If changing how you look has been your main motivation for exercise, you have been reinforcing unacceptance every time you workout.
And you have been missing out on so many other reasons why our bodies benefit from moving!
Stress on bones increases production of osteoblasts, which remodel and grow bones. Weight-bearing exercise also delays onset of osteoporosis.
Cardio increases the “Healthy” cholesterol (HDL) which fights the unhealthy kind (LDL) by helping it be removed from the body through waste.
Studies show that exercisers report better sleep than non-exercisers. Some of us may not sleep well at all without allowing enough movement in the day for physical tire.
Emotions stay trapped in our bodies when we don’t physically shake them off (or run/punch/push-up them off). A healthy management of anger involves expressing physically in constructive ways.
Just the process of making incremental improvements in physical ability (assuming you allow positive self-talk to be present along the way) naturally creates a more positive body image. “I did that!”
Exercise elevates the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotransmitter that can stimulate production of new brain cells.
Many forms of exercise are done with others, providing the social connection that, as mammals, we are wired to rely on for survival. A shared activity can bond people who try something challenging together, feel a little vulnerable together, and maybe also sweat together.
Neurotransmitters from physical activity and an elevated heart rate are comparable to what is achieved with anti-depressant medication. Outdoor exercise can add the Vitamin D benefits to your endorphins and other feel good chemicals to let you feel more calm, confident, and joyful.
Which of these are your favorite motivators to move?
Before or after you workout, don’t forget to breathe.