It`s for you!
The benefits of daily exercise are incredibly far reaching and important and go well beyond developing cardiovascular fitness and firm muscles – though it does do those things too so let’s start there.
The biggest benefits of daily exercise are that it will improve every aspect of your physical fitness. It will improve your aerobic fitness enabling you to run, play football, cycle, walk and more without getting out of breath. Not only will this mean you can get places faster and be of more use on your five-aside team, but that will also be better for your general health and lessen your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. More than that, you’ll experience less unpleasant breathlessness and sweat and will set a better example to those around you instead of coming across as a wheezing old man. Strength too will improve and this is something you will find helps you in every single area of your life. Whether it’s just lifting up a box or opening a jam jar, or climbing a wall or feeling the confidence that comes from knowing you could handle yourself in a fight if necessary.
Of course your physical appearance will go hand in hand with this. One of the benefits of daily exercise that actually motivates many people to take up a programme is that it leads to fat loss. This again lessens your risk of heart attack, heart disease, diabetes, insomnia and many other problems, but also instantly improves your appearance massively. Not only will you lose the double chin, but that beer belly will be gone too. You’ll be able to wear more clothes than you could before and will look far better in them. Suits just don’t look right on the obese. As well as stripping fat though you’ll also be adding muscle, which will mean you can fill out your clothes more, as your t-shirts and shirts stretch to cover your chest and your large arms. Everything you do will just look better and you’ll begin looking for any opportunity to take off your top.
All this will also greatly affect the perception others have of you too. I said earlier that one of the benefits of daily exercise was that you can handle yourself better in a fight if necessary (and that you know that), well actually if you have a lot of physical fitness you probably won’t even need to. If a thug or bully sees you walking around with your ripped abs and bulging muscles then chances are they’ll quickly more on to easier prey (and even if they did attack you you’d be faster too so could probably just run away). The fact that you strike a more imposing silhouette will also affect everyone else you interact with. Be it friends, colleagues or employers, everything you say suddenly is given more weight by the fact that you have broad shoulders and a broader chest. Subconsciously you’ve instantly become the alpha male in the group and others will respond in that way. You’ll become a better natural leader and people will begin to defer to you seeing you as powerful and successful (the way people suddenly change their behaviour when they see how strong you are is actually quite amusing to watch). Now when you talk, people will listen.
Of course all this also makes you more attractive to the opposite sex. Fitness and health represent good genetics meaning that others will look to you as potentially a good candidate to produce healthy offspring. If you’re a man it also gives women the impression that you can protect them and provide them which again works at an unconscious level to make you appear more attractive. Furthermore you just will be more attractive with a narrower waist, more chiselled jaw, thicker neck and larger chest and arms. The amount of confidence this then gives you in romantic settings is impressive and noticeable and now it’s you who can feel objectified and so have your pick of the bunch as a result (and the confidence in itself will also translate as success and high self regard which is possibly the single biggest secret to success in flirting and pulling).
This confidence will then permeate every other aspect of your life. You begin to walk taller, both from the very fact that you feel larger and more imposing and from the constant positive feedback you receive from others. This extra confidence can help you advance your career, manage your romance, increase your drive and determination, and generally increase your mood.
Mood will also be increased directly through the very fact that you’re working out however and this is one of the lesser known benefits of daily exercise. Every time you work out you see your brain releases endorphins into the system. These are actually picked up by the very same receptors as those that respond to morphine and cannabis (which is why those receptors exist in the first place) and so leave you feeling calm, relaxed and euphoric as well as acting as a pain killer and energy booster. All this means that exercise acts as both a natural antidepressant and also leaves you feeling energised and happy. If you do it every day it can act as a great pick me up to see you through the energy lulls or as a great way to start your day with zest and zeal. This is what’s known as the ‘runner’s high’ and in itself is a great reason to workout.
Not only does your brain produce more endorphins, but will also begin to produce more growth hormone and testosterone. Between them, these two hormones will result in better sleep and repair of wounds and illnesses as well as increased muscle mass, stamina, drive and ambition. As though that wasn’t enough reason on its own, testosterone will also lead to a better sex life through improved stamina and sex drive and for men – a longer and harder erection.
It’s not only hormones that are a psychological benefit of daily exercise however, and your IQ and intelligence are actually positively affected too. In some studies, short term memory has been shown to increase both in the short term and long term through regular cardiovascular activity. More excitingly however, exercise has also been shown to stimulate neurogenesis – which means the growth of new brain cells. Specifically this occurs in the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory (explaining the aforementioned affect on memory). However further studies are suggesting that neurogenesis occurs as a result of exercise in other areas of the brain making the impact of exercise on the brain potentially incredibly profound and all encompassing.
Repeated exercise will also strengthen neuronal connections and so improve reaction time and hand eye coordination, which despite being useful and let’s face it quite cool… could also save your life in an emergency or make you a far safer and better driver (it can also mean you catch things when you knock them over). Along with the increased strength, speed and stamina however, this will also mean that you’re automatically better in any sporting event. You can be a sports hero among your peers without ever needing to practice any games.
More to the point though, daily exercise is in itself a worthwhile activity. A benefit of daily exercise you see is that it’s actually just fun. Not only does daily exercise provide a great way to unwind and a great form of catharsis for any daily strength (just been in trouble with the boss? Throw some metal about and punch the punching bag imagining it’s him). It also is a great way to make you feel as though you’ve achieved something with your day and done something healthy which can greatly improve your mood on its own. Particularly if you normally work cooped up in front of a computer or from home. It acts as a chance to get out, or at least move about a bit, and can also be a great way to socialise (particularly if you have a training partner) and even to meet members of the opposite sex.
Furthermore though, a benefit of daily exercise is that it teaches you to overcome any problem through sheer strength of will. When you’ve been pinned under a barbell and dug deep to find the last bit of power you need to lift it off of you, that’s when you know that you’re truly capable of bouncing back from any moment. It trains your thinking in ways you don’t understand and will make you mentally much harder than you are now. Once you realise you can transform your body, your fitness and your appearance – then you know that you can transform any aspect of your life. Arnie said that he learned everything he needed to know from bodybuilding, and while not to be taken literally, there’s a lot of sense in that. Exercise teaches you what you’re made of, it teaches you that you can do anything you set your mind to and it teaches you never to give up.
For me though, none of those things are actually the reason I work out. For me it’s hard to actually put my finger on the reason, but I think it comes down to this: going to work day in day out to make a living seems meaningless and it seems mundane. Exercising sets you apart and helps you work to what at least feels like a higher purpose. More to the point though it means that you’re prepared for anything. When you’re in the gym you have more in common with the warriors of myth and legend than you do with your pencil pushing colleagues. In that time you are an iron warrior and you’re preparing yourself for the great battle that may never come. In the possibly unlikely scenario of an alien invasion, I want to be strong enough to be on the frontline fighting for the resistance. In the possibly more likely situation that I’m attacked in the street, I want to be able to keep my dignity, impress my girlfriend and send the attackers home with their tail between their legs. In short, working out makes me feel like a superhero. And I need that.
The benefits of daily exercise are as you can see incredibly comprehensive and represent a complete transformation in who you are. You will reprioritise your life, find new drive and focus, gain tonnes of confidence, win instant respect from those around you, improve your career, love and sex life, sleep better, eat better and walk taller than you ever have before.