9 Benefits of Exercise That Help You Outside the Gym
Now at first glance you may be thinking that I was referring to physical weakness, acting like some type of douchebag bodybuilder. However, nothing could not be further from the truth. In this context I am referring to the mindset of weakness; your mental perspective.
I say we stop this weak-minded insanity. Instead of allowing people to have excuses for being weak, we need to help others reach their full potential. Being strong in the gym will make you stronger in life and that’s a fact.
All too often when reading a fitness article coming from a broader-based news source, you can go to the comments section and find an abundance of people providing excuses as to why they are not living up to their full potential. This could be in terms of physical strength or unfulfilled career potential. Sometimes the individual just hits the internet and takes out their frustration, hating on the fitness community as a whole.
I was disappointed to find several people stating something along the lines of:
I’m glad I’m not some egotistical bodybuilder. I work to provide for my family and I can’t make it to the gym.
…implying that gym-goers are conceited people.
This stereotype needs to go out the window immediately. In my experience, individuals that are motivated to succeed in the gym – whether it be in terms of strength, body composition, or overall health and wellness – are FAR more likely to be equally as motivated outside of the gym. That being said, I am not implying that every single person should be shredded at 5% bodyfat year around.
Going to the gym has a positive impact on your life and should be treated that way. If you can’t make it to the gym there are a vast number of alternative ways to exercise that will help improve your body and your mind. These include p90x, Insanity, calisthenics, etc. As long as you don’t do CrossFit, serious.
9 Benefits of Going to the Gym
Going to the gym on a regular basis will help improve your life as a whole in numerous ways:
Benefit #1 – Builds Good Habits
Sticking to a regular gym schedule helps reinforce positive habits in your life. Going to the gym will also prevent you from partaking in habits that are less beneficial for your health.
Instead of attending happy hour, drinking countless beers and consuming mozzarella sticks, you will be devoting your free time towards an activity that provides positive health benefits.
Benefit #2 – Helps With Goal Setting
Those that stick to regular gym attendance also learn to improve, and properly set up their goals. Whether it be aiming for PRs on your deadlift or squat, by setting gym goals you will also find motivation to set goals in your daily life.
If you’re in sales you’ll try to increase your numbers. If you’re in accounting you’ll set goals to improve your efficiency.
The bottom line is that reaching your goals in the gym will help you reach whatever goals you set outside the gym.
Benefit #3 – Establishes Consistency
Building a stronger body requires consistency, which is repeatedly performing the right behaviors again and again. As the great Aristotle once said…
We are what we repeatedly do, therefore excellence is not an act, but a habit.
Nobody in sports, business, or even in personal relationships ever achieved excellence without practicing strong, consistent habits. By building consistent habits in the gym you will be more likely to be consistent in other areas of your life.
Benefit #4 – Relieves Stress
One of the most positive benefits of going to the gym is stress relief. If you have a standard 9-5 workday, you likely have some built up stress throughout the day. What better way to relieve stress than to lift some heavy weight and/or perform some high intensity interval cardio?
By relieving stress you’ll be less likely to use other methods of lowering stress, including stress eating or alcohol consumption.
Benefit #5 – Cost Effective Entertainment
Usually most gym memberships can be had for around $1 per day, or slightly more. What other activity or hobby can you be partake in on a regular basis cheaper than that?
A gym membership costs less than your morning cup of coffee and has limitless possibilities in terms of what activities you can be a part of. Joining a gym is the best investment available for both mental and physical health.
What better way to relieve stress than to lift some heavy weight and/or perform some high intensity interval cardio?
Benefit #6 – Improves Physical Appearance
If you go to the gym on a regular basis (and have a decent diet) you’l likely be more physically attractive than most members of the general population. As they say, if you look good you’re more likely to feel good as well.
Benefit #7 – Develops Mental Strength
Mental strength is one of the most often overlooked benefits of regular training.
In order to set a PR on a squat you have to engage your mind and your body simultaneously. Putting a heavier weight on your back and having the agility and fortitude to perform a compound movement in a controlled and steady manner requires intense focus.
By using this focus you will be able to further tap into parts of your mind you never thought possible, being in the zone if you will. This focus development will help you stay more focused in the workplace and other arenas of your life.
Benefit #8 – Improves Overall Health
For decades studies have shown that regular physical activity, particularly bodybuilding, improves cardiovascular health and decreases the likelihood of developing fatal illnesses and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Improving physical health also has positive societal benefits, such as decreasing health care costs, which is beneficial for future generations.
Benefit #9 – Accountability for Your Actions
By developing a gym schedule and attending regularly you will be holding yourself accountable. Increasing your accountability in the gym will increase your accountability in life.
The key is life is to constantly improve and by holding yourself accountable will help accomplish that.
The Bottom Line
Going to the gym will provide numerous positive benefits both in and out of the gym. Developing consistency, planning, and reaching for goals will strengthen the mind as well as the body at the same time.
The perception that your average bodybuilder is a single dimensional, low intelligence individual needs to be quickly dissolved. In all likelihood that person is much more likely to be proactive, motivated, and goal oriented than Joe Shmoe.
So just remember that as you’re increasing your strength physically in the gym your mental game is improving as well. Being strong in the gym and in life, that’s not a game!