It’s #MotivationMonday. What better motivation to start training than that fitness model you are following on Instagram. That Youtuber doing calisthenics like an acrobat. The morning yoga practitioner on the terrace. What do they have in common that keeps their focus razor sharp?
Each one of them has experienced the near-miraculous benefits of exercise that mere mortals haven’t tasted. Good things come to those who sweat. Crossfit founder Greg Glassman even goes so far as to say that exercise (with a good diet) is a viable treatment for depression.
A jog around the neighbourhood will do you more good than a bottle of Prozac or ritalin. Allow me to enlighten you further. Fitness is one thing that can transform a person from the inside and out. It’s something I have witnessed first-hand since I began my journey into fitness with consistency. Here’s what will happen after you start exercising.
1. You start waking up early
Don’t be shocked at seeing yourself change from a night owl to an early bird. My own switch from late-night dozer to early riser coincided with jogs at dawn. Exercise gives you better sleep and deeper rest. Because you are sleeping better and have more energy, you will be waking up when the alarm clock rings. Also, you won’t be lethargic when you jump up from bed.
2. Your cravings will surprise you
That craving for French fries and ice-cream will be replaced by nutrient-rich dishes. You will find yourself reaching for fruits (the raw, unsweetened kind) instead of hitting the nearest McDonalds. Researchers at Indiana University found this happens because of something known by psychologists as “the transfer effect”. Improving in one area of life triggers a desire to better another part of life. So, diet and exercise are related (no surprises there).
3. You can digest the hard-to-digest
Another super power that exercise bestows on its followers is a digestive tract that runs like a well-oiled machine. Constipation, cramps, sluggishness will be a thing of the past. My own decade-long struggles with a chronic stomach infections came to an end when I made exercise a daily habit.
4. You have Jedi-like focus
This one’s a no-brainer (pun intended). Thinking gets a lot clearer and focusing becomes easier after you become a regular exerciser. Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain and improves co-ordination between neurons.
5. You walk on air
Expect the flight of stairs leading up to office to suddenly be less steep (the stairs are as steep, you just got better at navigating them). In fact, you might feel like bounding up the stairs and leaping across tables once you’re a regular on the track or treadmill. The strength in your muscles (and less fat) will float your boat.
There are plenty of more reasons to exercise regularly – I’d suggest 6 days a week — from less stress and anxiety, more lust for life, fewer mood swings and irritability to a younger you. Need more reasons to lace up your training shoes?
How has exercising changed things for you, I’d love to know. Leave your response in the comments section.