The Benefits of Exercise and How to Stay Motivated: Part 1- Katie Smith

May 16, 2019 | Fitness

How do I stay motivated? Why do I exercise? Do I ever feel like I can’t be bothered? Just a few questions I find myself getting asked regularly. The truth is, there is always an excuse you could tell yourself to avoid working out; too tired, too busy, too stressed – the list goes on. However, always remember that exercise is often the perfect remedy.

Exercise benefits all of us; improving our energy levels, increasing muscle mass and bone density which is super important especially as we grow older, decreasing our blood pressure and the prevalence of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obesity and some cancers – massively benefitting our overall quality of life. For me, nothing beats that post workout high; I feel strong, proud and always leave my studio with a newly earnt glow.

Exercise is so much more than aesthetics; it is essential for both our physical and cognitive health. Studies show that just 25 minutes of cardiovascular exercise every day will massively impact your life.

This does not have to be done all in one go, you can break this down into what I like to call “exercise snacks”. This may be stepping off the bus a few stops earlier to walk further to work or completing fifty squats whilst you brush your teeth in the morning. Subtle changes like these moulded into your everyday routine really will make such a huge difference.

We know that leading an active lifestyle has many long-term benefits, but sometimes it is useful to know that even completing one short workout will have immediate positive effects on your body and remembering these could motivate you to get moving.

1) The Glow – Due to an increase in temperature when we workout, the blood flow to your skin increases. As a result, we start to sweat and are left with a lasting, healthy glow – hence the ethos of Sweat & Glow; when we exercise regularly combined with a balanced diet consisting of plenty of whole foods, you will be left glowing inside and out.

2) Brain functioning & Cognitive health – Studies have shown that even short bursts of cardiovascular exercise increases our reaction time and memory, improving functionality of the brain. Exercise brings clarity into my mind and helps me focus, especially helpful when I have a busy week ahead.

3) It makes us happy –The most rewarding part of my job is seeing how happy my clients are after completing their workout. Whatever stresses or worries they have going on in their personal lives, they always leave smiling with positive energy and a spring in their step. 

Exercise is a form of therapy, proven to decrease depression and anxiety due to the release of happy hormones in the brain. Usually, regular exercise also helps us make better food choices, as we all know the classic saying “you can’t out train a bad diet”.

4) Improve quality of sleep – Potentially one of the most important factors when thinking about our wellbeing. Sleep is the time that the body uses to rest, allowing our muscles to repair. I’ve encountered many clients who either deprioritize sleep due to their hectic lifestyle, or find that other factors, including stress, is not allowing them to switch off properly. This is a common problem. Exercise is a great solution; its effects have been proven to decrease anxiety and relax our body and mind, resulting in a far more restful sleep.

Stay tuned for part 2 where Katie will reveal some of her top tips on how to stay motivated to exercise…

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