Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fitness Inspo | 5 Other Reasons to work out besides having a fit body

Now that swimsuit season is over, some of us might be less inclined to make it to our workout sessions.  The motivation to stay fit might wane as the holidays approach and we turn to layered clothing to keep us warm.  So I thought it might be a good idea to keep in mind the many other benefits we receive  from being active (aside from a fit body).

You all have heard me talk numerous times about the multitude of benefits to be gotten from sweating and increased circulation.  When it's hot outside, we get a little help from mother nature.  The sweltering temperatures alone are enough to help induce perspiration.  But, now that things are chilling out a bit, we need to switch to being proactive in maintaining proper circulation. Don't let things get stagnant this fall/winter.  Start to see physical activity as a detoxification & cleansing ritual.  Increasing the circulation of oxygen rich blood is a gift that your body relishes.  Give yourself that gift every day.

Human Growth Hormone Production
When we're young and vibrant, our pituitary gland releases ample amounts human growth hormones (HGH) into our bodies. These hormones are responsible for our lean muscle, our youth and vitality.  But, unfortunately, the amount of growth hormones decline as we age.  That's when we start noticing changing in our body, energy levels, etc.  Some have gone as far as to take these hormones orally (or via injection) as a way of replenishing lost stores.  Fortunately for us, there are other ways to promote the production of these youth hormones. One really effective method is through vigorous exercise.  Apparently, the body secretes these hormones when we engage in intense work outs.  So instead of thinking to yourself "I'm going to work out to get thin," you might say "I'm working out today to produce more anti aging hormones and keep myself young."

Hair Growth
If a fit, toned body isn't enough to motivate you to work out regularly, perhaps healthy hair growth will.  Now that we are entering into that time of the year where hair growth slows, you might want to use exercise as a way to keep your hair journey on track.  Why does exercise have an effect on hair growth?  Not sure, perhaps it could be due to the increased blood flow we mentioned earlier. Or maybe the increased growth hormones released in the body.  I checked out a couple of hair loss forums where men who were taking HGH were elated to see their hair grow back again.   Don't forget to pair your workouts with healthy eating to get the most benefit.

Now that the days are getting shorter, most of us will be exposed to less sunlight. Some say that less sunlight and colder temps could dampen our moods.  We just don't feel as good as in the warmer months.  One way to battle that is to make sure you take your vitamin D enriched fermented cod liver oil.  Once you've got that covered, take advantage of the feel good endorphins released during exercise.  Yesterday I decided to rewatch The Secret (for the 100th time).  What stood out for me was the constant reminder to make sure that we are feeling good,  throughout the day, to better attract our desires.  I'm of the belief that we should use as many techniques as possible to increase how good we feel.  Imagine how powerful it would to visualize your goals while your brain is being pumped with endorphins.  On top of that, regular exercise will lead to greater energy levels which also make you feel good.   One of the best feelings ever is going to work, knowing that I've worked out in the morning.  That feeling of accomplishment is incredible and my entire day is ultra productive.  There's nothing like it.

Bone Density
If anything, consider the benefit of increased bone density as a benefit of regular exercise.  I know that bone density may not be on the list of your aesthetic concerns. But consider that our bones are the structural support for our bodies.  When our bones are strong, our bodies (and faces) look strong and healthy.  My aunt recently flew in from Haiti to visit my mother. She's younger than my mother but she was astonished to see how great my mother's body was compared to hers.  My mom is very active and works rigorously in her garden.  My aunt, however, has had several house maids for as long as I can remember, and I suspect she doesn't do much physical activity.  My aunt naturally slimmer than my mom.  But lack of rigorous activity may be undermining her bone density and muscle tone.

Healthy bone density is crucial. I may not feel the urge to work out because we keep our weight under control through healthy eating.  But being slim isn't enough to ward off the long term effects of inactivity.  If we aren't working to maintain a strong internal support system, don't worry about spending your hard earned dollars on expensive skin creams.  Think of your beauty ritual from an inside out approach.  It may look something like this:
CELLULAR LEVEL (drink water, supplementation, circulation, oxygenation) >> BONE STRUCTURE (resistance training)>> MUSCLE TONE (physical activity)>> HEALTHY SKIN (exfoliation, sun protection) 
This is a more complete (and long term) way of looking at a beauty regimen.  Once you have those bases covered, everything else just falls into place.  The past few months have been insanely busy for me with 6-7 day work weeks complete with absurd amounts of travel.  Miraculously I've managed to maintain my weight through my eating eating habits. But, I haven't had a decent work out in months. Now I realize that working out isn't just for shedding pounds. The benefits go way beyond that.

Reflecting on all the extra benefits motivates me to work out even if I'm not trying to fit into a bathing suit.  I'm here to experience so much more than that.....but, I'll also take the flat abs.  :)

  1. Such an informative post...and so true!! Many people are trying to make external adjustments to counteract internal neglect. You really address what can be done to make a more lasting impact. Healthy insides radiate outwardly, we just help it along by keeping the outside of our body temple beautiful as well.

    Thank you!