Exercise! - Your Benefits from Exercising

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03-18-2008, 12:39 AM
I thought I would start a thread to see what people feel are the biggest benefits to their bodies and changes they've experienced since they've been exercising.

For one thing, I wish I had started exercising many years ago, but it's never too late (I really started getting serious about exercising on a consistent basis when I was around 50, and I'm currently 57).

When I stated exercising, I noticed the following:
1. I wasn't taking naps in the afternoon any more.
2. I had an increased overall energy.
3. I felt better about myself.
4. I lost weight easier (it's never been easy for me, just easier. :))
5. I feel less stressed.

How about you? :carrot:

03-18-2008, 01:47 AM
basically the same things:

-less need for naps, more energy, more alert throughout the day (and I work night shifts, so my wacky sleep schedule is **** sometimes, and I don't want to live on coffee alone, lol)
-increased confidence, esp. after losing the double chin and actually requiring a belt to hold up jeans that were too tight to wear not so long ago.
-related: I have a closet in 2 sections, and the one on the left is "huge clothes," the one on the right is "clothes that dont quite fit anymore" and I recently moved a bunch of the slightly smaller clothes over to the left side, which is now "clothes that actually fit me." ^_^ Always a good thing. I still have a bunch of barely-worn cute blouses that I'm hoping will fit me again by summer though.
-increased strength. At my highest weight just carrying my books to class was torturous.
-losing weight more easily
-less stress. and when i feel stressed i go out and walk around campus for 45 minutes or so, which decreases my stress and makes me feel better because I've done a bit more exercise.
-related to strength: no more lower back pain.
-i go more places, hang out with friends more, etc. whereas for a while there I just felt like heck and didn't want anyone to look at me.

03-18-2008, 02:42 AM
When I'm exercising, I'm not eating!
Exercising really helps keep my eating on plan. I can't explain why it does, but it does. On days where my eating is starting to spiral out of control, working out will sometimes help me get back on plan.
According to You on a Diet, 1 lb of muscle burns between 40 to 100 calories a day, just sitting there. A lb of fat burns 1 to 3 calories a day. WOW! Can't beat that math!
It helps me get over illnesses faster. I've definitely had days when I thought I was coming down with something and was able to fight it off. Moderate exercise has been shown to boost your immune system, so I'm convinced it's my workouts that did the trick.
It's definitely helped with some of my digestive issues. Recently I was on vacation in Mexico, eating and drinking all sorts of stuff I don't normally consume, and had terrible heartburn. I did a moderate workout and it really cleared up the heartburn. I felt so much better after my workout.

03-18-2008, 04:10 AM
When I'm exercising, I'm not eating!
ha, very good point. ^_^ I try to ask myself when I think I'm hungry if I am hungry or bored, and if I'm bored, I take a walk or something and forget about wanting to snack.
According to You on a Diet, 1 lb of muscle burns between 40 to 100 calories a day, just sitting there. A lb of fat burns 1 to 3 calories a day. WOW! Can't beat that math!
That is all sorts of awesome.

03-18-2008, 07:08 AM
I have more energy, when I work out I work harder to stay on plan--don't want to "waste" that workout by eating junk!, my 'shape' is more defined (more curvy, less lumpy), It's a great way to reduce stress, I am rarely sick, I am much stronger, I enjoy it--NEVER thought I would say that!

03-18-2008, 08:48 AM
Definitely more energy.

A better self-image. Even though I am still way over goal, I feel slimmer when I am exercising regularly.

I sleep better! Not because I'm exhausted from all the exercise, because some days I don't do all that much, I just generally sleep better overall.

Marathon Mom
03-18-2008, 09:23 AM
I found that once I started exercising I felt empowered and in control of my body...

My sister once told me - "You will never feel bad after you exercise" And it is SO TRUE!!! I could be in the worst mood - If I work out - it's like a 180 degree mood change.

Through working out and using weights, I have changed the way my body is shaped! I carry weight in my hips. A trainer suggested working on my shoulders. This has helped balance my upper body w/ my lower body.. (I am not a power lifter by any means... Just like to have a "toned/in shape" look)

Also, with all the nuances/responsibilities/stressors that a working mother/wife has... Working out and having this outlet - keeps me balanced and very happy!!! Plus it sets a good example for my children to see living a "healthy lifestyle" is important....


http://www.3fatchicks.net/img/bar-leopard/slider-scale/lb/0/10/1/.png (http://www.3fatchicks.com/)

03-18-2008, 12:52 PM
Wow, great thread. Barbara, "I'm not eating when I'm exercising," is priceless and so, so true. It definitely gets me out of the kitchen and it just wouldn't be right to eat when lifting or doing cardio. :)

The other benefits are numerous: I notice that I'm a lot stronger doing daily activities, such as opening a heavy glass door or pushing a full shopping cart up a hill in a parking lot. I can also help my husband carry stuff. I sleep better at night. Instead of tossing and turning, I zonk out and stay asleep most nights. I notice that my posture is better and I feel more confident. My butt sticks out more, though, which is taking some getting used to...


