5 Reasons to Get off the Couch and Get Fit
You’re probably tired of hearing it from your doctor. And your family. And the media. And the world in general. Exercising can help you lose weight and be healthier. If that information hasn’t been enough motivation for you to stop lounging on the couch, binge watching Netflix while binge eating Doritos, you aren’t alone. Here are five reasons to reconsider working out.
Exercise Promotes Better Sleep
Tossing and turning all night can throw the whole next day off balance. Luckily, getting in just a little bit of physical activity can drastically increase your chances of getting a restful night. According to a survey of 155,000 adults, people who were physically active just one day in the past month had fewer sleep issues and fatigue than those who weren’t. In a study published in journal Sleep Medicine, women over the age of 60 who walked for one hour four times a week woke up half as often and enjoyed 48 more minutes of sleep per night.
Exercise Improves Mental Health
Not exercising doesn’t make you crazy. But research has suggested that exercising can do wonders for all aspects of your mental health, including reducing depression and anxiety and boosting self-esteem.
When you exercise, your body releases hormones, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, that make you happier. In fact, some studies have suggested that exercising actually makes the brain react similarly to people who are on cocaine—without the bad side effects.
Furthermore, it feels good to set a goal and accomplish it. As you get stronger and build endurance, you will be more pleased with your appearance and all that you have achieved.
Exercise Boosts the Immune System
If you find yourself getting sick every couple of months, it could be because you have a weak immune system. Believe it or not, exercise reduces your risk of contracting a cold by 33 percent.
A University of Washington study found that women between the ages of 50 and 75 who did 45 minutes of cardio five times per week got sick less often than women who simply stretched. Many doctors think this is because exercise gives your immune cells a boost, strengthens your muscles, and makes your circulatory system function better.
Exercise Rids the Body of Aches and Pains
Let’s face it--as you get older, things begin to hurt more. Your back creaks, your hips grind and your knees feel like landmines that might explode at any second. Exercise is a great way to regain control of your body and feel like the young soul you are.
According to a Humboldt State and University of Colorado study, seniors who ran three times a week for 30 minutes had more mitochondria in their system, eliminating certain aches and pains. Don’t believe it? Consider the fact that the most active seniors in this test group actually had the same walking ability as adults in their 20s.
Exercise Pleases Family and Friends
Exercising is about more than making the nagging and the teasing stop (although that is a nice benefit). It’s also about not disappointing your loved ones. They care about you and don’t want to see you succumb to easily preventable diseases. They want you to be able to live to see all of your grandchildren grow up and start families of their own.
Adding six 30-minute exercise sessions into a week can lower a man’s risk of disease by 40 percent, drastically increasing his potential lifespan.
Getting fit certainly isn’t an easy task. If it were, we’d all be supermodels. However, exercising is definitely a worthwhile venture that can make your life more enjoyable and fulfilling in so many ways.
- "5 Reasons to Get Off the Couch and Get in Shape." NCHPAD Blog. NCHPAD, 15 July 2014. Web.
- "17 Reasons To Get Off The Couch." Prevention. Prevention, 07 Dec. 2012. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.
- Sulaver, Rob. "6 Convincing Reasons to Start Working Out Immediately." Greatist. Greatist, 4 Nov. 2013. Web.
- Mulcahy, Lisa. "5 Reasons Why You Need to Get in Shape Now — before It's Too Late." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2016. Web. 04 Aug. 2016.
- Flexable Health