Home > Mom's Life > Mom's Health and Fitness > Exercise Tips > Why Bother Exercising?

Why Bother Exercising?

Simply put, exercise …

  • Makes you feel better physically.
  • Improves self-esteem and provides a more positive mental outlook.
  • Makes you look better and helps to control your weight.
  • Increases your balance, coordination, and agility.
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and non–insulin-dependent diabetes.
  • Makes you feel invigorated and more energetic.
  • Strengthens bones and muscle, giving you the functional strength for everyday living.

Before you begin, there are some things to consider:

  • Have realistic expectations. For all you beginners, don't expect to turn into a muscle-man or super-model overnight. (The majority of us never will.) It's great to have a hero, but understand that people come in all shapes and sizes, and genetics plays a major role in your body makeup and proportion. Rule #1: exercise is about looking and feeling your best—not somebody else's best.
  • Set reasonable goals for yourself. Plan reachable short-term goals each week that will not leave you overwhelmed or set you up for failure. An example of a reasonable goal is: “I will work out four days this week and eliminate all high-fat desserts.”

    Not a reasonable goal: “I will work out two hours every day and lose 10 pounds in three weeks.”

  • Work exercise conveniently into your day. You know the story: unless exercise sessions are planned during realistic time slots, your “workouts” ain't gonna “work out.” Take into consideration your schedule. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Some people are lucky enough to have leisurely lunch breaks and can sneak in a quickie during their day.
  • Rise and shine. Studies show that exercisers who work out in the morning are 50 percent more likely to stick with it. Basically, get it out of the way before the day wipes you out. (What's more, it can also save you an extra shower later.) If you have the capacity to endure a grueling day at the office and then shake, rattle, and roll in the gym—more power to you.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Most people have hectic lifestyles and cannot afford to dedicate hours each day to the gym. And they shouldn't! Each workout should be short and efficient. The consistency of regular physical activity is as important as duration and intensity. Without any of these three elements, exercise is simply not effective. Furthermore, people who get carried away usually wind up with injuries or exercise burnout.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Total Nutrition © 2005 by Joy Bauer. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks