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10 Reasons to start working out

Regular exercise improves overall quality of life for Canadians, providing numerous benefits beyond weight loss. Consider these terrific reasons to begin working out, check with your health professional, and get started!

Woman on the treadmill

Heart health

According to the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation, working out can quite literally be a lifesaver, as it can dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease and helps to control high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. One study showed that aerobic exercise improves arterial elasticity in seniors as well.

Social time

Regular workouts can improve your circulation in more ways than one! Group exercise classes are a great way to make new friends, spend some time with current friends, and generally work some socializing into an otherwise busy day. Even better, those social connections will help keep you coming back — having a workout buddy is a great source of support in reaching your goals.

Better sleep

Since you will expend more energy during the day if you work out, it stands to reason this will improve quality of sleep. Active bodies are tired bodies at night! However, because adrenaline is released when working out, it’s best not to do it too close to bedtime to avoid difficulty in falling asleep.

Springboard for healthier habits

Chances are that if you start a workout regimen and stick with it, you will find it to be a catalyst for kicking other bad habits to the curb. Quitting smoking, cutting back on calorie-laden alcoholic beverages, eating healthier meals and snacks, and drinking more water all go hand in hand with exercise. You might also begin opting to take the stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving. It all feels so good!

Age better

According to Health Canada, “Research shows that as much as half the functional decline between the ages of 30 and 70 is due not to aging itself, but to an inactive way of life.” The benefits of regular exercise with regard to aging are abundant: improved posture, reduced chance of developing chronic conditions and maintenance of lower back and joint strength and flexibility. For seniors, working out will help with balance and coordination (helping to lower the risk of falls), and weight-bearing exercises will help stave off osteoporosis.

Feel energized

A healthier, more active body is one that will have more energy— both physically and mentally — to face the day. Regular workouts will help you shake off feelings of fatigue and boost your metabolism so you burn more calories all day long.

Become a role model

Kicking off a new workout routine instantly makes you a better role model for your children or grandchildren. Kids are much more likely to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle if their parents do. As a bonus, you’ll finally have the get-up-and-go to join the kids for a walk or bike ride!

The transformation

The desire to change your appearance may be the reason for beginning a workout regimen – the quest for those dramatic before and after photos can be a powerful motivator for keeping up with your routine. However, it is equally important to acknowledge the transformation in how you feel about yourself along the way, since this is what will keep you active long after the love handles are gone. Setting and realizing a goal is an amazing self-esteem boost, and getting healthy is very empowering. It’s all good!

The buzz

That’s right! Workouts provide a natural high due to the release of endorphins into the system. Even light exercise is enough to produce a rush that will help start the day off right or relieve stress. The Canadian Mental Health Association states that, “Physical activity is increasingly becoming part of the prescription for the treatment of depression and anxiety.”

Improved sex life

Starting a workout routine might mean fewer, ahem, “headaches.” Many of the benefits of working out noted above, such as improved overall health, energy, flexibility, body image and self-esteem, will definitely provide a boost in bed. Sexy!

More on workouts and exercise

Creating a home gym on a budget
Exercising when travelling
Turning your dancing passion into a calorie-burn fest

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