Now that the warm weather is finally here, there’s an increased focus on working out. It’s just so much easier to work out when the sun’s out, right?
But when it comes to exercise and fitness, the warm weather might not be enough motivation for some people. After all, why do people workout? If you want to workout, but need the right reason, here are nine ideas to consider.
Workout for weight loss
When you consume more energy than you use, your body stores that extra energy as fat.
So, one of the main ways to lose weight is to exercise more. Along with a healthy, balanced diet, workout for weight loss is a tried and true way to burn energy and lose excess body fat.
Usually, a combination of resistance/strength training and cardio exercise helps your body boost metabolism and burn fat.
Workout to build strength and muscles
You might not want to lose weight, but you might want to build muscle and get stronger. And thanks to all the advancements in exercise science, you can now target specific areas of your body to strengthen and build muscle.
And in some cases, strengthening certain muscles can support overall health and wellness. For example, having strong abs can support better posture and prevent back problems.
If you deal with knee problems, there are specific workouts to support the muscles surrounding the knees to create strength and prevent injury, etc.
In short, the sky’s the limit if you want to workout to build strength and increase muscle mass.
Workout to trim, tone, firm, lift
Maybe you have to walk down the aisle in a backless wedding dress soon. Maybe you just want to slay in your new bikini. Perhaps that thigh gap isn’t as defined as you’d like it.
Maybe you want to lift your booty. And sure, it may never look like J Lo’s derrière, but a girl can dream, right? Or, maybe you just want to chisel your abs and slim down your waistline.
Whatever your body goal is, if sculpting is what you want, committing to an effective work out can help you achieve a trimmed and toned body you feel good about.
Workout for a better mood
When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins that help you feel positive and energized.
According to Michael Otto, Ph.D., and professor of psychology at Boston University, “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually, within five minutes after moderate exercise, you get a mood-enhancement effect.”
This was confirmed by a small study published in the journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. One of its authors, Patrick O’Connor, Ph.D., shares that “There is very strong and consistent evidence that a single short, moderate-intensity bout of exercise is associated with increased feelings of energy, so if people need a reason to work out, the energy boost with exercise is a worthwhile one.”
Workout for mental health
According to the American Psychological Association, exercise is a natural treatment method for people with depression. One reason may be that along with endorphins, exercise also helps the brain release serotonin – a feel good hormone that increases feelings of wellbeing and positivity.
Exercise can also relieve people with depression by helping normalize sleep.
Along with being able to lift feelings of depression, exercise also provides other mental health benefits. So, if you experience stress and anxiety, exercise can relieve both naturally.
Exercise releases and relieves physical tension and tightness that comes from chronic stress and anxiety. And when you combine mindfulness practices with your workout, you help to reduce anxiety and stress one step further.
Workout for fun
There are lots of important and noble reasons to workout.
But sometimes, people workout because it’s fun.
That might seem impossible to believe, but once you get into the swing of things, you work out because you just enjoy it.
The key to working out for fun is to do something you actually enjoy – something you’re interested in. According to exercise physiologist at John Hopkins Weight Management Center, Shavise Glascoe, “Too often I see people who sign up to do something like running, even though they know they hate running.”
So, don’t be one of those people! Instead, look for a workout that’s fun for you, like the style and fashion blogger, Amelia Liana did. She found a workout that’s tailored to her, her body and her personal style.
And not only does she love the dance-inspired workout, but she says she’s seen a big difference in her body.
Workout for social reasons
Life is busy, and sometimes it’s hard to fit in everything you want to do. So, if you can combine your social engagements with your workouts, you can kill two birds with one stone.
What’s more, you get to boost endorphins and serotonins with your friend, who probably makes you feel better, too. So, it’s a win-win!
This study found that working out with other people can reinforce your commitment to exercise, making it easier to show up at the gym or reach your fitness goals.
What’s more, when you work out with other people, it also adds a nice competitive edge to your routine to push you further and help you crush your goals.
Workout for health
Taking time to exercise can help you keep the disease at bay. For one thing, exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, thereby decreasing your risks for heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Exercise can also ward off metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and even cancer – all of which are some of the leading cause of disease throughout the US. So, by exercising today, you help prevent illness in the future.
Workout for better brain function
In her dynamic Ted Talk, The Brain Changing Benefits of Exercise, neuroscientist, Wendy Suzuki shares that “Simply moving your body, has immediate, long-lasting and protective benefits for your brain.”
And she goes to explain that the protective effects of exercise on your brain are really extraordinary. Exercise makes your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex bigger and stronger.
These “are the two areas that are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and a normal cognitive decline in aging.”
Even though we tend to think of exercise as making our bodies bigger and stronger, exercise actually makes your brain big and strong, and it helps protect it from disease, too.
So, if you want to workout but need a good reason to do so, there’s a good chance one of these nine workout ideas will inspire and motivate you to get fit and have fun.