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Fit For Life: Be UNSTOPPABLE

Saturday, December 05, 2015

 

I started working out to get bigger and look better.  When I started in the fitness business over 20 years ago, I remember when people would work out to drop a few pounds. Or get ready for beach season.  Fast-forward to today and it seems as though more people start exercising due to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Sometimes it’s a life or death situation to lose weight and become more fit. Whatever your reason to start or continue to exercise, here are a few more reasons many people don't know about – but might just inspire you to get started…

Exercise increases your sex drive

First, exercise not only makes you feel more desirable, it stimulates blood flow, which releases endorphins that release testosterone and other hormones. Second, you will have a better self-image and that enhancement leads to a greater sex drive. A big part of better sex is feeling sexy. Research shows that people who exercise have an improved body image over people who do not exercise. Being more comfortable with your body leads to better and more relaxed sex. 

Exercise also makes you smarter

Studies have shown that exercise releases brain chemicals that help with the retention process of new information.   The reason for this is when you exercise, your blood pressure and blood flow increases, which in turn shuttles more oxygen through the entire body - brain included. It raises your focus for up to two to three hours afterwards, so it is advisable to work out just before a test or presentation, so you will peak when you perform. On a more scientific level, it makes the hippocampus super active, and when you rev up these neurons, cognitive function improves. This pattern works better with regular exercise, because the benefits can quickly recede. So be regular with your exercise patterns, not hit or miss.   

Exercise aids in digestion

If the food we eat doesn't get digested properly, a whole lot of problems can arise in the body, such as: gastrointestinal issues, acidity, acid reflux, heartburn, constipation, bloating, and even bad breath. This is why healthy digestion is probably the most important element to your health. If you can't utilize good nutrients, and eliminate bad bacteria, you end up sick, diseased, and overweight. During exercise, your heart rate and breathing increase, thus stimulating muscles that support the digestive tract, which in turn makes it more active and efficient.

Exercise makes you look better

No doubt about it. Regardless of what your fashion statement is, your clothes will fit better, and therefore you’ll be looking better.  You’ll have more choices in the clothes that you can shop for.  Even your shoes will fit better.  And ladies – the high heels you want to wear will be more comfortable when they aren’t carrying all that extra weight.  If you’re in a competitive work environment, men, your suits and even casual Friday wear will look more professional, neat and crisp.

So what will be your reason?  Find that motivation that works best for you.  If one of these inspires you to get started, then go with it, but remember, ultimately it is your health that is at stake.  And that impacts all the people around you – your spouse or partner, your children, your family.  It impacts your ability to earn a living.   To have a positive outlook in life.  To be happy.  We all need to keep moving – the rewards just keep adding up – so, start now….and let me know what motivates you!  Leave a message on Facebook or Twitter….and I’ll share your motivation with others.  We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one!

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years.

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

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MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

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MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

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Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

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YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

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SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

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Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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