10 Amazing Benefits of Exercise and Fitness

10 Amazing Benefits of Exercise and Fitness

1. Exercise Super Charges Brainpower

Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity. All that makes for a more productive day and a happier employee which equate to better employee retention.

People who are active and who exercise are much more productive at work. Improved productivity not only makes you a better worker, it makes things better for everyone in the workplace. Companies with less wasted work hours and less sick time end up with lower health care costs--and an improved bottom line. That is why so many companies either have gyms at their offices or help to pay for employees to have gym memberships.

photo of man holding a book

2. De-stress with Exercise and Body Movement

As much as it may stress people out to think about exercising, once they actually start working out, studies show they experience less stress in every part of your life.

Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. He says it also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.

You're not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. When you are less stressed, you are less irritable, and that could improve relationships with your partner, kids, and co-workers. People will feel more satisfied in their daily roles and more accomplished in their everyday tasks.

3. Exercise Provides People with Energy

You might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout DVD for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise, people feel much more energized the rest of the day.

And when you improve your strength and stamina, it's easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.

A common excuse for people dodging regular exercise is that they are too tired to exercise. Know that while exercise may make people feel more tired at first, it does not last long, and will actually provide more energy in the long run, even immediately after you finish your exercise routine. The physical tiredness you feel after working out isn't the same as everyday fatigue. Once your body adjusts to exercise, you'll have more energy than ever.

4. Time for Fitness is Easy to Find

Take your kids to the park or ride bikes together, and you're getting physical activity while enjoying family time, he says. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard.

Also, forget the idea that you have to trudge to the gym and spend an hour or more doing a formal workout. Instead, you can work short spurts of physical activity into your day. Movement is key. No weights are required for exercising to count. Walking one hour a day can equate to 10,000 steps, the recommended number of steps to keep your body at a good physical functioning level.

Indeed, squeezing in two or three bouts of 15 or 20 minutes of activity is just as effective as doing it all at once. Vacuuming the house in the morning, riding bikes in the park with the kids in the afternoon, taking a brisk walk in the evening or doing some gardening in the backyard, can add up to an active day.

Recent U.S. government guidelines say that to lose weight and keep it weight off, you should accumulate at least 60 minutes of exercise a day. But half an hour a day of quality exercise like interval training or anaerobic cardio is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.

man planting plant

5. Fitness Builds Better Relationships

Think of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it's with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week.

Not only that, exercise is always more fun when there is someone to do it with and hold you accountable. Engaging in positive actions together is good for the spirit, mind and the body. Joining a social fitness network or walking with your family or spouse, after meals, or meeting up with people at the dog park for a stroll around the puppy terrain, can help people reach their exercise and fitness goals so much more efficiently than doing it alone.

6. Exercise Helps Ward off Disease

Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis(boneloss), and loss of muscle mass. It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process by strengthening the blood vessels, muscles, and joints, and even boosts immune function so you have a lesser chance of coming down with the cold or flu.

In response to your muscles needing more oxygen, your body will grow more capillaries to deliver more oxygen faster going forward. In addition, over time, regular exercise will make your blood vessels become more flexible allowing them to deliver more oxygen rich blood more efficiently. And if that wasn’t enough, the increased blood flow in your blood vessels serves to clean out excess cholesterol, keeping you free of clogs which can cause strokes and heart attacks.

On a cellular level, exercise benefits the power machines, called mitochondria, in each of the cells in the body by producing energy by and combining oxygen and glucose(orother fuel molecules). This combination produces ATP which is the molecule that gives your cells the energy they need to do their cellular work. When people exercise regularly, the body creates more and stronger mitochondria in each of the cells, making them more powerful and giving them more endurance for everything in life!

7. Fitness Pumps Up The Heart

Not only does exercise help fight disease, it creates a stronger heart--the most important muscle in the body. That helps makes exercise--and the activities of daily life—feel easier.

When you train over a period of time your heart will grow in size, allowing it to pump a larger volume of blood with each stroke(orpump). This allows more oxygen to be delivered to all the cells in your body. At the same time, your heart will build up less plaque and becomes stronger and more efficient at pumping blood.

Within only a couple of days after you start exercising, the body readily adapts to the stimulus it's getting and it becomes easier. You will feel less fatigue. It will not take as much effort when it comes to breathing. You shouldn't have as much pain or soreness.

