SHAPING UP: Exercise Benefits That Aren’t About Weight Loss.

We all know that exercise helps with losing weight, but there are endless benefits beyond weight loss!

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 12:00 am

In the past, 95% of my clients came to me for help with weight loss. But now a lot of people are taking up exercise for the wider health benefits.

Recently I’ve had clients join me to help improve mental health and stress management. Elderly clients training to improve their strength and mobility and some clients train just for the social aspect.

The benefits of exercise are endless! Here are 10 great reasons to lace up your trainers - that don't include dropping a dress size!

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bone health

Bone health is really important, to help prevent brittle bones later in life. Weight-bearing exercises, including the day-to-day stuff like walking and stair-climbing as well as sports like tennis, running and even dancing. Resistance training also helps to stimulate bone growth as well as prevent bone loss.

Immunity boost

Exercise can help to prevent a big list of illnesses! It improves heart health, increases your body's response to insulin, it lessens the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, and strengthens muscles to help prevent joint pain.

Improved mood

When you exercise your body releases feel-good chemicals, endorphins, which is what boosts your mood after a good workout.

Increased energy levels

The improved blood flow and subsequent boost in oxygen and nutrient delivery is mainly how exercise lifts you from lethargic state. A study undertaken by the University of Georgia discovered healthy-but-sedentary participants who engaged in 20 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity exercise just three times a week for six weeks found they felt less tired and more energetic.

Better sleep

Exercise affects sleep in many ways - it helps to tire both body and mind as well as dampening down your stress levels.

A better sex life

The endorphins produced from a decent workout promote the release of sex hormones. Add to that the reduction in stress, improvement in energy and boosted blood flow from a good workout and you've got the winning combination for a better time in the bedroom.

Improved memory

Researchers at the University of British Columbia found regular exercise increased the size of the hippocampus, the area of your brain responsible for memory and learning.

Greater productivity

Better concentration, faster learning and greater creativity are just some of the work-related benefits of exercise. Leeds Metropolitan University study examined a number of office workers' experience comparing their performance on exercising and non-exercising days. On gym days, workers found their time management was better, they were more productive as well as being more resilient and tolerant to co-workers.

Smoother skin

The enhanced delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin that comes from the boosted blood flow helps to boost collagen production, the protein that gives your skin its strength and elasticity.

Stronger muscles

Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, so it enables you to burn calories more efficiently. Toned muscles also look good. Whether your muscle goal is a well-defined six pack or just a little tone on the tops of your arms, you don't need to put in hours in the free weights area to see results.

20-MINUTE WEIGHTLESS LEG WORKOUT

Training your legs not only burns lots of calories and tones your muscles, but it strengthens the joints and reduces your risk of injury. This workout targets all parts of your legs within 5 moves, requires no equipment and only takes 20 minutes.

45 seconds SQUATS

15 seconds rest

45 seconds SPLIT SQUATS

15 seconds rest

45 seconds SQUAT PULSES

15 seconds rest

45 seconds BRIDGES

15 seconds rest

45 seconds BRIDGES

15 seconds rest

X4

Choc Cherry Overnight Oats

SERVES: 2

CALORIES PER PORTION: 467

INGREDIENTS

1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened, plain almond milk or your favourite non- dairy milk

1 cup rolled oats

3 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups cherries, pitted, plus a few extra for serving (optional)

1 tbsp cacao nibs or dairy-free chocolate chips for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the almond milk, oats, cacao powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a jar or container with a lid.

Shake until everything is mixed together.

Place in your fridge for at least 5 hours.

Just before serving, fold in the pitted cherries.

Spoon into two bowls and top with the cacao nibs or chocolate chips and extra cherries, if using.