Exercise Benefits – More Than Just Burning Calories | The Reluctant Exerciser

Exercise Benefits - More Fun!

I have been guilty of the calorie obsession. Calories in. Stalking my HR monitor on the calories burned. It is definitely an interesting “exercise”. And I’m happy to say I’m not in that mode now. I have a little-by-little, celebrate-the-small-victories kind of approach to fitness. Since I’m not obsessed with calories, I’ve been thinking a lot about the other exercise benefits. For me, burning calories is the least compelling benefit. For me, the often overlooked exercise benefits really touch on quality of life wellness.

  • I drink more water. I typically pre-hydrate with a bottle (I still have faint-fear), and I typically finish a whole bottle during the workout. Exercise is definitely a gateway for this reluctant water drinker to hydrate.
  • I rest better. I’ve never publicly committed to focusing on better rest habits <La La La La La>, but let me say that rest is good for me. And when I sweat and move, I fall asleep earlier and sleep more soundly.
  • I feel less guilty. Movement is something I know I should do. Yet, despite my huge improvement in consistency, I still feel like a reluctant exerciser at my core. Getting my 20 minutes a day – no matter what – eliminates my Number 1 source of guilt around not taking the best care of myself.
  • I get off the computer. Need I say more?
  • I breathe. Holding my breath during a workout is nearly impossible. And since I typically go through a stress ridden day taking shallow breathes, exercise is a wonderful way to force me to breathe deeply, even if for a little while.
  • My heart gets stronger. Sure it’s great to strengthen our core, be able to do pull ups, and improve our Cindy time. But I appreciate the tremendous value in improving heart health – faster recovery and being able to workout at higher intensities. <Note to self: dig out the HR monitor and revisit the HR workouts.>
  • I’m less krazy. My perspective is better. I’m a better boss, mother, and friend. I’m hopeful and I’m happy when I exercise.

On Another Note….

As most of you know, the BF+ and I are shacking up! Yep… 15 years later, one thing led to another… and we bought a house together. This all happened very quickly (if you call 15 years fast). But seriously, we started looking in November, put in an offer the day before Thanksgiving, and are scheduled to get the keys this week.

We are both very excited and surprisingly at ease with our new chapter.

On the wellness front, we take care of ourselves better together. We eat better. We are active. We laugh. A lot.

Life is good.

What are you excited about for 2012?

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  1. Emergefit says:

    Simply out, my daily action keeps me from killing people. I think this is a good way to be. I don’t know of anyone who completes their exercise and says, “Gee, I wish I hadn’t done that…”

    If you’re sitting still, you’re simulating death.

    • Kris says:

      Yes indeedy…. my healthy heart is a contented heart – ha! I still do a lot of sitting still but I’m better than I was. So I’m hella-counting it :)

  2. LOL I’m with both of you – my workouts give me joy, tolerance, self confidence, purpose, passion… I could go on of course. Kris, it also gives me joy that you are thriving and happy and moving forward. But then, I didn’t expect anything else :)
    Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana recently posted..Step Up to Strong, Sexy Glutes

  3. Kris says:

    exercise makes me a HAPPIER person, more content and easier to be with for the rest of the day (good for me, this resets every day, so I need my daily workouts!!) :D

    and congrats AGAIN, I am thrilled for you and love following along with all the updates as things progress. it’s all very exciting and fun! XO

    • Kris says:

      YES! This is all about happy – in my book.

      And thank you so much for your kind words… we are VERY excited! xo

  4. I love the sense of strength and empowerment I get from working out, and the mental peace is brings me as well. This year I am going to rock my yoga practice and challenge myself physically and mentally as often as possible! And congrats again on your house endeavor… happy new year, Kris!! :)
    Christin@purplebirdblog recently posted..A Toast…

    • Kris says:

      Oh dear… you’ve mentioned the mental challenge. I’ve been thinking about that lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m mentally a sissy. My tendency is to QUIT and WANT TO QUIT almost all the time. Sigh….. Rock on you awesome yogini! Pix? Pleeeeeeeeeez!

      • Me too though… I quit both my 100 pushup challenge and my Couch to 5k thing… but yoga feels different to me, so I’m really hoping I can follow through with this one! I am printing out motivational signs to hang around the house to remind me of why I’m doing this in the first place! And it’s funny you mention pics… I was thinking about having Alex take some shots of me in my favorite yoga poses. I’m not super awesome, by any means, but it could be fun to see what I look like doing stuff, lol! ;)
        Christin@purplebirdblog recently posted..Cheers and Jeers

  5. In YOUR case, listing water first is a good idea! And you are so right about sleep being an integral part of health. You know that having a happy relationship helps too, right? Congrats on your many achievements and for finding so much joy in health. I just hope your teen son is as enthusiastic as you about the new house!
    AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Push-ups for Patriots

    • Kris says:

      Yes – water first – on purpose… ha! Oh yeah – the healthy relationships are part of the equation too And as far as the teen spawn – well – he’s at college… So I hope he’s happy, but we’re not depending on it for a peaceful home LOL

  6. Oooh – coincidence… I have a post all drafted about exercise, cardio specifically because I can’t do it right now and I miss it!
    Karen@WaistingTime recently posted..You Say You Want a Resolution

    • Kris says:

      Ahhhh – Karen! Great minds think alike… and yes, when I’ve been injured, I’ve been shocked at how much I missed sweating. Thank GAWD there are a zillion ways to modify almost anything… Whoa.. did I just say that? It’s almost like I LIKE exercise? <>>

  7. Kerri O says:

    Workouts make me a better mommy :)
    Kerri O recently posted..Things I’m Loving Right Now — December

    • Kris says:

      Yep – sweating makes me less of a hag.. that’s the technical term – which, no doubt would make me a happier, more loving, ever patient mommy :)

  8. Miz says:

    exercise makes me more badass :)
    BUTBUTBUT my lack of water makes me a dehydrated badass :)
    Im with you on water drinking in 2012
    Miz recently posted..Skinny is beautiful.

    • Kris says:

      oh sunshine… I know about dehydration – in a really ditzy-stupid-foolish-dopey way – ha! And you know what? i kinda think water affects my mood… I’ve gotta research it, but I’m sure no water equals no flowing of the happy brain juices :)

  9. Just got this in my email – LOVE! Yes, take the emphasis off the stress part & why it is good in so many other ways – my post today is kinda like this but not.. ;-)

    I don’t think too much about the calories burned vs. how great I feel being fit & healthy as I age…

    Hey, CONGRATS on the shacking up!
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted..Why People Quit

  10. Gosh I love my workouts! Complete and total me time! I have definitely gone the calorie obsession route and have now really found my happy point with how I feel about me physically. It has been a hard road, but knowing what makes me feel good has made me really happy. I know it sounds weird to most, but exercising gives me energy. I feel so good when I’m done!
    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) recently posted..Black Beans, Millet and Variations On A Theme…

  11. Coco says:

    The thought of burning calories doesn’t usually get me out of bed in the morning, but the promise of starting the day by doing something for myself and being rewarded with a hefty dose of endorphins is worth getting up for!
    Coco recently posted..My Epiphany On Epiphany

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