Guest Author - Samantha Jackson
Itís always tough when you are trying to find the motivation to be more active. We all know that workouts (and not necessarily at the gym) should be a part of regular routine, not just something to do in between fits and starts. Itís just that for most of us, the lure of the couch is too powerful to ignore sometimes.
Iíve really been making an effort with eating healthy and working out at least once a week even on the busiest of schedules. So far, I have been doing pretty well with this, and I havenít missed a week since I started the journey about three months ago.
In fact, the other night, as I was chatting up with a dear friend on the phone while power walking, she said that because I was doing so well with my fitness goals she was going to go ahead and start on her own too.
There are many reasons to work out, but for me, these make up my top 10:
1. To lose weight. Working out burns calories. If you make sure that you burn more than what you take in, you drop the pounds. Enough said.
2. To tone up and look firmer. Although dieting exclusively can help you fit into a smaller dress size, working out makes you look better. Right now, Iíve been lifting weights to develop my pectoral and gluteal muscles and I can definitely say that it has helped give a firmer butt and a more defined cleavage.
3. To sleep better. Iíve battled with sleep issues for years, but now, Iím sleeping better than before.
4. To improve the way your skin looks. This one was a pleasant surprise for meóand my dermatologist confirms that my pores never looked cleaner. I guess I am sweating off the toxins plus the improved blood circulation just makes me look radiant.
5. To have more energy. Who knew that burning more energy actually helps you produce more? I don't feel sluggish anymore!
6. To combat depression. In the past, I've experiences some melancholia right around this time of the year but I'm not feeling that way at all anymore.
7. To prevent shoulder or back pain. Iíve been working on my 'core' with the Pilates, and aside from a tighter midsection, it has given me stronger abdominal muscles so my back does not have to work so hard keeping my upper body upright.
8. To enjoy sex more. When you have more energy and feel better about how your bodyís shaping up, you just feelÖ sexier.
9. To make your heart healthier. Working out helps lower cholesterol levels and really opens up the blood vessels so your heart doesnít have to work quite so hard just to keep blood pumping efficiently thorough your body. My blood pressure has gone just a bit lower, which is definitely an improvement.
10. To improve immune function. I am quoting the doctors on this one. But I also want to say that in three months, I havenít gotten a single cold - not even after I sat at a Starbucks table next to a sniffling person who really should just have stayed home.
I just want to be honest and admit that the first month of working out was so hard; so hard that I put it off at least three times. But that was the hurdle, and after the first month it got easier.