Exercise isn’t just about getting fit or losing weight. From stress relief to greater confidence and better eating habits, it has taught Susannah Taylor many incredible life lessons...
The next time you find yourself unmotivated to put your trainers on, remember the benefits of exercise will far outweigh any negatives (if there are any at all). Here are the reasons it’s changed my life…
1. Discomfort can be empowering
There’s a saying that goes, ‘It’s the hard that makes it great’. If training was easy, we wouldn’t get such satisfaction out of completing a tough workout. I find the harder I push myself, the greater the sense of achievement afterwards, plus the bigger the endorphin high. It's something that has taught me to push myself out of my comfort zone in other areas of my life too.
2. It helps me to de-stress
Those endorphins are magical things. I can go into a workout, my head crammed with to-do lists, my body tense with pent-up adrenaline, and leave a different person. Problems dissolve, my to-do list becomes a walk in the park and my body feels released.
3. I can eat more
Obviously! Exercise burns calories and the harder you push yourself the more of them you fry, plus the cardio sessions keep your metabolism buzzing for days afterwards which means continued calorie zapping. But remember, don’t use this as an excuse to stuff your face with the wrong foods.
4. It re-orders my brain
Exercise works as a reset for my brain. If it’s in high-alert stress mode then a good sweat-out brings it back to neutral.
5. It gives me better skin
It makes sense that if the blood is pumping round your body fast, then more oxygen is getting to your skin, you are eliminating toxins faster and therefore you will look way more glowy than if you stayed in and sat on the sofa eating doughnuts.
6. It has toned me up, not made me bulky
I had always been terrified of doing weights or body weight exercises that would bulk me up or give me Madonna-style arms. I now know this isn’t true and that I couldn’t get bulky limbs if I tried. By doing exercises shown in this guide, they have only become stronger and more toned.
7. It makes me eat better
When I’ve sweated my guts out in a workout, it has a very positive effect on my eating habits - I don’t want to ruin all my hard work, so it makes me eat well. You eat well, you get better results and you are inspired to work out more… and so on. It’s a positive cycle.
8. I feel one step ahead
Working out makes me feel like I’ve really achieved something in the day – it makes me feel a step ahead of everyone else. I know it’s good for the way I feel and will only improve the way I look. Win win!
9. I sleep better
Statistics show that 150 minutes of physical to moderate activity a week improves sleep patterns by 65%. I definitely switch off and drop off faster on a day that I’ve done my workout.
10. I’ve learnt I’m stronger than I thought
I never thought I would be able to run three miles when I started out training, let alone do a triathlon. I’ve learnt that I can push myself harder than I thought, that your brain gives up before your body, and that my body is an amazingly powerful, capable machine.
11. It makes me more productive
Statistics apparently show that a person who has exercised is way more productive than one that hasn’t, even though they have taken an hour out of their day to do it. The clarity of mind definitely helps.
12. I have a better body for it
Last but not least, my body looks much better for exercising. I have abs I never knew existed and in the first year I started exercising properly I lost about 10% of my body fat. I also have less cellulite than ever (down to the Project Me eating plan too) and what’s more, people say I look younger. I’m knocking on 40 so I’ll settle for that.
We have started a hashtag called #WhyIWorkout on social media. Please share the reasons you love to move with us and tag in @ProjectMeGTG on Instagram #ProjectMe
Susannah follows the eating and exercise principles of Project Me, our nutrition and fitness guide which is available now here for just £24.95
Follow Susannah on social media at @STaylorGTG