A regular exercise routine has many pros, including increased longevity and stable physical and emotional health. While there are many medical benefits to exercise, there are also drawbacks, such as the sacrifice of time and energy that must be given over to establishing a consistent workout. The inconvenience and expense of exercise deters many people from embarking on a regular routine, despite the various benefits.
Establishing a regular cardiovascular workout (exercise that works your heart and lungs) can benefit your health by reducing the risk of heart disease by improving your blood cholesterol levels and overall heart function. Exercising can also reduce the chances of osteoporosis. Another more obvious health benefit is increased muscle mass and strength. According to the "New York Times," even adding a little activity to a sedentary lifestyle can help ward off disease and increase longevity.
According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help relieve depression and soothe anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in your brain to put you in a better mood. Improving your health through exercise also means improving your self-image, helping you to achieve a healthier physical and social lifestyle by increasing your self-confidence.
To make your workouts count, you need to devote a consistent amount of time to them each week. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, most adults should work toward 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. To be effective, cardio exercise, such as biking, swimming or running, should take place at least three to five times a week for 20 to 60 minutes. Depending on your goals, you may want to add a strength-training or Pilates routine to that schedule. Many people with careers or families have difficulty finding enough time to exercise on a regular basis.
Exercise can be expensive, especially for those who require additional support and motivation from outside resources. Joining a gym or workout class can provide external motivation for your workouts, but memberships can cost a lot of money. While purchasing gym equipment for your home can help vary your workout routine, it also can be an expensive deterrent to exercise. Outfitting yourself in appropriate shoes and sportswear can also be difficult if you are on a tight budget.
Joelle Dedalus began writing professionally for websites such as PugetSoundMagazine.com in 2009. She received her B.A. in English education at Iowa State University and is currently a M.F.A. candidate in creative nonfiction writing at Emerson College in Boston, where she is developing a manuscript on literary travel. Her areas of expertise include travel and literature, the outdoors and the arts.