There is a lot of pressure on young women to look thin these days, but keeping fit is about much more than losing weight or dropping a clothes size. There are lots of good reasons to exercise, regardless of what you look like, or how it will change your body. Eating healthy food and getting active can make us feel fit, strong and happy. In this article we give you four excellent reasons to lace up your trainers and get going.
- It makes you feel great
First and foremost, moving your body makes you feel great! Starting can be tough and it’s easy to be discouraged if you feel unfit, or if everyone around you has the body of an athlete. But try not to be self-conscious; concentrate instead on how exercise makes you feel. Any activity that gets your heart beat racing, or breaks you out in a sweat, stimulates your body to produce endorphins or so-called happy hormones. This is one of nature’s best natural highs, so even if it feels difficult at first, keep going and enjoy some post-exercise euphoria.
- You feel better about your body
Lots of us have hang-ups about our body, but another great thing about exercise is that it makes us feel better about ourselves, even if our bodies don’t actually change shape. Yep, you read that right – research suggests that doing exercise makes people rate their body confidence more highly, regardless of what happens physically. It makes us feel better about our muffin tops or chicken wing arms regardless of what we’re eating, or how much weight we’ve dropped. Get started on some exercise and test the theory out for yourself.
- You can make new friends
Loneliness is on the rise in the UK, especially among young people who are often worried about the stigma associated with feeling alone. One great counter to loneliness is to take up a team sport. If you’ve just started uni, moved to a new city for work or just fancy meeting some new people, why not find a team game that you enjoy and get stuck in? There are lots of different activities you can try and don’t worry, the skill standard doesn’t have to be high. Many teams function like social clubs, so try out a few and see which you enjoy most.
- It will keep you healthy long term
Finally, the great thing about exercise is that however you feel about it right now, doing a little bit now and then will help keep your body in good shape for the future. Think of it as a long-term investment in your health. The NHS recommends adults to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week with some muscle-strengthening activity on the side. Getting to the recommended exercise target has many important health benefits and can reduce the long-term risk of developing diseases like cancer and diabetes. Starting as early as possible in life makes a real difference, so whatever you enjoy, get going!