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Its Not Just About Looking Good

Who doesn't want to look totally hot? If you asked 100 people who were starting to exercise for the first time (or returning to regular workouts after a long time off) what their main motivation was, the majority of them would say something like, "I want to look good," or "I want to fit into a size __ again." And hey, whatever gets you on track initially is great, but when that scale hasn't budged in a few weeks, it's time to remind yourself that there are lots of other reasons to make exercise a habit.

Research has clearly linked coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancer to lifestyle. Apart from aiding in weight loss, physical activity offers a positive, healthy way to release anxieties and alleviate tension, which can help reduce your risk of many lifestyle-related diseases. Exercise also supports mental well-being: Physical activity actually changes your brain chemistry, which directly influences your mood and frame of mind for the better. Among other things, physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, which act on the brain as natural tranquilizers.

In addition, exercise will boost your confidence. As you start working out and getting stronger, your sense of strength in other aspects of your life will naturally flourish. Bottom line: The more physically fit you are, the longer you'll live and the better your quality of life will be.

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