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?