03-18-2008, 01:34 PM
-I feel like its jump-started my diet. When I was just watching what I ate I would lose maybe half a pound a week, now I lose at least a pound a week, sometimes even 2!
-I sleep a lot better too. I used to toss and turn a lot, now I conk out and stay that way through the night
-muscle definition! my legs still have a lot of fat on them, but they are much more shapely than before.
-when I'm running late to work I can jog from my car (I park at the bottom of a hill and work at the top of one, its probably 7 stories higher) and not feel like I'm about to have a heart attack.
-its a big confidence boost. I am doing things that I never thought I'd be capable of (ride a bike 5 miles?! I've gone 16 now!) and it makes me feel proud
-my cholesterol in November (when I was pitifully inactive) was 195 (under 200 is considered ok), last week (after 3 months of consistent exercise) it was 158!

03-18-2008, 02:53 PM
1. I feel stronger
2. I stay on plan better
3. My moods are better
4. I have more energy
5. It keeps my blood sugar in check, thus allowing me to dump one of my med's. :D
6. It makes me feel sexy, or shall I say, I am in the mood more often.;)

03-18-2008, 03:06 PM
This is so awesome to read the ways that everyone is benefitting from exercising!!! Thanks all and keep 'em comin'!!! :carrot:

This really helps me to keep motivated to see others getting some great benefits that I hadn't thought of (and ones that are the same).

03-18-2008, 04:39 PM
I think my list is about the same...

I have more energy
I feel so much better
It helps in my weight loss for sure
I sleep better

03-18-2008, 07:01 PM
I often go to the grocery store RIGHT AFTER i work out...I find that the workout and the good mood after help me make good food choices that I wouldn't necessarily make otherwise!

And, I just like being able to do more things without worry about what people will think if they see my face get red, etc. And upping the sex drive doesn't hurt either ;)

moon fairy
03-18-2008, 07:05 PM
my benefits...i can see my body changing and i know the exercising is making a difference. i am excited to continue.

03-18-2008, 07:25 PM
I can climb trees!
OK easy ones but without this new feeling of control I would have been afraid to try ... I'm so much less clumsy now.

Oh and I typically do my cardio an hour or so before dinner and I'm waaay less hungry. I like that idea of doing it before grocery shopping =)

03-18-2008, 08:20 PM
oh golly what a great thread.

Just feeling stronger. And more graceful. And more flexible.

Being able to kneel down and tie my shoe without having to check first to make sure there is something nearby I can use to haul myself back up.

Being able to bend over to pick up something off the floor instead of having to squat or drop to one knee (again without having to check for support or call for help to get back up).

Being able to lower myself (semi :D ) gracefully into a chair instead of plopping with a whoosh or a grunt - and being able to get out of that chair without having to use my arms and shove against something.

Getting in and out of the car without hanging on the door.

Feeling core muscles - I had forgotten were under there - surprise me and flex when I do something simple like pick up the laundry basket or close the sliding door.

Feeling like I stride now instead of plodding.

And my personal number one favorite thing: When I suck in my stomach, it actually sucks in!

03-19-2008, 03:02 AM
Being able to lower myself (semi :D ) gracefully into a chair instead of plopping with a whoosh or a grunt - and being able to get out of that chair without having to use my arms and shove against something.

OOOO I forgot about that! It's always those simple everyday movements that I am amazed by how easy they've become.

03-19-2008, 08:52 AM
This is such an awesome idea for a thread. I like seeing my muscles...lol. I like knowing I'm getting stronger. I took a spinning class in November and almost died from the pain and stiffness afterwards. I took one on Monday to try again instead of running and I actually LIKED it... It kicked my butt, but that was the point. I wasn't in agony!

Stuff like that really keeps me motivated.

03-19-2008, 01:52 PM
Less cottage cheese! LOL! My dimply butt and legs are a lot smoother!

I just feels so darn good to be in shape. To know that I can jog a mile or climb a flight of stairs or whatever without feeling like I am going to die.

I feel more in control of my body.

03-19-2008, 02:23 PM
When I used to smoke and was trying to quit, I found that if I exercised my craving would go away. I consider that a HUGE benefit!


03-19-2008, 07:14 PM
I had to shovel a HUGE amount of snow the past weekend, and the next day I only had one sore area. My arms, shoulders and most of my back were perfectly fine! Before that, when I shoveled even half that much snow, I'd have been hobbling around for days going 'ow ow ow'.

The best thing though, is the improvement in my lungs. I have 'moderate persistent' asthma (had it since I was a baby). That's almost as bad as it gets and it's no fun. It has kept me from pushing myself on cardio my whole life - I figured I couldn't do more than a light cardio workout ever, and all my docs agreed with me. I've been doing daily cardio for two months now and it's getting better! Lots better - I've been able to drop one of my steroid doses!! When I'm not exercising I can take a deep breath now - I mean a really deep breath, and my body almost doesn't know what to do with the extra oxygen, it's been so used to a minimal amount. I just feel so much more awake and alert now.

DH started doing a cardio workout this January as well (we bought an elliptical) because he was diagnosed with high blood pressure. He has watched his readings come down to almost normal. In fact, lately, in the morning, they ARE normal! He's so thrilled to see that, that he's become a convert to exercise - he never did *any* before (and he's 40).