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Let’s face it – we are not all born gym bunnies, ready to head out after work in our lycra to pound the treadmill or venture on to the rowing machine. While we might have the very best intentions of completing an exercise routine every week, sometimes the allure of a good box set coupled with dark and cold nights means we put our physical fitness plans on the back burner. However, exercise isn’t solely a means to an end to lose weight. Sure, you might want to shed a few pounds, but finding yourself on the cross trainer isn’t going to cut it if you’re gorging on chocolate and takeaways after every workout. It’s time to view exercise as a different entity altogether. Read on to find out how you can unlock the power of exercise.

Happy Hormones

Exercise is proven to release dopamine and endorphins into our blood stream. This hormone and neurotransmitter fosters a feeling of happiness and accomplishment within. This is why exercise becomes so addictive for many. Many people want to find the buzz of feeling sweat on their brow, feeling like they could be sick after a particularly strenuous spin class or feeling the burn in their chest after a circuits class. Dopamine and endorphins can help enhance our mental well being and allow us to feel more optimistic about life in general. Fostering a routine based on exercise keeps our lives more organised. Many people strive for routine without even realising it.

A Renewed Focus

Doing some form of exercise every week needn’t mean heading to the gym. You could go for some brisk walks, check out the local rambling groups or do an aerobics video everyday in the comfort of your own home. Knowing that you have some physical activity to look forward to can motivate and give you a renewed focus. This is why nearly every addiction treatment centre has some sort of gym, outside space or gardens to enjoy. Getting outdoors can help regulate your body clock, and help boost your vitamin D levels. Couple this with a jog or walking the dog and you are creating a new hobby for yourself.

Social Calendar

If you ever feel isolated or feel pangs of loneliness, exercise can be the perfect way to get out there and meet new people. While daunting, heading to the gym, a martial arts class or a team sports day, you’ll inevitably meet like minded people. You could make new friends and extend your social circle. This doesn’t have to end at your exercise session and could be the catalyst for you to organise different social events and add to your social life. This can improve your confidence and feelings of self esteem.

Forget about being a bronzed goddess with biceps of an Amazon warrior. Exercise isn’t all about shifting the flab and training for a marathon. Instead, view exercise as a well being an improver, a confidence enhancer and a way of making new friends and becoming happier.

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