In an effort to gather up the motivation to resist holiday treats and stay disciplined with having an exercise routine, I’ve decided to make this the month to be motivated about staying active and not let the holidays or the end of the year be that excuse for waiting until January to think about fitness.
We still have a whole month before the end of the year – a lot can be accomplished in 1 month!
Here are some impactful benefits that can result from sticking to a regular workout routine that sparked my interest and are excellent motivational ideas to think about if you want to be extra diligent about exercise in December as well:
👟Physical Exercise may increase gray matter volume and brain plasticity
In a review of clinical studies here, it was found that physical exercise (especially cardio) increases gray matter volume. Gray matter contains neurons that connect to different parts of the brain and along with other functions, affect our muscle control, senses, memory, speech and capacity to make decisions.
👟Exercise may potentially immediately enhance cognitive processing
While the cumulative effect of a sustained exercise routine is significant, there are also immediate benefits that come from moderate and vigorous exercise sessions that range from 5 to 30 minutes as described in this Stanford University study. Immediate benefits that may be observed and that were discussed by researchers in this study are an improvement in reaction time, creativity, attention, memory and the ability to task switch.
👟You can change up your existing exercise routine to strengthen your muscles and bones
Changing up your exercise routine in different ways can have a multitude of benefits. Cardio exercise benefits heart health while weight bearing exercise can strengthen muscles and bones. You can incorporate both into a simple walking routine with added lunges, squats, jumps, stairs and intervals of walking at a faster pace as elaborated on in this Mayo Clinic article here.
👟Exercise may help with chronic pain
In another overview of studies here, in a review of interventions for chronic pain that included aerobic, strength, flexibility, range of motion, and core or balance training, as well as yoga, Pilates, and tai chi it was noted that a number of participants saw an improvement in physical function and pain severity.
It is important to have an exercise routine that is specific to your needs and to work with a health or fitness professional who can help you to identify targeted exercises to help you attain your goals.
*Disclaimer: If you’re incorporating anything new into your exercise routine, please check with your doctor – especially if you have pre-existing conditions. This post provides general information and links to studies with a more detailed and specific overview of the information. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
Are you looking forward to moving more in December or are holiday treats and relaxation calling your name?