus more on exercising to benefit our mental health and physical health rather than focusing on just losing weight.

Create a fitness plan that works for you. Get a loved one in on your plan. Don’t work out for the wrong reasons or you will not be truly happy with yourself. Comment below on your favorite activity to do when you want to work out.

 

 References:

Jessica Migala. “The Exercise Fix.” Real Simple, Nov. 2018, pp. 91–97.


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