“Sun’s out, fun’s out.” “Sun’s out, guns out.” “Sun’s out, buns out.” That last one sends shivers down my spine. Of all the places I want my buns, “out” is probably last on the list. Spring, and with it warm temperatures, brings revived commitments to health and wellness. Self included, most of us have already broken our New Year’s resolution regarding exercise so sheer strength of will is probably not going to carry our buns to where we want them. The part of my brain that motivates my buns to turn off Netflix and go on a jog has become desensitized to the traditional motivators: I’ll be happier, I’ll sleep better, I’ll have more energy, I’ll lose weight/gain muscle… They all sound far less important than a Sherlock binge.
In light of my new level of ridiculous lack of motivation, I have compiled a list that I found quite surprising and, dare I say, motivating.
Without further ado, the Benefits of Exercise We Never Knew We Needed.
- Little Johnny wants to run too. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, there is a direct correlation between maternal physical activity and the activity level of the children in the homei. Children whose mothers placed physical fitness as a high priority were more likely to desire physical activity. The opposite was also true; mothers who did not engage in moderate to intense activity on a daily basis were more likely to have children classified as “sedentary”. Much of the reasons cited were due to mothers being the primary caretaker and concerned more with the health needs of the rest of their family. While these are good intentions, it’s encouraging to know that the opposite is true. When we choose to exercise, even if it’s an hour of “me” time that almost feels wrong, it has fabulous benefits for the health of our littles! If you’re looking for a kid-friendly workout, be sure to check out Fit4Mom Quad Cities!
- Bow Chicka Wow Wow. Yep, I went there. Regular exercise has all kinds of benefits but few compare with the awesomeness of this one: increased libido. In both men AND women. Jackpot. Study after study shows that women who exercise regularly, on average, desire sex and enjoy sex more than those who do notii. Sexual drive for women is linked closely with self-confidence and typically between 2 and 4 weeks of regular exercise, women notice a spike in self-confidence. Sexual drive is also, obviously, linked to hormones. One study showed that about 8 weeks into weight training programs, the testosterone levels in the female subjects rose significantly. This is actually a good thing. Elevated testosterone in women is linked to more frequent sex, greater arousal during, elevated moods, higher energy levels and other non-sexual benefits such as increased bone density. Bedroom need a pick me up? Grab some weights! *pun intended*
- Have you seen my keys? Mommy brain is a legit problem and everyone around me just has to deal. There are some days, however, when I straight up get a little freaked out by my strangely persistent inability to remember ANYTHING of substance. Keys, shoes, what I came in this room for…it’s all lost in a jumble. In my research to find not-so-obvious benefits of exercise that could motivate my buns, this one had me singing “Hallelujah!” to my laptop. My husband will probably do a happy dance if it works. We all know exercise is good for emotional and mental wellness, but did you know it LITERALLY improves memory and even decreases chances for Alzheimersiii? Exercise also stimulates a protein all the hip kids call FNDC5 which triggers the production of BDNF (whaaa???) which, scientists have discovered, activates stem cells and, again, LITERALLY makes your brain grow larger! Mommy brains rejoice!
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80% of U.S. adults do not get enough exerciseiv. Eep! Their designation of “enough” is quantified as strength training 2x a week and 2.5 hrs of moderate or 1.25 hrs of intense activity. Does chasing a toddler and lifting groceries count?
While “Sun’s out, Fun’s/Guns/Buns out” is not quite enough to get me moving, these little tidbits of information were newly invigorating. I actually went on a run yesterday. Further than the mailbox. #babysteps
Speak to me, fit momma! What are your favorite exercises? Kid-friendly workouts?