Just about every person on the planet has considered an exercise routine at some point in their life. Many people have tried a handful of workout styles with different levels of success. A few have found the perfect exercise program that made all the difference and they’ve never looked back.
Physical fitness is a critical part of a long and happy life. Even if you don’t think you have any free time to fit it into your schedule, or you worry about how much exercise it will take to achieve your goals, it’s worth making the effort. But before you go head first into your next workout, It’s important to consider the pros and cons of working out.
It probably sounds odd to even mention since the pros seem obvious, and cons could discourage you from starting in the first place. Even so, perhaps the pros haven’t motivated you yet. If you’re already exercising, the cons will keep you from falling for a trap that could set you back.
What are the pros and cons of working out?
Whether you’re a seasoned fitness pro or still debating if a regular exercise routine is right for you, it’s important to weigh out the pros and cons. The obvious health benefit is losing weight, increased muscle mass, lowering heart disease risk, and improvement of heart, lung, and bone health. But there are some other reasons to consider making exercise a priority. Similarly, there are things to pay attention to that may derail your good intentions.
Pro: Compound Effect
If you have a sedentary lifestyle, committing to exercise on a regular basis is going to have a snowball effect. At first, you may feel like you lack the energy to complete a workout. Don’t let that discourage you! Even 20 minutes of exercise is a start. Take breaks if you have to, but get at least 20 minutes in. Each week try to add another five minutes to the toal time spent.
Once you get started, you’ll notice an increase in energy. The incremental gains may not seem like much, but the results start showing in as little as a month. Imagine where you’ll be in a year if you take that first step toward consistent workouts.
Pro: Better Memory
Do you feel like your brain is in a fog? Moms can claim mom brain or pregnancy brain, but everyone can sharpen their mind with a workout! Studies show moderate intensity exercise can improve memory in every population, including the elderly.
There’s also the mind-body connection during a workout that keeps you focused on your body and the movements. If you put your focus on which muscles should be engaged, while staying balanced with proper form, it creates a heightened sense of awareness that will go with you during the day.
Pro: Happiness Booster
When you’re in the middle of a high intensity workout, you may not necessarily feel happy. But the activity of getting stress out through exercises is huge, especially when you finish. The increased blood flow to the brain releases serotonin – the happy horomone – which can relieve depression and mood swings.
All those feel-good endorphins put you in a better mood, which we all need help with. The other angle to consider is the improved self-confidence you’ll gain thanks to the physical changes from weight loss and muscle toning.
Con: Risk of Injuries
Okay, not to be a buzzkill, but it would be a disservice to not point out some potential cons of working out. This first one is a big one some people overlook or underestimate big time. Especially if you’re starting an exercise program for the first time or getting back in to workouts, don’t fool yourself. You’re not a professional athlete that can jump right in and push hard without risk of injury.
Maybe you overdo it in a single workout with bad form, lifting too heavy during strength training, or not taking the proper rest, you’ll only set yourself back further from your goals. This is where a workout class can be helpful to give you the additional support you need to exercise safely. Also make sure you let your muscles rest between workouts to allow time to repair and recover.
Con: Money Spent
This one is an eye opener for a lot of people and can turn into discouragement quickly. A gym membership can be expensive, especially if you never go. Sometimes the gym equipment can be intimidating, and while you had the best intentions, you don’t stick with it. Home workouts can lack the motivation and direction you need (unless you try McClure Fitness Online), not to mention the cost of workout equipment you have to keep at home.
The best advice when choosing between a gym or workout class is to pick what sticks. If you
need external motivation, a class is a great way to bond with others on a weight loss journey and get the direction you need. Make a schedule and stay with it.
Con: Diet Trap
If one of your goals is to lose weight, chances are there is some sort of diet plan in addition to your exercise routine. On the other hand, some people use exercise as an excuse to indulge and eat unhealthy food. The mindset is that you worked out all week, so you can splurge without noticing on the scale.
That’s a dangerous trap. Don’t forget the point of exercising is to improve health, not to give you a reason to make unhealthy decisions that outweigh the benefits. You don’t have to be on a strict diet, but at the very least be mindful enough to not sabotage your efforts.
Focus on the benefits without ignoring the negatives.
Hopefully these tips provide external motivation to stay committed to your health and fitness. Whether you try at home workouts, visit a gym or experience a workout class, the benefits make it worth going. Just don’t let the negatives catch you off guard and derail your efforts.
McClure Fitness gives you the direction, motivation, and accountability no matter your exercise goals. If you require additional support, McClure Fitness Online has workout programs organized to meet you where you are in your fitness journey. You can take it one week at a time through regular planned exercising. You’ll get the physical activity you need, and the muscle tone and weight loss you’re looking for.