5 Gym Benefits You Probably Hadn’t Thought Of

gymFor the last 5 months, I have been going to the gym 3 times per week. In the past, I would only visit the gym sporadically (whenever I felt like it) which I’m sure many of you can relate to. Now though, after going regularly for a few months in a row, I’m starting to notice more benefits then people usually associate with working out.

The main reason people go to the gym, of course, is for health reasons.

People either want to lose a few pounds or they want to bulk up and build muscles. The latter was my primary aim and something I’m still focusing on, but there are other benefits I’ve gained along the way.

I wanted to share some of them today for people who feel they need that extra bit of motivation to put on some shorts and start exercising.

  1. Learn to Appreciate Long-Term Growth
    As a society, we’re constantly looking for the next quick fix. How to make thousands of dollars overnight, how to lose 10 pounds in a week, and other countless examples in various areas of life. We’re a society that wants things, and we want them now.

In reality of course, most things worth having need consistent effort over a long period of time in order to manifest. Whether you are increasing your income or wanting to lose weight, you need to be prepared to provide a consistent output. Results at the gym will not happen overnight, but if you stick to it, you’ll soon see actual results of how long-term effort pays off.

  • Tame the Voice in Your Head
    You know the voice I’m talking about. The one that wants you to stop working and go out with your friends, the one that wants you to buy the latest gadgets so you’ll look cool and the one that tempts you to go easy on a Friday…just because it’s Friday.

When you’re working out, you will reach resistance points that will make you want to stop. Whether it is after a few kilometres on the treadmill or a few sets of lifting dumbbells, it will come. Usually though, we can still go on at this point and this is your chance to ‘fight back’ against the voice in your head and learn that you don’t need to give in to its every desire.

Over a decent period of time, this ‘taming’ of your voice and pushing through resistance will flow over into other areas of your life.

  • Learn to Focus on What You’re Doing
    On any productivity, self improvement or personal development related website, you’ll see lots of tips on how to cure procrastination. It is a topic that is written about frequently, simply because so many people suffer from this issue. 

Procrastination is often made easier by our tendencies to skip between tasks and telling ourselves to do something else for five minutes and come back to the work (which rarely happens). What I like about going to the gym is that when you’re working out, your attention simply can’t be elsewhere. When you’re lifting weights or doing something else that requires a lot of energy, you have to fully focus on what you are doing.

Similar to taming the voice in your head, if you can keep this up for a decent period of time, it will start to overflow into other aspects of your life.

  • Have a Constant in Life
    Something that is often an issue for people who are depressed, but can really affect anybody, is the lack of constants in our lives. We can go in and out of jobs, through one difficult relationship to the next, and feel the highs and lows of the financial rollercoaster. 

Regular visits to the gym are just one of many things that can become a constant in your life. It is never going to let you down and it will always be there when you need it. I have found regular workout sessions have added some stability and structure to my schedule that I may not have otherwise had.

  • Release Built Up Energy and Tensions
    As technology has advanced, more and more people are finding that their 9-5 careers involve working in an office and sitting in front of a computer all day. I work from home and even though I get to set my own hours, I’m still just sitting in a chair and getting on with my tasks. 

The great thing about going to the gym is that you can release all that built up energy and tension you may have accumulated throughout your day. This is probably not needed if you have a physical job or lifestyle, but for those who don’t, it’s a better way to channel your energy then letting it turn into anger or negativity.

Remember, you don’t even have to go to a gym to get these extra benefits; it’s perfectly possible to work out from home as well. Have I missed any benefits you can think of?

Written on 6/29/2009 by Glen Allsop. Glen writes on the subject of Personal Development at PluginID. His site’s main aim is to help people Plug into their Identity, be who they want to be and live the life they want to live. Photo Credit: lululemon athletica
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