We all have those days when we know we should exercise but have absolutely no motivation to do so. The thing is, exercise is great for us and something we need to do regularly, no matter how hard it is to get started.
So, to help inspire you to hit the gym, pound the pavement or turn up to this week’s team training, we’ve pulled together a list of some of the choice things about getting active.
- Exercise boosts brain power
Simply moving your body has immediate and long-lasting benefits for your brain. Getting your heart rate up improves your body’s ability to use oxygen and increases blood flow to the brain, which helps you to think faster, react quicker, concentrate for longer, remember more and, most importantly, feel happier.
Get a boost this week by grabbing yourself a free one-week trial at your local participating leisure centre. You’ll get free seven-day access to our fitness centres, pools and group fitness classes. Visit the Auckland Council Pools and Leisure website for more information and to sign up.
- Sweat more, stress-less
We all feel stressed at times, it is an inevitable part of life. So, if you’re feeling stressed, a bit of physical activity might be just what you need.
“Instead of sweating the small stuff, sweat it out through exercise,” says Ritua Ali'iva'a, Auckland Council’s Fitness Lead.
“Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins, which basically trigger positive feelings in the body. You’ll find that the more you exercise, the more you’re likely to feel an increase in energy, self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life - ultimately leading to a decrease in stress levels,” she says.
- Exercise together, stay together
Build a better bond with your significant other, friend or family by working out together. Not only does it make exercise fun and you more committed, working towards mutual goals and providing support to each other helps you to develop stronger bonds. After all, relationships are built on shared experiences.
- Get more shut-eye
Exercising requires you to expend energy, which helps you feel tired and ready for rest at the end of the day. It also helps to clear your head and make you feel relaxed for an improved quality night’s sleep.
Helpful tip: “High-intensity exercise right before bed can be disruptive to sleep, so try exercising earlier in the day or doing something less strenuous before getting some shut-eye,” says Ritua.
- Keeps your heart happy
Exercise is one of the best things you can to do keep your heart happy and healthy, reducing your risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in New Zealand.
An easy way to fit exercise into your day is to walk whenever possible. Walk to work, go for a stroll at lunchtime or take the family around the block after dinner.