The commonly known Latin aphorism attributed to Francis Bacon and repeated by Thomas Jefferson among many others is “Knowledge is Power.” Though a popular quote, I would politely disagree. Knowledge is potential. Potential isn’t a promise, it’s a possibility. Not all potential is utilized. We’ve all seen sad cases of disappointment and wasted potential at some point, haven’t we? Potential has to be developed, even painstakingly at times, to become realized.
I would argue that the difference between potential and realization of potential is belief. What we know and believe directly affects our decisions every single day. Our everyday behaviors, disciplines, decisions, usage of time, money, energy, and resources are a direct reflection of what we believe, value, and prioritize.
Here’s the bottom line: You’re going to read this…unless you click the X at the top right or switch tabs. You’re going to possibly know something in the next five minutes that you didn’t know before. You’re going to know the facts, truth, and benefits about exercising.
The more you know, the more you are responsible for.
This can kind of stink sometimes, kind of like the time I once found trash on the floor at my workplace. I knew it was there but didn’t want to pick it up. “Darn it, I see it, but I really don’t want to pick it up. No one else knows I see it…unless they saw my eyes gaze upon it as I walked by,” went my internal conflict over a piece of trash.
I knew I should care for my workplace. I knew my workplace had my name attached to it. I knew that cleanliness was important. I knew that picking it up that stinking piece of trash (actually tissue, ew) was the right thing to do. I knew, but knowledge wasn’t enough. It was potential, but not synonymous with action.
So what does this have to do with fitness?
The knowledge presented here is potential. What you decide to do with this knowledge about fitness is entirely up you, Dear Reader. You can pretend you didn’t see this and go on. But the ball is in your court, which means it’s time for you to score. Knowledge can fuel and grow and root your passion, and that is the intent of this post. If you’re ready to crush those goals or establish new goals, stick around and get inspired to get fit.
27 Fitness Facts:
The Benefits of Physcial Activity
- Brain Health. Sharpens and increases executive functions, cognitive flexibility, short-term memory, long-term memory, ability to learn, data transmission (faster thinking). Exercise literally produces biological changes in the brain. Fitness is a smarter choice, always.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s & Dementia. Exercise protects the hippocampus, which governs memory and spatial navigation.
- Increases Focus. Feeling spacey or in a fog? Here’s your wake up call.
- ADHD Improvement. This study shows even math & reading improvement particularly among those with ADHD.
- Increases Self-Control & Willpower. There isn’t much else out there that can do that for you, I tell you. Feeling powerless when it comes to food or fitness goals and beyond? Get moving and tap into fitness fortification for you.
- Brain Self-Regulation. Control your emotions better as a benefit of fitness.
- Natural & Effective Antidepressant. No bizarre side effects here. Exercise stimulates the growth of neurons in certain brain regions damaged by depression! Boots production of brain molecules that improve connections between nerve cells.
- Reduces Migraines & Headaches.
- Bone & Joint Health. Osteoporosis prevention.
- Increases Productivity. Busy? In over your head with work? Having a hard time juggling the twelve billion things on your list? Bugged by a coworker? This study shows that improvement in all of these are linked to exercising regularly. Time management, mood, and employee toleration are kind of okay, right? This goes for student athletes too.
- Divergent Thinking? A.K.A. Creative Thinking. I love this one. It’s so true! I get so inspired and ideas just flood in when I run. Studies here show a boost in creativity during and after exercise, particularly heightened with longer durations of exercise. One more reason to love the long-run: creative genius at work.
- Gut Health. The gut is our second brain and the body follows its lead. Healthy digestion is a benefit of exercise. Studies also show that children and youth that begin physical activity earlier in life are more likely to have better gut health and microbial community in the gut.
- Immune Health. 80% of our immune systems are in our gut.
- Hydration & Dietary Inspiration. Makes you want to drink more water and eat better!
- Emotional Health. Elevated levels of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine can cause stress or be caused by stress. Exercise lowers these hormones, and increases serotonin, the happy hormone.
- Good Mood, Dude. In a study on moods and behaviors, exercise came in FIRST as the most effective mood-changing method. Second and third were music and social interaction, by the way.
- Up Energy and Reduce Fatigue. “I’m too tired to exercise.” Have you heard this song before? Uhm, I’ve sung it on more than one occasion. Though counterintuitive, studies show even light to moderate exercise impacts energy levels. It’s the real deal.
- Treat Depression. the most common mental condition worldwide. Working out does wonders for anxiety and depression, and studies have shown their significant impact in comparison to prescribed medications.
- Prevent Depression. Not only does it improve depression, it PREVENTS depression. When we experience stress a harmful substance enters and builds up in our blood stream and our blood stream carries it to our brain. This incredible study was done that shows that exercising produces an exact protein that stops, breaks down and flushes out the harmful substance that builds up in the blood caused by stress, while protecting your brain. INCREDIBLE, I repeat!
- Addiction: Prevention & Recovery. Not only can exercise lessen the effects of withdraw symptoms, the brain undergoes biological changes in areas related to human planning, decision making, and impulses.
- Increase Pain Tolerance. This is actually a mental factor. Participants in the study noted not feeling less pain, but withstanding it more easily after implementing exercise. Read up on the study here.
- Stressed? Everyone has stress, some good stress called eustress, and some bad stress. But the question here is: Will you wear it? Exercise may work at the cellular level to reverse the toll of stress on our aging process, i.e. premature aging.
- Emotional Resilience. High stress life? Those who have a more stressful lifestyle benefit more from fitness. Withstand the storm by building emotional resilience with fitness.
- Cut Cancer Risk! Development and reoccurrence of cancer has been shown to be prevented and lessened with exercise.
- Better Skin? I’m in. Increase in blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients are carried to cells and waste and toxins are removed. You’re cleaning your skin from the inside out (which diet impacts as well). Stress causes skin inflammation and exercising can clear the blemishes away. Just be sure to wash your face after having a heavy sweat so all that toxic dirt you poured out is washed away and doesn’t congest your pores again!
- Improve Self-esteem. From physical changes to fitness improvements or reaching goals, all of this boosts confidence!
- Catch Some ZZZ’s. Insomnia can be related to the efficiency of brain function. Improvement in the brain and among hormones can regulate sleep cycles.
These are all amazing benefits, some of which can be reaped simply from 30 minutes a day of exercising. So are you convinced that fitness and exercise is a worthy investment? Are you encouraged to start or continue your fitness endeavors? I hope so!
For some, the facts might not be enough. Like the trash I saw on the floor at my workplace, I knew it was there, I knew what was right, but did I have the motivation to pick it up? If you’re still not motivated to move, don’t worry, Part 2: Find Your Fire: Vision Fuels Decisions is coming up next to reinforce that knowledge and make you believe and succeed.
Did I pick up the trash? What do you think? Comment below.