You’re swollen and have been limping around for days. Muscles that you didn't even know existed are clearly not happy with you.
Is it worth the pain?
This is definitely not a benefit of exercise for most; however, it’s something you should be prepared for. Well, sort of. The no pain, no gain slogan is not exactly accurate. For instance, there should never be any sharp, shooting pains or popping with any exercises that you do period. Also, if you stay sore for more than a week you should probably get checked out by a medical pro or the family doc. I know, I’m not making exercise sound that appealing at this point.
The reality is you need to be patient. Muscle soreness will improve with time and you should really start with a routine that is manageable and that you enjoy at least a little. Otherwise, are you going to keep this physical abuse that we call exercising up long-term? Probably not.
Well, I pretty much addressed all the negatives of starting an exercise plan and with so many, why else do weekend warriors, the fitness obsessed (you know who you are) and everyday people (like my mom) choose to follow a regular exercise plan? The answer is simple; the benefits of exercise well outweigh the cons (pun intended) and are worth every one of your sweaty sacrifices. Here’s why!
Health Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
Are you looking to live a healthier lifestyle? Well then, you need to exercise regularly. With that said, let’s start with debatably your most important organ, the heart.
For those that do not know, “aerobic” is a state when your body requires more oxygen to function. You can make this happen by taking part in cardiovascular activities like running, sports or a fitness class. Aerobic activity can help strengthen the heart muscles and reduce artery stress. It can also lower your blood pressure and resting heart rate. In fact, endurance athletes have the lowest documented resting heart rates. This is because they are consistently working their hearts and making them more efficient.
On top of the most important aspect of heart health, you will also maintain a healthier bodyweight when you exercise regularly. Excess fat is something that will raise your blood pressure and stress the heart. Not only this, but chances are you will feel much better about yourself when you have a lean, fit and healthy body.
Now, let’s move on to the grunting and groaning section, anaerobic exercise.
The Benefits of Anaerobic Exercises
With a cardio routine now in place, you should also do some form of anaerobic exercise (strength training) two to three times per week. The best way to do anaerobic exercise is with weight training. Research has shown that people who regularly lift weights lower their blood pressure, increase their strength and improve their overall metabolic rate. These changes can lead to improvements in your posture, bone density, and even decrease your likelihood of weight gain in the future. Not to mention all the other numerous benefits.