The following article was submitted to Fight Quality by Albert Guardado from Combat Brands, LLC and ringside.com.
Are your clothes fitting a little bit too tight nowadays? Maybe stress has you down and out? How about people who are just looking for a new hobby? If you’ve been considering joining a gym for some time now, we are here to tell you that you should stop thinking about it and take action.
Joining a gym can change your life in many unexpected ways. We’re going to break down some of the general benefits of hitting the gym regularly, but most people will find that it helps them in unique ways too. Let’s get right into it.
1. Increased Confidence
While people create all sorts of barriers to joining a gym, many have been hesitant to join a gym due to intimidation (hence the term “gymtimidation”). Facing your intimidating factors head-on is a wonderful thing—it helps build character! Anytime we step outside of our comfort zone and explore a new activity or surrounding, we grow as a person.
You can build a great body at the gym, but you can also build your confidence! You will encounter all sorts of challenges and fight plenty of internal battles while training; adding a little bit more weight to the bar, trying a new exercise, pushing yourself to beat your previous performances, putting on your boxing gloves and sparring with that big scary guy in the corner—there will be a new challenge waiting for you at the gym every day!
We are not telling you that you will overcome these challenges 100% of the time—we are all human … and we do fail—but having the mental fortitude to fail and continue pushing until you reach your goal builds strength and confidence. These repeated successes can help people achieve greater momentum.
When you decide to join a gym, there are many more options than just being tied to a treadmill. Try joining a boxing or martial Arts gym! You will find that joining a combat-oriented gym is a break from traditional gyms, and that you can log plenty of great workouts there, too.
Aside from the physical aspect, there is the self-defense aspect, as well. We’re not saying that everybody should take up boxing training to become a heavyweight champ, but you can learn valuable self-defense skills that may help you escape a bad situation.
3. Health Benefits
We can write an entire book elaborating on all of the major health benefits of joining a gym, but we will spare you. Let’s just focus on some of the major benefits that most people will enjoy after joining a gym and visiting regularly.
Increased Muscle Mass and Strength
Our bodies are adaptive mechanisms; the greater the challenge, the greater the adaptation. By joining a gym and performing resistance training exercises, you are sending your body a message that it needs to get stronger and build muscle to overcome these new challenges. Building and maintaining strength can help you in everyday activities like getting out of a chair or lifting heavy boxes.
Resistance training has been scientifically proven to strengthen your bones, as they will start to retain and utilize more calcium. Don’t underestimate the importance of strong bones; they will help if you take a hard fall. As bone mass and density decreases, your bones become weak and brittle. A hard fall can lead to painful fractures, which can debilitate you for weeks. By participating in strength training, you can save yourself from fractures and prevent taking medications for osteoporosis, etc.
Lower Body Fat/Weight Management
As you begin to work out at the gym regularly, you should see a decrease in body fat levels. Intense workouts can burn several hundred calories per hour and assist with weight loss and weight management. If you’ve been dieting for some time and have hit a plateau, now is a great time to add in some intense workouts to rev up your metabolism again.
Exercise is great for your heart. Your heart is a muscle like any other and, when you train it, it can get stronger. Studies have proven that after just a few weeks of performing cardiovascular exercise, your heart begins to handle oxygen more efficiently. With exercise, the heart can also achieve stronger contractions, which helps it carry more blood to the body with fewer contractions.
Simply put, the stronger your heart becomes through exercise, the less your heart will have to work during your everyday activities. You will be able to tackle more in a single day and be able to live a more productive life. Remember, there are more options for cardiovascular exercise than just walking on a treadmill for an hour. Certain cardiovascular activities can be fun and engaging, and they also help build muscle and hand-eye coordination. Working out should be fun, so be brave by stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying something new!
4. Stress Relief
After a long day at work, hitting the gym is a great way to destress and end your day on a positive note. The Mayo Clinic states that exercise helps your body release endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that work to improve your mood and which relieve stress.
Joining a gym can provide you with a healthy distraction also. It gives you something positive to aim for. An intense workout can gather your full attention and help distract you from stressful situations you may encounter. When you look at some of the alternative methods that people use to deal with stress, joining a gym seems like a much healthier alternative!
5. Be Happy
By pushing yourself and joining a gym, you will feel much happier when you start to reap the rewards of your efforts. The pursuit of happiness isn’t necessarily a selfish cause, either. When you are happy and feel good about yourself, you tend to be a more pleasant person to be around. When you feel good, you can help others around you feel better, too.
We could go on and on about how great it is to join a gym, but you need to experience it for yourself to be able to appreciate it. Give it a shot, and you will find that there are many more benefits that we did not list here!
Albert Guardado is a retired boxer and current Product Support Supervisor for Combat Brands. He continues to share his extensive boxing experience and knowledge by coaching, blogging and assisting with tournament administrations.
The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.