The REAL benefits of exercise

Posted by Jennifer Campoli on April 20th, 2010
Filed under Health News, Motivation, Workouts | 1 Comment »

Happy Tuesday happy Tuesday!

The energy in Boston is just now starting to quiet down after the fabulous, ever inspiring Marathon Monday! I love the Boston Marathon…now only can you find inspiration in every person who runs by you but the city is literally ON FIRE with energy all day long! As Tina said it yesterday, the marathon marks the end of our long, frigid winter; the spring blooms are everywhere and everyone comes out to offer support.

The fiance and I stood close to the finish line, watching and talking about how much we would love to be a part of an experience such as the Boston Marathon. I won't lie…every year I think about how I could do it, if I could do it. Well, I know I could it's just do I want to commit to it! I see people of all walks of life pass by me. If they can, I can. I think we are going to start small with a race here and there, even dabble a bit into a triathlon or two but who knows…maybe next year I will join the pack and run that race!

Because it was such a beautiful day, I took the day "off" from Insanity and spent every moment out in the sun. I know the schedule called for Cardio Power and Resistance but life was calling and I'm not one to ignore it if I know I can place that workout on the schedule for another day this week! Balance friends, everything is about balance!

But today was another story.

I am currently sitting at my kitchen table drenched in sweat after my Insanity workout. Gosh Shaun T kills me! :) In a most lovingly way. But I have my smoothie in hand with about 4 cups of spinach, 2 handfuls of frozen cherries, Chocoloate Shakeology, a dash of vanilla extract and a nice serving of almond milk. Life is fabulous!

After a full week of Insanity I'm noticing some very small, subtle changes in my body that are so fabulous.

  • My core for one thing is getting oh so very strong. It isn't looking so bad either, I might add.
  • I have more power in my jumps now even after one week. I can jump higher and for longer which is so fun! Hard but fun.
  • My heart rate is already adapting to the workouts a bit. I can recover much quicker which says only one thing: my endurance is increasing. Check!

Overall, I'm in LOVE with this program! I think it is a fabulous way to knock your body out of it's normal routine and change things up. I have taken before pictures to see what happens over 60 days. So anxious to see what I find in May!

The REAL benefits of exercise

A wonderful reader (thank you reader!) sent me a link to this article today from the New York Times. VERY interesting if you have 5 minutes. I love how things have a way of finding themselves in your lap when you least expect it!

I've been thinking a lot about my fitness lately, how exercise fits into my life, why I do it, what are the benefits that I experience and how I can share what I am learning with others. While this article still poses a lot of questions and findings that may paint a different picture for you about exercise, here is the jist from my point of view:

  • Exercise is one piece to the equation when we are looking to change our bodies. What you put into your body and what you do with your body all play an important role in to what you look like, how you feel and how your body moves.
  • Use exercise as a healthy habit. Consider the larger benefits you gain from exercise that go beyond how many calories your burn or how svelt your muscles look. Think of your heart, your lungs, your joints, your bones, all the parts of your body.
  • Our bodies are such complex things. So much goes on behind the curtain that we still don't understand but one thing stands true: exercise allows your body to function better and process food/nutrients in a healthier way.

I hope you are able to learn something from this article and I want to end with what I consider to be the REAL benefits of exercise.

1. Mind balance. I bring everything I have to my workouts. All of my energy, passion, stress, frustration, desires. I bring it all to my workouts and I literally work it all out while I sweat. I sometimes zone out completely during a workout, only focusing on my body and how it is moving. Other days, I am focusing on the one problem that I can't solve. I am focusing on the emotions I have been feeling and I WORK IT OUT! I finish a workout with a sense of accomplishment but also with less stress, less negative emotion, less of whatever I went in with. My mind is balanced!

2. Organ health. You got it. I love my heart, my lungs, my skin, my brain. I love all the parts of my body! Exercise does nothing but improve the health of everything I have in me! I made a decision not too long ago to take control of my health. I wanted to take control of everything that I could to better my life. Exercise is something that I can do every day to improve my health.

3. I can go longer. Ever wonder where people get their energy? Well, I think it comes from 2 places. One place is your mind. You DECIDE that you have energy. You decide how you want to live your day and whether you want to be filled with energy or not. I know, life can be tough and tiring and exhausting. But we can always try. On days when your mind can't quite muster up the energy- exercise! When your body comes to expect exercise, it will shower you with more energy than you know what to do with it! Especially if you enjoy the exercise you are doing.

4. Hormones baby! The New York Times article is one of the thousands out there that are showing one distinct theme in exercise research: everything in our bodies is connected to a hormonal response. Men, women, all of us! Hormones are like the messengers in our bodies telling it what to do and how to do it: insulin shows our body how to convert food in to energy, leptin helps our mind recognize when we are hungry, testosterone enables our body to build more muscle. And exercise plays a huge role in all of this: it helps regulate our body, which then regulates hormones, which then allows our body to function at it's best!

5. Let's be honest: it can make that body of yours look good. I won't deny the one thing I have learned about exercise: it can make those skinny jeans look better than ever! :) Your body loves exercise, muscle and eating well! When you provide it all of those things, trust me, the body shall look good. If you compare two bodies of the same build, weight and size. One person exercises regularly (3-4x a week) and the other person doesn't at all. You will see very clear differences between them and it comes down to our lovely exercise!

So, there ya have it friends. Those are what I consider to be the REAL benefits of exercise. I hope you are inspired today to move just a little bit more or differently than you did yesterday or this morning!

Check out my most recent Examiner Articles:

Easy Post Workout Snacks

Fitness Goals that Inspire You

Till next time!

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One Response to “The REAL benefits of exercise”

  1. BostonRunner says:

    Thanks for sharing the article- I totally agree with your REAL benefits of exercise! Even if exercise didn't help me maintain my weight/figure I would still do it because of all the other awesome things it does for you!
    .-= ´s last blog ..The Boston Marathon 2010 =-.

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