If you are really serious about losing weight, then you need to get into an exercise program. Cutting calories isn’t enough; in fact, if a diet promises that you’ll shed 10 pounds without any effort whatsoever, you are probably getting so little nutrition that you are technically starving yourself.
While the thought of going on the treadmill may fill you with dread, there are actually many benefits that make the effort well worth it.
- Increased energy. When you work out regularly, your body becomes more efficient at burning calories. You feel more energetic throughout the day. No sluggishness or sleepiness! In fact, some studies document that the energy you get during exercise also makes you more mentally alert. You work faster, and make less mistakes.
- Increased Metabolism. As you increase your physical activity, you develop muscle mass, which leads to high metabolism. The benefit (aside from really nice abs) is that you shed calories even when you are just sitting down. Studies show that every extra pound of muscle will burn 50-100 calories even when a rest.
- Improved Muscle Tone. While you are born with a certain body type, physical activity (especially weight training) can help you emphasize your strengths and control your weaknesses, so you actually begin to change the shape of your body.
- Better Health. Exercise strengthens your immune system, so you are less likely get sick.
- Stress management. Escaping to the gym can help take your mind away from problems, and direct your frustrations and pent-up energy to something productive (kickboxing, anyone?). Studies also show that the body releases endorphins whenever you exercise and you actually feel happier!
- Better self-esteem. It’s true that exercise takes a lot of work and discipline, which is why you can get such a great sense of accomplishment from sticking to a program. As you see your body develop, your strength improve, you can look in the mirror and say, “I did that.”