About the Author: Sara Upton is a recent college graduate and health and fitness blogger. She is a firm believer that anyone can find time for a healthy lifestyle if they get active in a way that they enjoy. Her favorite activities include running with her dog, yoga and strength training.
It’s common knowledge that a regular fitness routine can help you toward a healthier lifestyle. However, many simply assume that fitness merely helps you to maintain a healthy heart, or develop sound muscle structure. But the truth is that physical fitness has virtually innumerable benefits for your overall wellbeing. Here are 5 ways that getting into a regular fitness routine can contribute to your overall wellbeing, beyond muscles and cardio health.
Physical fitness isn’t everything, and minding your appearance can certainly be taken too far. But there’s no sense in pretending how you look doesn’t matter to you. Regular fitness helps you to control your weight and look your best, which will almost invariably result in higher self-esteem as you can take pride in your physical shape.
2. Mood & Energy Spikes
Mayo Clinic commented in a post on the various benefits of physical activity discusses the ways in which fitness can chemically improve your mood and boost your energy. It may seem counterintuitive to those who don’t exercise regularly, but fitness won’t actually leave you tired—rather, it causes you to feel energized and accomplished, and helps you to avoid sluggishness throughout the day.
Even the most optimistic of people require achievement to continue to feel good about themselves. Meeting milestones and accomplishing goals gives us feelings of pride that in turn translate to diligence and sound practices when pursuing new goals—and it just so happens that establishing a fitness routine is a great way to start this positive cycle moving. A fitness tracker can be especially motivating, because it keeps track of your achievements when you exercise. And if you need proof of someone’s success with a tracker, look no further than the story of Linda Roberts on Verizon Wireless. She credits one of these devices with helping her lose weight (155 pounds) and influencing others to do the same—she has since become a personal trainer.
4. Improve Your Sleep
An article from ABC Health & Wellbeing discusses the benefits of fitness for your sleep routine. Those who don’t exercise regularly might expect that the energy spike from fitness could cut into sleep or keep you awake, but in fact it’s quite the contrary. Provided you don’t exercise right before sleep, your body will actually be better primed for a good night’s sleep. Many people with regular fitness routines find that they get deeper, more consistent sleep at night, and this benefit leads to its own range of perks for your wellbeing.
5. Stress Management
The feeling that one needs to “blow off some steam” is very real, and for many of us physical fitness is the ideal solution. If you tend to feel stressed regularly but don’t have a way to “release,” exercise may be the answer. A regular run, a weight lifting routine, a sport—whatever works for you! Fitness leaves many people feeling more mentally relaxed, and is a great way to do something for yourself after a stressful day or incident.