School. Work. Community Service. More school. Clubs. Friends. These are all extremely important aspects of all of our lives, but something is missing… and that something is working out!
I will have to say, recently, I haven’t been staying on the “working out” wagon, but hopefully this post will be an inspiration for all of us to work out more often because exercise—whether it’s running or something else—is necessary.
Exercise is extremely important. Not just to keep off that weight from the burger and fries you indulged in last night (whoops!) but to keep you healthy and happy long-term. But what exactly are the benefits of exercise?
Well, exercise helps prevent heart problems and other long-term diseases, as exercise increases levels of “good” cholesterol, HDL. In fact, a healthy lifestyle, which includes both a wholesome diet and regular exercise, has been suggested to prevent a myriad of illnesses including diabetes, Alzheimer’s, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and chronic high blood pressure according to Mayo Clinic. Exercise also increases your mood. You know the famed “runner’s high”? Well, when you work out, the brain releases endorphins, which simulate your mood, making you happier. Long-term exercise can even lead to increased self-confidence!
Exercise has other wonderful effects, including an increase in muscle tone and endurance in day-to-day activities, boosting the quality of your daily life. You know your favorite part of the day? Bedtime, right? Well, sleep grants you a deeper sleep and even makes it easier to fall asleep! Why not make one of your favorite activities even better by exercising?
In addition to a better life, exercise can offer up the opportunity to hang out with friends by dragging along one of your friends as a workout buddy. Having a friend with you keeps you motivated and is a means of socialization, after working out, you could catch up on your lives with a great post-workout snack!
Finding the Time
We’re all super busy obviously, so when will we find the time to hit up the gym? A great idea is working out while catching up on your favorite TV series or listening to an audiobook—multitasking is your best friend! You will be able to get both things done at the same time. Another way to find the time is to factor working out into your schedule as that will force you to spend that chunk of time you set aside for exercise (just make sure you stick to your schedule). Working out in the morning after waking up is a refreshing start to the day, while an afternoon workout gives a wonderful night’s rest later on.
“Food is the motivation” for working out says TP Intern Tiffany Huynh. Working out does burn off extra calories so you can indulge once in a while instead of continuously eating healthy. Motivating yourself with a piece of chocolate at the end of the day or some cake on your cheat day, which Niharika Roychoudhury and her friends schedule at boarding school, gives you something to look forward to after a grueling workout. A cheat day makes you look forward to the next and gives you a reward after a length of time.
Niharika and her friends stay motivated by fostering some competition among them all. They have given each other free reign on waking someone up with a face-full of water in the mornings, and their school actually requires 50 hours of exercise to graduate. Friends are a great way to keep yourself on track to keeping up your exercise goals and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle! Good friends are always there to encourage you and will watch over you to make sure you don’t sneak in an extra cheat day here and there!
One of the best ways to keep yourself motivated is to choose an activity or workout you truly enjoy. For instance, when I have complete freedom over what I could do to workout, I tend to choose volleyball, the sport I used to play competitively. I also love to run or do yoga, two other activities I enjoy. Choosing activities wisely is key to a great workout and keep up with the activity long-term leading to all the benefits explained before!
The long-term importance of exercise cannot be understated because it has so many benefits. So, carve some time in your schedule, gather up some friends, find some motivation, and search for the perfect activities to lead to a habit of working out! Good luck! Do you guys have any tips on exercising?