Exercise Explained: Why We WorkoutEmily Wilson | 7 May 2021
We all know working out is good for us; we’ve witnessed how great it feels, that sense of accomplishment that washes over us after a sweaty sesh at the gym or on the bike. Sometimes though, it can be hard to find the motivation to get moving even though we know we should. That’s why we thought it would be helpful to get down to the real reasons behind why working out is so beneficial for the body and the mind - if you know your why you’ll be much more inclined to get up, get out and get moving.
Physical Exercise Benefits:
Let’s start with the obvious - exercise is good for the body, plain and simple. Our bodies are meant to be active. With most of us spending our days sitting at a desk, it’s even more important that we try and carve even just 15-20 minutes of our day to release some of that pent up tension in our muscles, and get those juices flowing again.
Exercise helps build and maintain muscle - our muscles carry our bodies through our daily lives - it’s pretty important we look after them. Unfortunately, as we age, on top of the wrinkles and grey hair, there’s a tendency for our bodies to lose muscle mass. Exercise can help us maintain our strength and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.
Another awesome thing exercise does for us is improve our cardiovascular health. If we can get our heart working more efficiently, we can increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients going to our different organs; this will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improve your overall quality of life.
Exercise makes those daily motions of life that much easier; when you get fitter, you’ll begin to notice you can comfortably get from A to B with less effort. As well as this, as you exercise you boost your metabolic rate, this means the more you workout, the more your body will begin to utilise energy more efficiently.
Energy and Exercise:
Isn’t it weird how we get tired from being sat at a desk all day? A long day of sitting down can feel absolutely exhausting. The next time you feel that mid-afternoon slump, we challenge you to get up and move, it doesn’t have to be anything crazy, even just ten jumping jacks - we guarantee you’ll feel more awake than you did before. The reason for this is because getting your heart rate up increases your blood flow, and, therefore, the amount of oxygen going around your body, boosting your energy.
Mental Health Benefits:
When you workout, as well curbing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, you produce feel-good hormones known as endorphins. These are that amazing high you get post workout when you feel like you can take on the world. The more you boost your body with endorphins. the more your mental health can gradually improve over time.
Your workout also carries you forward for the rest of your day, in fact, the University of Vermont held a study that discovered that even just 20 minutes of exercise can boost your mood for 12 hours - pretty cool right?
When you push yourself out of your comfort zone you will feel accomplished and proud - it felt like you couldn’t keep going but you did - that’s pretty awesome and that’s all you. The sense of control and structure exercise can provide - especially in a time when a lot of things are feeling uncertain - can really transform your day into a win.
Get lost in the moment...
Think back to a time when you were so immersed in whatever you were doing that you completely lost track of the outside world. This is known as a state of flow, and, lucky for you, it often happens when we exercise. Being in this flow can help reduce levels of anxiety and depression; you get so lost in the present moment you put your problems aside for a moment and focus on the task at hand.
Getting a good night’s sleep does absolute wonders for both the mind and the body, and you guessed it - working out improves your quality of sleep. Exercise also helps to keep your circadian rhythm in check, this means you might even find you start falling asleep quicker as well. If you needed any more sleep related workout inspiration...the energy we expend during exercise triggers repair processes in our bodies whilst we sleep. You get the gist; sleep is golden for the body and working out helps you get the most of it!
Because it’s fun!
As well as all these amazing benefits exercise has for the body - let’s not forget, exercise is just an awesome time. We often forget this and make it a chore - Instead, pick something you actually enjoy. Let's try and bring the fun back! - Easily done when you ride with Apex.