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Reasons to workout besides losing weight

woman in gym exercises weight lifting
Image: Shutterstock/Pollapat Chirawong

Is it just me, or is weight loss being shoved down our throats right now? Every advertisement on TV is for a miracle weight-loss pill, the commercials on the radio are for liposuction and tummy tucks, and every store that sells workout clothes only advertises skinny models. Has no one in the media or commercial industry stopped to think that there might be other reasons to workout besides wanting to lose weight? Sure, that’s great, and it’s a totally valid reason for wanting to exercise. But there are other, equally valid reasons for wanting to workout.

Exercising is an antidepressant

Exercising releases endorphins, raising your happiness levels. For some people, they experience more results when exercising than when they’re taking medication. Exercising is a more long-term solution for depression, as well. If you can commit to the work, and create a habit of exercising, it’ll make you happier and improve your mood when you’re having a rough day.

Exercising reduces stress and anxiety

Who isn’t stressed these days? Similar to the above, working out increases your happiness by lowering your stress levels. It’s a quick, easy way to burn off steam after a hard day at the office, a nice reliever after the overstimulation of your day, and a good distraction from your worries. It’s hard to be concerned about money or your annoying boss when you’re racing down the treadmill. Working out keeps the stress hormone “cortisol” in check, so head over to the gym!

Exercising has health benefits

Health benefits other than dropping a few sizes, that is. Running, for example, strengthens your heart and reduces your risk for heart disease. In fact, exercise reduces your risk for a whole litany of things: cancer, lung disease, diabetes, memory loss (like Alzheimer’s), and so on. You’ll have better posture, more flexibility and you’ll likely live longer. It can even help you sleep better With so many positives, and so few risks, what’s to stop you?

Exercising helps you in the bedroom

When you exercise, you strengthen various parts of your body that can increase the pleasure you experience when having sex. You’ll feel empowered and more confident, and have a new appreciation for your body. Exercising regularly is also linked to having better orgasms (for men and women). Further, people who exercise have a better chance for growing a family. Men who workout have fewer cases of impotency and erectile dysfunction, and women who workout have lower rates of infertility and miscarriages, and higher rates of implantation.

Exercising makes you a good example

Whether you’re married or not, have kids or not, someone is looking up to you. You have siblings, parents, friends, and co-workers. People who love you and want you to be around for a long time. If finding motivation for working out is hard, look to those around you. They’ll give you the courage and support to try. When they see you taking a healthy control of your life, it may inspire them to do the same.

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