6 Reasons Why You Should Exercise

If you’ve been struggling with motivation and reasons to get up and hit the gym or get active, you’re not alone. There are days when I just want to throw my phone against the wall (a melodramatic approach to a 530am alarm going off) and curl up under my sheets in the safety of my dark room. But about 100% of the time that I skip the gym, I regret it. And every single time I’ve pushed myself to actually go to the gym, 100% of the time, I’ve always been glad I did. If what you need is a gentle kick in the bum, then below are 6 reasons that will hopefully do just that.

  1. Exercise improves mood.

When you exercise, your body produces endorphins. Endorphins reduce the perception of pain and set off a positive feeling in your body (makes you feel good), kind of like morphine. The perfect answer to a bad day at work, a stressful time in traffic, or even a break up (which I can personally vouch for haha) is a good sweaty session either at the gym or out for a run.

2.  Exercise gives you an energy boost.

Blood carries oxygen to our brain and different parts of our body (which is why when you sleep late and have low blood pressure, you yawn due to the lack of oxygen in your brain). When you exercise, your blood circulates through your body smoothly, bringing oxygen to the parts that need it–getting your heart and your lungs to work more efficiently, which in turn gives you more energy. (Personally, I like to start my day with a good cardio workout because it puts a spring in my step)

3.  Exercise helps control weight.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. A sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for health disasters. But when you stay active and exercise regularly, your body’s metabolism gets a good nudge thereby helping you burn calories more efficiently. The starchy food we eat turns into sugar, and when we don’t move around and burn excess calories, that sugar turns into fat. Fat can never truly magically melt away through pills or gadgets. There is nothing like exercise to blast fat and keep it off. It doesn’t have to be an entire hour out of your busy day. You can start with setting aside 7 minutes of exercise every morning when you wake up. You can do a few exercises that will help get your heart rate up and jumpstart your body’s calorie-burning ability. There are some fun workout apps available that you can check out like 7 Minute Workout or 8Fit. I’ve tried both during seasons where I’m too busy to hit the gym or when I’m traveling and have no access to a full gym but need to stay active. The 8Fit app also has a meal planning feature you can sign up for.

4. Exercise can help give your sex life a boost.

Regular exercise can lead to better or more enhanced arousal for women, while men who work out regularly may lower their chances of erectile dysfunction. Besides, a physically fit body is a great turn-on because it shows that you take good care of yourself. Strength, endurance, and confidence are definitely pluses in this department.

5. Exercise can help you sleep better.

Sleep is vital to muscle recovery. Establishing a regular exercise routine is good for your circadian rhythm because it helps you sleep better and deeper. I used to be such a night owl and had to get up at the crack of dawn the next day for work. I felt sluggish and less productive. When I finally established a regular workout routine and schedule, my body eventually adjusted and my bed time effortlessly came at 9pm. These days, I very rarely sleep past 10pm because between 10pm to 2am is the deepest and most regenerative sleep that your body can have. That’s when your body detoxifies, repairs, and restores itself.

6. Exercise is a fun way to a healthier you.

Pick a workout buddy to help you get started on a good exercise regimen. You can go running together whether on a treadmill at the gym, or on a trail outdoors. There are so many options for workout buddies/groups who want to have fun while getting fit and strong: dance classes, running clubs, martial arts, hiking, aerobics, or spinning classes. Whether you choose to exercise indoors or take it outside, exercise is definitely more fun when you have someone to do it with.

What are you waiting for? Make the decision today to start working on a healthier you! Feel stronger, feel more confident, feel healthier, and feel better.

If you have any questions or would like help with a starter exercise program, feel free to comment below and provide your email so I can help craft one for you.


Straight Out of My Comfort Zone

On a whim, I decided to do something I’ve never done before!

I was debating on whether or not to announce it or tell anyone about a fitness competition I was coaxed to join. I felt silly just thinking about it and imagining myself on stage with the other competitors. I have always been athletic and active, but I never once fancied myself fitness competition-worthy.

I was at the gym on Monday this week–just another ordinary morning workout session, when I saw an old friend who happens to be a trainer at the same gym but in a different branch. He hadn’t seen me in 9 years. He was pleasantly surprised to see what shape I was in and said that I should compete in the Gemmalyn Crosby Sports Festival–physique category. I let out a loud, nervous laugh. “I have absolutely no right to join those things. I don’t have the body for it at all!”

Hil flexing

He walked me from the weight section to the dance studio where the walls were mirrored and taught me a few poses and pointed out that I had a very good foundation when it came to muscle definition. I was speechless at what I saw because I had no idea that I actually DID have the body for it. Looks like the hard work over the past two and a half weeks are paying off quite well (Yes, two and a half weeks. I was killing it with all the sudden free time I had!). We only have 17 days until the competition proper; I know it’s crazy to do this on such short notice. Pretty much on a whim, really. But what the heck. I haven’t done something so insanely out of my comfort zone in years, and this is starting to feel really exhilarating, the more I think about it. Especially since the team of trainers at at the gym are all so supportive and so encouraging.

I’m crazy nervous about the bikini I’ll be wearing, the spray tan (I really don’t want to end up looking like an Oompa Loompa straight out of Jersey), the stripper heels, and the poses. And then there’s the prep which involves ‘draining’ (when they start to reduce water intake so you get more muscle definition) and the strict diet a week before judging day. I’m really, really nervous about the poses and the catwalk. I hope I don’t trip. >_<

Well, since I’m leaving the country very soon for a long vacation, I figure I might as well go out with a bang, right? 🙂

Baby Steps to A Stronger You

If you’ve found yourself saying “I promise I’ll start working out tomorrow” every so often without any follow-through, don’t feel too bad. Getting started or getting back on the fitness track isn’t easy for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me. Maybe you know your way around the gym or maybe you’re a non-committal exerciser. Whatever category you fall under, the following exercises should be useful to you. They’re easy enough to do on your own own, but challenging enough that you’ll see results in due time.

The above video is a basic push up with your feet propped up on a fitness ball or on a step bench. The video on the lower half of the box is me doing knee tucks.

This is a good exercise routine if you want to get stronger and more toned arms and shoulders, as well as a stronger core. I would suggest 10 reps for beginners (and 15-20 for the more advanced) in sets of 3. Make sure to keep a good form and don’t let your tummy or back sag. You want to keep your back straight during the push-ups so you don’t strain or injure yourself.

This one focuses more on your obliques and tummy. Above is a side plank with twist which targets your tummy and your obliques helping tone and strengthen. Below you’ll see me raising my butt high while keeping my knees as straight as possible and my toes on the fitness ball. This one is a little more challenging so if you’re only getting started on abdominal drills, I would suggest skipping this for now.

For beginners do 10 reps of the side planks with twist, and five of the butt raise. 3 sets. If you want more challenge, you can do 15-20 reps.

Don’t forget to stretch properly before you start these exercises!

Get Fit

It’s been a crazy and über eventful past few months since my last blogpost. I’ve been thinking about what direction I’m really headed in so far as my blog goes. It’s frustrating to me to see my other blogger friends just update daily with so much ease! Meanwhile I have no clue what to post. If you know me well, you’d know that I’m a person who hardly runs out of things to talk about. Blogging, however, is an entirely different thing. There’s something more permanent about the published form of the written word. 

I may have stumbled onto an idea though. Lately I’ve been on a mad fitness rampage and as I’ve been posting them on my social profiles I’ve been getting a modest amount of positive feedback from people–even perfect strangers from across the globe! So I figured I could start sharing my fitness routines, what I like to eat, and join the positive global movement to a healthier, fitter, and stronger body and mind.