8. Exercise Lets You Eat More

You've heard this one before: pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher the resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you're actually exercising.

Why is metabolism boosting so great? Jump start your metabolism through exercise(especially strength training and interval work) will allow your body to burn more fat and use up more energy while existing, so that you can eat more(healthier foods are the best). Once most people begin exercising and seeing the body changes, they desire to be healthier in the eating category and opt to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less of the processed and fatty foods. Our bodies will actually tell us what it needs in the form of cravings. So listen to the good words that your body is asking for and tap into healthier foods the body needs to fuel workouts. People who do move their bodies will be able to eat(inmoderation)  more of a variety of foods(eventhe bad kinds) than those who do not.


9. Exercise Boosts Performance

In just a short few weeks of consistent exercise, most people will begin to see differences, from how your clothes fit on the body to a more toned physique. You man even begin to notice that the same cardio exercises may become easier to complete, or that your basketball, golf, soccer or tennis game is a little bit better? Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, better your balance and reaction time; as well improve your overall performance.

When people use their muscles beyond what they can handle, either through aerobic exercise or weight bearing exercise, it causes the body to build new muscle tissue. Tiny tears can occur with weight lifting, and when these tears are repaired, this is what causes the muscle to become larger and more defined. Larger, stronger muscles will raise your metabolism making weight management easier.

10. Exercise For More Reasons Than Weight Loss

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it's certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program. The long-term goal of weight loss is not enforced enough to people new to exercise or starting fitness programs, and this is not sustainable and can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don't see results quickly, and if they are looking for a quick fix.

Do not make losing weight your only goal when starting an exercise program or exercising in general. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, increase optimal functioning of the body, and erase the aging process, to be more grounded and to be less stressed. Notice the small things that exercise does for you, like appreciate the time you take for yourself, to feel a great sense of accomplishment every day you sweat, rather than getting hung up on the narrow goal of the number on a scale.

8 Ways to Burn More Calories

Burn More Calories and Reach Your Goal Faster With These Workouts!

Hot fitness programs have hit the mainstream, and they promise to deliver fast and impeccable results!

Although each training methodology has specific components unique to their own, many of them resemble boot camps and social settings, which are pretty intense, even for seasoned athletes.

Check out the most popular types of workouts and get your year started off healthy and fit!

Top Proven Ways to Burn More Calories

1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT is an exercise methodology that involves short but intense workouts using periods of intense effort followed by short rest periods.

Exercises may include lifting monster tires, pulling a sack of heavy rocks, or jumping across a gymnasium floor or parking lot.

Typical work to rest ratio is 2:1.  If you run for 30 seconds, for example, then you jog for 15 seconds.

Although most people will mistake this for an actual fitness routine, however, this is just a strategy that can be applied to almost any cardio and other fitness routines.

people doing marathon

2. Tabata

Tabata Training is basically HIIT but has more defined work to rest ratio and amount of sets to be performed, as based on an original study Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. by Tabata I, et al.

Another thing that I noticed is that when someone is doing a Tabata Training they usually use some form of resistance or weights. Whereas HIIT usually involves strictly cardio exercises such as running, biking, skipping, etc.

But the principle is the same in both methods, work hard for X minutes then rest for X/2 minutes or variations of it.

In a study [1], led by Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan, Dr. Tabata concluded that High-Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) a.k.a.

High-Intensity Interval Training was a far more effective and efficient method of training when compared to traditional cardiovascular training (steady state cardio).

The study showed that Tabata training was not only more effective at improving anaerobic endurance but cardiovascular endurance as well.

Tabata intervals are most often done with body weight or light resistance exercises. The focus is usually on explosiveness and speed so you want to choose exercises that you can do a high volume of within the 20-second time frame.

When doing Tabata intervals in your workouts, you can also keep score. Your score is the lowest number of reps in any of the 8 rounds.

For example, if you were doing Tabata squats (bodyweight squats) for 8 rounds and the first round you got 17 reps but in the second round you only managed to get 14, then your score becomes 14. Then you want to try to hold on to that number for as long as you can.

You also want to make sure you don’t come out of the gate too hard and score really high in the first few intervals but fade away to nothing by the end. It’s better to find a tempo and rep range that you can hold on to the entire time!

