No Motivation to Exercise

Once upon a time, I was someone who rarely exercised. Like most of you, exercise was relatively unimportant to me. During my free time, I would much rather hang out with friends, go shopping, surf the net, watch TV... pretty much anything except exercise.

Until one fine day, I met up with an old friend of mine to whom we had long ago given the nickname "professional couch potato". It was one of the biggest shocks of my life! He looked completely different. Compared to his previously lethargic and overweight form one year ago, he had become an energetic and slim young man. His secret? Putting on some workout clothes and working out every day.

This was when I realised those exercise routines could do amazing things to a person. I was so impressed and motivated by my friend, that that very day I started my workout routine of going for a 30-minute run every day as well. The effects were amazing—I felt more alert and lost a fair amount of weight as well.

HealthHub Tip: If you’re not a runner, there are many other exercises you can enjoy. Go for a bike ride or play a round of tennis with your friends. For more ideas, join our free workout programmes and start moving anytime, anywhere. There’s something for every age and fitness level, no matter whether you prefer solo or group activities.

Still not convinced? Have a read through these reasons and hopefully they will motivate you to start your own exercise plan!

5 Reasons to Stay Motivated to Exercise and Build An Active Lifestyle

1. You'll be happier

Exercise makes you feel good. Regular physical activity helps to fight off those blues and keeps you in good spirit.

Chemicals such as Endorphins are released by your brain during exercise and have a euphoric effect which helps to lift your mood.

HealthHub Tip: Regular exercise is one of the easiest way to get rid of stress and calm our nerves. Achieving at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise, and two days of muscle strengthening exercises per week, will improve our mental and physical health by leaps and bounds.

2. You'll think better

No way! It seems too good to be true... right?

Think again! Studies show that regular exercise does in fact help enhance cognitive thinking in individuals and decelerates or even reverses the brain's physical decay.

Studies also show that the area of the brain responsible for higher cognition—the hippocampus—enlarges slightly when an individual exercises frequently.

Thinking better will increase your productivity and decision making, enabling you to stay on top of your daily tasks.

HealthHub Tip: Exercising increases our heart rate, which results in an increase in blood and oxygen flow to our brain. It is important for us to exercise regularly, especially as we get older. Exercising helps to improve our mental functions and lowers our risk of dementia.

3. You'll look better

Healthy weight management preserves the quality of life.

I'm sure this is nothing new to you, and you've heard this a million times—that's because it's true. Consistent exercise has been and will always be the most effective way to manage a healthy weight.

HealthHub Tip: Practicing healthy eating habits and participating in regular physical activities are essential for achieving a healthy weight, read these tips to help you stay motivated and on course to reach your ideal goal weight.

4. You'll get sick less often

Battling another cough or cold? Do you often feel tired? Are you unable to reach your goals in life because your poor health is hindering you?

A simple exercise routine a few times a week may just be the answer to strengthen your immune system. Try it for a few months and see how much healthier and more robust you'll feel.

5. You'll save money

Think of exercise as a preventive medicine. It reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes (the list goes on) each time you exercise.

Ultimately, it is all about the return on investment. Regular exercise saves you the time and money that you would have possibly wasted had you fallen sick.

The saying "A man without his health is a poor man" makes more sense now, right?

HealthHub Tip: Regular exercise can help stave off chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

As you can see, there is a plethora of benefits to regular exercise.

So, what are you waiting for? The next time you feel like giving up on your workout, think of these benefits to stay motivated!

This guest article is kindly brought to you by Lim Yu Xian, who was studying at NUS when it was first published.

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Read these next:

  1. Ekelund U, Tarp J, Steene-Johannessen J, Hansen BH, Jefferis B, Fagerland MW, et al. Dose-response associations between accelerometry measured physical activity and sedentary time and all cause mortality: systematic review and harmonised meta-analysis. BMJ. 2019;366:l4570.
  2. Engeroff T, Ingmann T, Banzer W. Physical activity throughout the adult life span and domain-specific cognitive function in old age: a systematic review of cross-sectional and longitudinal data. Sports Med. 2018;48(6):1405–36
  3. Sultana RN, Sabag A, Keating SE, Johnson NA. The effect of low-volume high-intensity interval training on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med.2019;49(11):1687–721
  4. Gordon BR, McDowell CP, Hallgren M, Meyer JD, Lyons M, Herring MP. Association of efficacy of resistanceexercise training with depressive symptoms: Metaanalysis and meta-regression analysis of randomized clinical trials. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(6):566–76.