You should exercise mainly for the health benefits rather than for being skinny or chasing a dress size. Your minds forces you to quit when your workout regimen becomes a punishment. Exercise helps you in neurogenesis, boosting natural 'feel good' hormones, creativity, reducing stress and in establishing new connections between brain cells.
Working out should be about living a long and happy life, not fitting into skinny jeans. Now, I know that there are those who exercise to help them lose weight, but it is the intention behind the weight loss that matters most.
Identify Your Intention to Lose Weight
- If you’re trying to lose weight because you’re experiencing health problems then your weight loss intention is to have health, and this will carry you a long ways.
- If you’re trying to lose weight because you can’t stand looking at yourself in the mirror and you believe that once you’re thinner, you’ll be happy, then your intention is based on a lack of self-love and that will not sustain you.
You’ll just end up an unhappy, unfulfilled smaller version of yourself. Your body image problems will still be there, and you’ll continue the cycle of, “I’ll be happy when…”
Exercise For Your Brain
The reason so many people come to gym regularly isn’t because they love working out, but for how working out makes them feel. Getting addicted by how much better they are sleeping, how their self esteem has risen, how they’ve become more positive and energetic along with losing weight and body fat are just the side effects of working out and not primary intentions. They do not have the same motivation as working out to fight depression or for the joy you get for being able to keep up with your 20-year-old son or for the energy to babysit your grand children.
Our minds are powerful instruments and if it looks at your workout regimen as punishment, it will force you to quit. It will not work with you, but rather, will work against you. This is because it’s uncomfortable, painful, debilitating and our brains receive exercise as a bad thing and do their best to keep us from doing ‘bad’ things. A few benefits that the brain derives from exercising regularly:
Creates New Brain Cells
Regardless of your age, your brain is capable of rejuvenating and regenerating itself throughout your life. Exercise promotes a process known as neurogenesis, i.e. your brain’s ability to adapt and grow new brain cells.
Heightens “Feel Good” Hormones
Your sweat session promotes mental health by normalizing insulin resistance and boosting natural “feel good” hormones and neurotransmitters associated with mood control. These include endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, and GABA.
Reduces The Damage Of Stress
Stress is a silent killer for your body and triggers a whole mess of health problems such as premature aging, inflammation, digestive distress, sleep issues and depression. Exercising your muscles actually helps rid your body of the stress chemicals that can lead to these problems.
Boosts Creativity And Problem Solving
Exercise can also boost your creativity, and help you come up with new solutions to problems.
People who exercise have a greater volume of gray matter in the hippocampal region of their brains, which is important for memory. Exercise also produces large cognitive gains and helps fight dementia.
Exercise appears to stimulate the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression. Animal studies have found that getting active, boosts the production of brain molecules that improve connections between nerve cells, thereby acting as a natural antidepressant.
Learning Is Fun
Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn.
Simply put: It improves learning.