It wasn’t that long ago that a trip to the gym felt a little like visiting a prison to me. I spent most of my workouts looking at the clock and wondering how much longer I had to suffer. My how times have changed! Now I look forward to workouts and when they are over, I can’t wait until the next one.
The obvious benefit of working out is the physical changes that you will see but there are so many more reasons to workout.
Every day when I walk out of the gym around 6:30AM, I feel energy coursing through my body. My day seems to go by faster and I don’t experience the 2PM crash that I used to deal with everyday. If I skip my 5AM workout, I feel tired by noon. If I skip my 5AM workout for a few days, I WAKE UP tired. Unfortunately, waking up tired has become the norm for so many people and was once a daily reality for me. Now, thanks to my daily workouts, I sleep well through the night, wake up feeling well rested, and have more than enough energy to handle my busy schedule.
Healthy Food Choices
I’m not a doctor or a scientist so I won’t even try to tell you the science behind it but I know from experience that working out consistently makes it easier to make healthier decisions when it comes to food. After a good workout, your body craves protein and wants to be hydrated. Sweet, starchy, and heavy foods just loose their luster after a workout (and this is coming from the QUEEN of loving all things baked goods). Now this doesn’t mean that you will never ever want pizza or chocolate again. It just means that intense cravings normally become less frequent and healthy food becomes more appreciated.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
Unfortunately, I have had my fair share of anxiety attacks in my life. I have suffered from extreme anxiety since I was sixteen but it definitely reached new heights when I became a business owner. I also feel like I carry stress in my shoulders and lower back on a daily basis. Consistent workouts make handling my anxiety and stress levels a much easier task. In fact, thanks to a mix of consistent workouts, meditation, and breathing exercises, I haven’t had an anxiety attack in years. If you are suffering from anxiety or another mental health issue, working out and the release of endorphins that goes along with those workouts can be very helpful.
Over the past ten years I have been many sizes. Some of those sizes I have felt more comfortable in than others. What really surprised me though was that at my largest size, I ended up feeling more confident than I did at my smallest because of the way that working out makes me feel. When your body is releasing endorphins after a great workout and you just beat your last time for a run or lifted more than you did last week, it’s hard not to feel really good about yourself. When I leave the gym in the morning, I feel like I’m floating on air. The last thing I am worried about at that moment is my pants size or the number on the scale. Working out has given me a confidence that being skinny never did.
You don’t have to start out with extremely long workouts. You don’t even need to start in the gym. A 30 minute walk outside everyday can be a life changing experience. Start where you are comfortable and slowly push yourself. Start in a way that is going to make you continue coming back for more. Just start! Because once you start, you realize that you are absolutely worth it.