Exercise.

OK you guys? Exercise. I mean it. Here’s why.

Immediate benefits (like the DAY OF)

  1. Sense of accomplishment. Did you do nothing but stay home all day watching Property Brothers on HGTV for 7 hours? No, for one of those hours I was at the gym. How productive!
  2. Mood-lift. Working out releases endorphins, which produce a feeling of happiness and well-being. Nobody would ever not want this feeling.
  3. More energy. Getting some exercise won’t use up all your energy; it will actually give you more energy throughout the day, so you can kick ass at your job or being a hit at a party or something.
  4. Stress relief. Working out also releases serotonin and dopamine, setting your mind at ease and blowing off some steam.
  5. Higher metabolism. Exercise boosts your metabolism so your body burns more calories, even when your workout is over.

Long-term benefits (within a year and for the rest of your LIFE)

  1. Lose weight. Which is, like, the idea.
  2. Gain muscle. Oh, you need me to lift THIS JUG OF MILK? Yeah cool I got this.
  3. Improve cardiovacular health, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes, improve your blood pressure, and oh you know just MAKE YOUR WHOLE BODY HEALTHY and stuff.
  4. More smartness. Not only do all these chemicals released give you a mood boost, it feeds your brain and improves memory and reasoning. Win all arguments.

HOW DOES EXERCISING HAPPEN?

You do it. Ideally, you do it 5-6 days a week, and incorporate a mix of both weight training and cardio workouts. There are a million different ways to exercise, but here are two important rules for choosing one (or some):

  1. You have to like it. Do you hate running? Don’t do it. Try the elliptical machine, or a class at the gym, or swimming, or riding your bike, or a workout video, or yoga, or some sport.
  2. It has to be convenient. If you run the risk of “the gym is too far” being a common excuse, find a closer one, or find ways to workout outside, or in your house / tiny apartment. Maybe there’s an awesome gym close to work–that counts too.

The main idea is, set yourself up to have as few excuses as possible not to workout. If you love boot camp classes and your gym is right next door, you are way more likely to get in at least 6 hours a week of exercise (but probably like 10).

More is on the way about specific workouts I love, how to go about designing your workout week, and cardio vs weight training, but like, I just had to get this one out there first so WE’RE ALL CLEAR ABOUT HOW THIS WILL GO, okay?

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12 comments
  1. I have yet to experience the mood lift part. I’m still at the “everything hurts all the time always” and “I can’t breathe…am I dying?” stage. The point is to keep at it, right? Fingers crossed for a mood lift someday soon!

    • Girl, this probably means you should try a different kind of exercise, because those are the sounds of hating something. Which is fine for maybe one day a week of your workout, but to be able to stick with it, you gotta enjoy it. What sort of thangs you doin?

  2. I used to hate running. But I got tricked into running during training sessions for really short intervals- like 2 or 3 minutes high intensity. And then by the end of the session I’d run a mile and it didn’t totally suck. And now running a mile on my own is my standard uncreative warm up. It’s the first thing I do when I hit the gym alone. And then I switch it up depending on the day with speed and incline shifts. It’s such a no-brainer now. So… even if you hate something now… you might like it later?

    • I like this. A lot. It’s a good point. And I think there’s a lot of satisfaction that comes from getting better at something (which is usually the reason people hate something at first) which can make it more enjoyable.

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