On the first day of this month, many of us resolved with great courage of conviction to exercise more and stick to a workout plan, making “New Year, New Rear” our fitness mantra, and feeling more empowered than ever to get to work and pull it off.
However, studies show that within 6 months after swearing “this year will be different!” most people have thrown in the (sweaty gym) towel. Perhaps the weight didn’t melt off like they were hoping, and their new rear has yet to make an appearance, leaving some to wonder whether all that hard work was ever really worth it.
We can totally relate! And we promise that all those burning, sweaty workouts will be rewarding!
While we can completely get behind (ha!) the desire to create new rear for ourselves, we’d also like to take a moment to highlight the many other incredible health benefits of breaking a sweat during your workout routines that go far beyond just your behind.
From stress reduction to deeper sleep to a longer, happier life, the extensive list of behind-the-scenes exercise benefits are just as good, if not better, than the outward perks.
Beyond just acquiring a new rear, here are 10 less obvious reasons why you should stick with your fitness resolution:
- Stop stress: Breaking a sweat increases the release of norepinephrine, a chemical that moderates the brain’s response to stress.
- Get happy: Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that help create feelings of happiness while staving off depression. In fact, consistent exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants!
- Boost brainpower: Working out increases BDNF, a brain-derived protein believed to help with higher thinking, learning, and improved memory.
- Promote productivity: Speaking of increased brainpower, workers who make time for regular exercise are more productive, creative, and energetic than their sedentary coworkers.
- Sleep tight: A workout can act as nature’s sleeping pill, even for those with insomnia. Exercise increases the body’s core temperature, which then drops back to normal within a few hours, signaling the body that it’s time to sleep.
- Kick the habit: Perhaps another resolution of yours is to quit smoking—or perhaps quit a far more serious addiction. With addiction, a dopamine-based ‘high’ is caused by whatever is producing it. Swap ping a negative habit for a healthy one will provide a natural high that’s actually good for you.
- Get social: Exercise rarely happens in a bubble, and research shows that we actually perform better when we’re in it together. Better workouts and new friends who will encourage us along the way? Ok!
- Reduce wrinkles: Perhaps the list should end here. Yes, it’s true--working up a sweat acts as a natural toxin-expelling, ultra-moisturizing wrinkle cream that can actually reverse the skin’s natural aging process! While we don’t suggest tossing your entire skin regimen, we do suggest going to our dance classes more!
- Get internal strength: In your organs, that is! From your heart to your lungs to your brain, every organ becomes stronger with each workout. You will also lower your risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Not to mention you will add many happy, healthy years to your life. Shall we even go on?
- Love yourself: Last but certainly not least, exercise can make you not only look, but far more importantly feel like a million bucks, regardless of where you are at in your fitness journey. And that is priceless.
So next time you feel like you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, and are ready to throw in the (sweaty gym) towel, recall this list to motivate yourself into an exercise routine you’ll stick to!
Just remember: there is literally no downside to fitness. We promise that in time, the “new rear” will come. And when it does, it will simply be an added bonus.
Are you already an exercise overachiever? How do you stay motivated to hit your fitness resolutions?