We all know that exercise is important for total health and wellness, but we may not realize what it actually does for us. We evolved from nomadic peoples who were constantly on the go; their daily life was filled with activities that mandated being physically fit in order to survive and thrive.

In our days filled with desk jobs, convenience at our fingertips, and technology, we’ve all gone a bit soft. How do we again prioritize our physical fitness? Our bodies were designed to move constantly—like a high-performance sports car, if we are only taken out for the occasional spin around the block, we will develop problems very quickly and likely need “repair” or medical intervention. It’s time to get up off the couch, put that tablet down, and move again, just like our ancestors did.

The importance of enjoying exercise

As you contemplate building a healthy lifestyle, it is vital that you create good habits that facilitate health and well being. Exercise is a vital component of a healthy lifestyle.

Nothing is more tedious and unpleasant than an exercise routine that you can’t bear. If you don’t enjoy running, it is unlikely that you’ll change your mind by signing up for a marathon. Finding movement and exercise that you can be passionate about, something you can foresee incorporating into your life long term, is the key to exercise success and physical fitness. Whether it’s kickboxing in Cleveland, a spin class Bakersfield has to offer, or pilates in Pittsburgh, finding something local that you love will be an essential piece of your wellness puzzle.

When you love what you are doing:

  • You are more likely to stick with it
  • You look forward to opportunities for movement
  • You will learn to prioritize your exercise routine
  • You will be establishing a positive habit that will benefit your mind, body, and spirit
  • You will learn the art of self-care and working toward goals

Benefits of exercise

In understanding just how exercise benefits the body, it might move us to that end more effectively. Here are some of the many ways that exercise is beneficial to us:

1. It increases energy levels

All types of exercise will improve the strength and efficiency of your whole body, including your muscles and your cardiovascular system. As a result, your body is able to deliver nutrients to your tissues more efficiently, resulting in more energy and stamina for you.

2. It improves strength

Keeping muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments in top condition means more efficient movement and greater flexibility. A stronger body simply moves better! Doing what you can to regularly incorporate resistance exercises and cardio into your regular routine will help you look and feel better.

3. It will reduce your risk of developing chronic health conditions

Numerous studies have now shown that regular exercise reduces your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, and even cancer. Regular movement helps to boost immunity and improve immune system function–and your immune system function is the key to claiming vibrant health. The more you move, the healthier you will be!

4. Exercise can improve mental and emotional well being

When you exercise, your body releases powerful chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel-good chemical, that is released in the midst of activity. Runners talk about the “runner’s high” that kicks in after they are in the middle of a workout–these endorphins are designed to carry you through some of those tough times and make them more pleasant. Endorphins remain present in the body for quite some time after exercise sessions are over; use these feel-good chemicals to your advantage as you float through your day.

Find something to do that you love, incorporate friends and family into your fitness pursuits, and look for opportunities to increase exercise and movement into your day. You will improve the quality of your whole life!