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A beer with a lemon in it in front of a bridge.

The Real 4 Reasons To Hit the Gym This Summer

07/21/2014, 5:00am PDT
By Kelvin Cech

Stop lying to yourself. Here's the truth about working out.

"I want to tighten my abdominals and feel fantastic and lower my cholesterol levels!”

… said nobody, ever.

Look, everyone wants to lose a couple pounds before beach season rolls around. It doesn’t matter if you work a 9-5 job or you’re a busy hockey parent or you actually do need to mind your cholesterol, exercise is good for the body, the mind and the soul.

What are the benefits of working out that are specific to you?

Do any of these benefits sound appealing?

  • increase your energy levels when you’re not at the gym
  • build lean muscle mass that’s stronger and more functional
  • increase lung capacity and overall stamina
  • lower the risk of heart disease through cardiovascular exercise

Of course they do. But let’s just not lie about the actual reasons we exercise. After all, ultimately it’s the results that matter, so whatever your reasons for working out, the point is to act on them.

So here’s the truth: the real 5 reasons to get your butt back in the gym.

1. More Beer, Less Guilt 

Regular exercise not only encourages healthier eating choices naturally, it’s also a simple matter of give and take.

Give: run for 30 minutes on the stationary treadmill followed by 30 minutes of shoulder and back exercises.

Take: enjoy a frosty Corona with dinner.

An unhealthy lifestyle is fuelled by sedentary foods. Sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours a day drains energy and leads to more take-out dinners and simple-to-make processed foods. Giving a few hours a week to exercise will invigorate your day to day lifestyle as well as the healthy choices in a home-cooked meal. And you won’t worry about where you’re going to store an extra beer or two.

Tip: Here’s a quick and easy breakfast recipe to kick-start your metabolism in the morning

2. Live Long Enough To See Your Kids Battle Middle Age

You drive them to hockey. You drive them to soccer. You’re a 24 hour a day taxi, nurse, secretary and personal assistant. 

The realities of middle (or close to it) age. 

Now picture this: 25 years from now you’re sitting on a beach in Bali sipping a sweet, sugary drink you’ve never had before in your life when your phone rings.

It’s your son.

He’s calling to complain about your grandson getting an F in social studies on his grade 6 report card.

So, what do you do? 

Laugh, take another sip of your drink and ignore the call.

Tip: not only does regular exercise keep your ticker pumping longer, it prevents injuries in other sports that can have disastrous effects later in life.

3. Show Off to Your Kids

You want your kids to live healthy, active lifestyles, right?

Well, it’s a lot easier to encourage healthy living in your kids if you’re a living example. Parents might think their kids don’t listen to them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t copy them. It’s easy to get caught up in all the different fitness and training programs our kids are enrolled in. What about you, though? Sticking to a consistent workout plan is an easy way to one-up your kids whenever they grow an inch or try to out-muscle you.

And if there’s a better sense of triumph than destroying your 15 year-old in an arm-wrestle then I sure haven’t heard of it.

Tip: Want to build muscle and lose weight without riding the bike? When you’re at the gym, focus on your hips and shoulders (Men’s Health).

Plus, coming home with a few extra pounds of muscle will get noticed by more people in your house than just your kids.

4. Happiness (More of It)

Without going too far into the details on this here family blog, let’s just say we can agree that there’s nothing sexier than confidence. And rock-hard abs, of course. 

What was I saying? Oh yeah, working out is about small, personal accomplishments. 

Accomplishments like increasing your reps or your time or the amount of weight you’re lifting. With accomplishment comes confidence and with confidence comes positive energy. Functioning on an exclusive dose of positive energy means always finding the positive or the realistic aspects of any situation. In this way, hitting the gym cuts out negativity so you can relax, sit back and enjoy every day a little more.

And a couple nights, too.

Tip: Don’t wait. Go to the gym by yourself and hop on the bike or join a bootcamp class.

photo credit: Sam Ilić via photopin cc

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