The first step to a successful body transformation is to find your inner drive. Without a clear goal, it’s easy to get distracted and lose your motivation. Try to figure out why you want to take this step, whether it’s weight loss, muscle building, improved performance, or general health. Make sure you’re doing it because YOU want to, not because others are pressuring you. Find your inner drive, set realistic goals, and come up with a plan.
If you’re not sure where to start, focus on the benefits of exercise. Fitness can change your life forever. You’ll not only shed fat, but also get stronger and more confident. Your self-image will improve, your body will become more resilient to diseases, and your energy will increase. Regular exercise benefits both your mind and body. It’s a fantastic way to relieve stress and tension, enhance mental focus, and speed up your metabolism.
Fitness helps build discipline and mental strength. These skills can improve every aspect of your life, including your career and relationships. Weight training is particularly beneficial. In the long run, it can reduce your risk of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and even cancer. It also strengthens your bones, which helps prevent osteoporosis and falls later in life. For older adults, resistance training is medicine. Seniors who work out regularly are able to live independently, have greater energy, and enjoy a better quality of life.
Some exercises can help prevent and ease back pain, stiff joints, and injuries. Some are particularly effective for fat loss. Others promote muscle growth and make you stronger overall. Studies indicate that weight training can increase bone mineral density by as much as three percent. It’s also one of the best ways to build lean muscle and torch fat. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism. A fast metabolism causes your body to burn more calories throughout the day. This leads to a lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic disorders.
For instance, many athletes consume over 4,000 calories per day and still look shredded. Muscle tissue requires more energy to sustain itself than fat. For each pound of muscle gained, you’ll burn an extra six to 10 calories at rest.
Regular exercise also keeps your cortisol levels low, which helps prevent stress-related conditions. When cortisol goes up, testosterone levels drop. Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, improves body composition and maintains lean mass. It also has beneficial effects on your mood and behavior. Low testosterone levels have been linked to a higher risk of depression, abdominal weight gain, decreased bone density, hair loss, fatigue, and hypercholesterolemia. Strength training can naturally raise your T levels and improve overall health.
The benefits of exercise don’t stop here. If you hit the gym regularly, you’ll feel better overall, think clearer, and have increased self-esteem. Exercise increases serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which helps lift your mood and ward off depression. Health experts agree that physical activity is just as effective against depression as most drugs, but without the side effects. Additionally, exercise boosts your immune system and strengthens your body’s defense mechanisms. This means you’ll get sick less often.
Moreover, physical activity balances your hormones and improves thyroid function. It may also relieve PMS, regulate your estrogen levels, and prevent hormonal disorders. A 2008 study has found that lifting weights three times a week may help prevent cancer by increasing antioxidant levels in the body. Strength training can also improve your sleep and libido. The key is to be consistent and stick to your plan.
Exercising once a week or so won’t get you too far. Take your workouts seriously and include them into your schedule. Think of exercise as “me” time. After all, it’s an investment in your health.