Jul 26, 2013

The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Exercise

I am currently on week 10 of 13 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. I have actually stuck to it! Exercises for 30 minutes 6 out of  7 days a week.

The first eight weeks were actually relatively easy already considering that I was a regular gym go-oer and somewhat healthy in terms of activity (diet is a whole different story). HOWEVER, weeks 9 and 10 hit and these exercises were HARD. I found that for the first time, I was sore the next day; I found myself DRENCHED in sweat throughout the workout, breathing heavily, short of breath, heart rate up, and slightly nauseous.

I found myself DREADING the next workout, and the next workout because of how hard it was. However, I stuck through it, worked through the pain, and now its my third time going through the harder workouts and I'm actually amazed at how quickly my body adapted. Exercises I found VERY tough to do 4 four days ago were tremendously easier.

Physical & Emotional Benefits of Exercise


One of her podcasts, Jillian Michaels explains that if you can barely do 10 push-ups at the beginning of the week, and you do 10 push-ups everyday; by the end of the week you can usually do it no problem:

"Almost all the benefit of the exercise comes at the very end, Stephen," he replied. "I'm trying to build strength. And that doesn't happen until the muscle fiber ruptures and the nerve fiber registers the pain. Then nature overcompensates and within 48 hours, the fiber is made stronger." - Stephen Covey


Especially in the beginning, I found that although my body could take the physical discomfort, emotionally it was much harder to endure. However, the more I did, the less painful and the more routine it gets. Stephen Covey explains is beautifully:

"Its the same principle that works with emotional muscles as well, such as patience. When you exercise your patience beyond your past limits, the emotional fiber is broken, nature overcompensates and the next time the fiber is stronger."

The emotional benefits of sticking to your fitness goals:

  • Stress relief and a way to redirect the negative energy you accumulate throughout your day: this may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. This regular ritual of exercise can be restorative; providing stimulation and calm. 
  • Better sleep (which means less caffeine, better quality of life)
  • Discipline and following through on promises to yourself; which translates to other aspects or your life (professionally and personally)
  • Self confidence  and better sense of body image 
  • More energy, stamina and strength to you get you through your day