The Tabata workout consists of 5 different exercises done back to back with a minute rest in between each exercise.

❧  Air Squats - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (total 4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Pull-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Push-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Sit-Ups - 8 sets of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest  (4 minutes)
❧  1-minute rest
❧  Calorie Row (rowing for calories on the concept rower) - 8 sets, 20 seconds works, 10 off (4-minute)

3. CrossFit

CrossFit is a fitness training methodology that incorporates cardio, weights, gymnastics, and other full body movements into its routines.  If you’ve ever been to a bootcamp, you’ve probably done CrossFit.

This training methodology was also made popular by the film ‘300‘.

The film’s cast utilized this training method to forge elite gladiator physiques.  Unlike a routine at a gym, where you move from station to station working one body part at a time, CrossFit routines are aimed at developing strength and cardiovascular capacity.

Many CrossFit workouts are done with a team approach, so it is more fun, social and challenging. At one station you might be doing push-ups off the medicine ball, the next one flipping tires, then hanging crunches, then skipping rope and so on.

It’s a full body workout. There’s virtually no limit on what types of exercise combination you can put together.

4. Insanity or Other Online/ On Demand Fitness Programs

Programs like the Insanity fitness program, are total body transformation workout routines designed to bring the convenience of fitness into the comfort of your own home.....on your own time!

These at-home DVD-based or online/app programs includes comprehensive selections of workouts and all of the necessary information you will need to dramatically improve people’s overall health and fitness.

The Insanity fitness program is designed as an intense exercise routine intended to provide a complete body transformation. More specifically, the Insanity fitness program focuses on extreme cardiovascular development and endurance, strength and lean muscle tissue development, and rapid weight loss.

The Insanity fitness program incorporates several exercise types into the overall fitness routine.

For instance, included within the fitness program are cardiovascular exercises, interval training, and plyometric training. When combined into an overall exercise routine, the results are dramatic and rapid.

Overall, the Insanity fitness program is a solid exercise routine that is affordably priced and delivers solid results.

Other online programs like Xponential's "Go" platform cover spin, Pilates, row, yoga, dance, running, stretch and barre. These on demand classes are complementary to memberships of their existing brick and mortar fitness studios located all around the world.

5. P90X

The P90X workout is an extreme 90-day fitness program developed by Tony Horton and Beachbody.

This is an intense home exercise program which combines cardio workouts, weight and resistance training, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching routines to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength.

This program also incorporates an effective nutrition plan and encourages protein drinks, meal replacements, energy enhancers and bars for snacks.

The P90X Nutrition Plan is a 3-phase eating program (Fat Shredder, Energy Booster, and Endurance Maximizer) that was specifically designed to work in tandem with the exercise routines.

It provides the optimum combination of health food needed to satisfy the body’s increased energy requirements each step along the way.

P90X uses muscle confusion to gain maximum results. By mixing in an extensive variety of different workouts and routines into the program, P90X continually challenges the body’s muscles and literally forces them to grow.

As a result, the body and mind will not hit the “workout plateau” and people will see better and faster results. P90X also specifically uses of the body’s own weight along with the P90X Chin-Up Bar, dumbbells, and resistance bands to deliver extremely challenging and ultra-effective workouts from home. (photo credit: p90x.com)

Another popular fitness program involves combining what might seem like opposing exercises, like mind-body movements plus aerobics, such as the following two:

6. Spin and Yoga

A one-hour or 90-minute workout combining yoga, and speed cycling on a stationary bike. Also known as Cy-Yo, these workouts are offered in a number of health facilities across the nation.

7. Yoga Fit & Yoga Sculpt

These workouts merge traditional yoga with a variety of other activities, including strength training, core muscle building, and butt firming.

8. Yogalates

Yoga and Pilates is the art of breathing and of core strengthening exercises.

Sometimes it’s called Yogalates or Yogilates, when adding a touch of calisthenics to the poses. Both practice mindfulness, deep breathing, balance and strong core building.

How Yogalates works:

As you follow each posture, you will feel your breathing and at the same time the supporting muscles deep within your core, strengthening your entire body.

Yogilates, Urla offers about 40 poses — including back lifts, sternum lifts, leg lifts, leg circles, as well as yoga poses such as Downward-Facing Dog, Sun Salutation, The Warrior, or Meditation Pose.

[1] - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392