Everyone knows by now that exercising daily is something we should do to stay healthy and to feel good in our bodies (both mentally and physically).
Exercise boosts endorphins (“the feel-good” hormones). It elevates our mood, releases stress, enhances our creativity, fights depression, and reduces anxiety. But we still feel like we HAVE to exercise to look good.
Do you resonate with this?
Our vanity, and the urge to have the perfect body, is often prioritised above our actual health, which results in us choosing the wrong form of exercise. We’re often led down the path of the latest fitness trends that everyone swears by, as they claim it’s a “miraculous way to lose tummy fat in 5 days”.
If we base our physical exercise purely on aesthetics, we cannot maintain a healthy routine, long term. There will be days when you feel down, when you don’t like the way you look, when you feel like you’ve put on weight after the holidays, and then you’ll punish yourself by exercising more.
This is when we end up doing crazy workouts that we’ve never done before, which can result in adding stress on your mind and body.
Today I’d like to challenge you, by inviting you to start looking at exercising from a different perspective: Longevity.
What if we think about exercising like a medicine for longevity? I know we’d all love to stay in shape, stay fit, and travel until our late 80’s and 90’s. Of course we all want to live life pain-free, and focus on our career, our hobbies, our loved ones.
With that in mind, here are four forms of exercise that can help to target specific health benefits:
- Strength exercise: Increase lean muscle, bone strength, and boost metabolism
- Flexibility exercise: Improve range of motion of muscles and joints, posture, breathing, digestion, and functional movement in day-to-day life
- Cardiovascular exercise: Improve blood circulation, stamina, and endurance
- Balance: Improve coordination during movement in daily activities, enhance cognitive function (concentration and memory), help prevent against brain disease, slow down aging process, and reduce risk of injury
Now let’s look at what happens to our organs when we train. It’s not only about toning abs and glutes, but there is more:
- Brain: Physical activity is proven to support emotional wellness, reduce anxiety and depression, and helps you to handle stress, as it produces endorphins (the “feel good” hormones).
- Lungs: Your breath is the core principle when you exercise; it gets deeper and faster, and therefore strengthens the lungs. The oxygen capacity increases and the body can remove carbon dioxide more effectively.
- Skeletal system: Exercise helps to slow down the process of reduction in bone density mass, which happens after age 30. This reduces the risk of injury when the body is under pressure.
- Heart: Regular exercise helps strengthen our cardiovascular system. As the heart rate increases, blood flow increases throughout the body. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps to raise good cholesterol.
- Digestive system: Exercise helps to reduce constipation and supports regularity. The increased blood flow and oxygen levels throughout our body are vital in stimulating the digestive system and the intestines. Deep breathing reduces stress levels which activates your parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest system), especially during low impact exercises.
- Muscles: When we exercise, we strengthen our muscles. Our lean body mass increases and our fat mass decreases. As a consequence, our resting metabolic rate increases.
- Kidneys: As they work to regulate our water and pH balance when we exercise, we produce less urine, which helps to delay dehydration and loss of important electrolytes.
*Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals that play a role in nerve function, muscle contraction, pH regulation, and water balance.
- Skin: Our skin is the largest detoxifying organ and protects us from harmful bacteria. Regular exercise helps to decrease oxidative stress, improve circulation and cell rejuvenation, and slow down the aging process.
What are you waiting for? Let’s try to look at exercise from a healthier point of view, to break any unhealthy patterns that most of the time we can get sucked into.
Choose any form of physical exercise you like, don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t like as you might struggle to get the right results for yourself. We are all different, and what’s right for one person might not be right for you, just like a diet.
Now that you’ve seen the many benefits of exercising daily at 360 degrees, you can motivate yourself to start and try to fit some movement in your day to day life.
If today is not a good day, just put your phone on airplane mode, play your favourite song, and go out for a walk around your block. I promise, you will feel 1000 times better when you come back home and tomorrow you will do even more. Step by step, thinking about longevity… picture yourself in 5, 10, 20 years time, how do you see yourself?
If you need more motivation and support, try SHAPES for free for a week. You’ll have my guidance and my support, with one of the best physical forms of exercise for mind & body: Pilates.
I can also assist you with questions about nutrition, lifestyle, and meditation.
I hope this article will help you make amazing healthy transformations in your life and for any help, you can always email me and get in touch. I will be very happy to help you further.
You might also like articles: The Power of Movement: A True Mind and Body Experience and Calmness and Moderation Form the Key to a Good Workout.