why you should exercise (especially men)

When I was on my seven mile run this morning, I got to thinking about all the tremendous changes that have taken place in my life since I adopted this active lifestyle. The more I started to think, the more I realized how helpful this information might be to other people – especially men (since I am of course writing this from a male's perspective).

So below you'll find a list of random things that popped into my head today that I would like to share with you that have impacted my life in a positive way since I adopted this healthy, active lifestyle. Enjoy!

1. Larger (male) genitals

Yes, throughout my life I have had many ups and downs in regard to my weight. In sixth grade I was rather chunky and unfortunately that stuck around for a while. So right at the time when we were starting to take showers after gym class in the sixth grade, I happened to be the big kid in the locker room. One thing I was always uncomfortable with back then was the size of my privates compared to the other "normal" boys. I remember thinking, "Why did theirs look so normal and why did mine seem so abnormal?" It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I finally discovered the answer: I was fat!

What I discovered was that overweight males develop what is called a "fat pad" in there pelvic area once their body weight goes above a certain level. Once I started exercising however, I definitely noticed that my genitals became more pronounced than they had ever been before.

The reason behind this is rather obvious to me now: as the fat disappeared, my genitals went back to a normal, healthy state.

So if any of you guys out there are having trouble finding some motivation to get off your butts and go for a run or a walk or a bike ride every day, keep this little fact in the back of your mind: the heavier you are, the smaller your junk is.

2. More energy throughout the day

When I was overweight, I remember getting home at the end of the day and feeling just beat from having to stand up for eight hours at work each day. Now that I am much healthier and far more active, the idea of my feet hurting or feeling exhausted from standing or walking around all day is absurd.

What I found was that the more active I became, the more active I wanted to be in all the other areas of my life. Parking farther away from the entrance of a store was no longer a big ordeal for me. Now I took my time grocery shopping and if I had to go back and forth to get a few items, it wasn't a problem. Going for long walks around the city no longer required rest stops along the way. And by the time I would get home from an activity packed day such as this I felt rejuvenated, not beat up.

So if you want more energy and fewer excuses to be lazy, I suggest you start exercising... today!

3. Low resting heart rate

I don't know how important this little tidbit is to you, but to me it was kind of a fun surprise to discover that the more I exercised, the stronger my heart got. To you, this might sound like kind of an obvious statement but to me it was more like an aha moment. It just clicked: more exercise = stronger heart = less effort for my heart to beat when I was not exercising!

The implications of this seemingly elementary statement stretched far beyond that simple observation. To me I thought, "If my heart is healthier and is beating less throughout my waking day, then that means I am setting myself up to live a long and healthy life!"

Believe what you will, but I advise you to take in that information and see what it could mean for you in your life. Does having a strong and healthy heart matter to you? If it does, then perhaps it would be a good idea if you started exercising more often.

4. Naturally drinking more water

Before I started exercising regularly, water was not a staple for me. If anything, water was just something I would drink when soda and other processed drinks were not available to me. Of course, there were those rare occasions where I would find myself walking for an extended period of time with my friends and I would become so parched that water was the only thing that could possibly quench my thirst.

Well the good news is, once I started exercising every day, that feeling became more and more prominent in my life. Gone were my cravings for the sugary and processed garbage you find in most convenience stores. Nope, all I wanted –day and night– was water.

This change helped me in two very important ways: 1) The less soda and slur pees I drank, the more weight I lost 2) Little did I know, but the more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to eliminate fat and other toxins from your body!

So if you are familiar with that craving for water and if you want to have more of that craving in your life – exercise!

5. Clear headedness

This might be hard to understand for those of you who have never had to endure the misery of being overweight, but when you are, it clouds your mind. For me, I was only able to recognize this feeling after I lost the weight because until then I didn't really have anything to compare that feeling to.

When you are overweight, I truly believe that –just like the fat around your pelvis– fat finds its way into your brain. Despite my lack of research on this particular subject, from my experience I believe that the excess fat in your brain causes long lasting impairments in your judgment and cognition.

It was only after losing all the weight that I began to see the world through a new and much clearer lens. The more fat I removed from my system, the clearer my thoughts became. Now I can say with a great deal of certainty that if this had been the one and only benefit from adopting my new healthy lifestyle and everything else would have remained as it was, I still would have done it.

Having a clear mind has truly brought so much peace to my life. It's like seeing the world through a brand new lens; and I like what I see now too much to ever go back to that dirty lens I had before.

So if you happen to find yourself in a place where you believe your lens could use a little bit of Windex, for the love of god don't wait and start exercising!

6. Happier

Looking back on it now, when I was an overweight sloth I was absolutely miserable. Despite my best efforts to deny my unhappiness, eventually it got the best of me. After years and years of mistreating myself through my poor life habits, my body and the life that I had manifested finally came to a screeching halt and I decided that enough was enough – I deserve to be happy.

Sure, my transformation started out slowly. But I knew that over time, in the long run, it was all going to work out for the better. Now I have achieved my weight loss goal and have moved on to other health goals that I want to achieve. The difference now is that I am finally happy with myself! Boy what a difference it has made in my life to go from being displeased to finally being proud and happy.

If this is something that sounds appealing to you then you guessed it... exercise!

7. No more boredom

I remember back in the day (which I believe was a Wednesday) when I was overweight, I would regularly find myself sitting on the couch complaining of how bored I was and expecting the people around me to somehow manifest entertainment out of thin air for me.

If only someone had the foresight and the courage to just tell me to get off my butt, go outside and do something with the body I have been blessed with, what a difference it would have made. Nowadays though, boredom does not exist. In my world, whenever I start to feel angry, frustrated, irritated or restless, I don't complain... I exercise!

If this sounds like you, give it a whirl and see how it feels.

8. Craving fresh, healthy, organic foods

As you might imagine, when I was overweight I did not have the healthiest diet in the world. The majority of what I consumed was highly processed, highly refined, and nutritionally starved "food". Looking back though, it was an appropriate diet for someone who was living the lifestyle that I was living. Of course I ate lousy food, I felt lousy about myself didn't I? I felt like junk inside so of course I ate junk.

Once I started exercising and feeling better about myself, my diet naturally started changing all on its own. Before I knew it, that slice of pizza didn't really seem that appealing to me because I knew that it was not good enough to fuel my workout the following morning.

It's actually really basic stuff if you stop and think about it. Once you start treating yourself the way you ought to be treated, the idea of treating yourself poorly is no longer an option. For me the more I exercised, the more I understood how powerful and precious and fragile my life really was. After that, I resolved to allow only the most powerful and healthy foods into my body in order to fuel it.

Final Thought

It all happens for a reason, so what's keeping you from finding your reason? Start by figuring out where in your life you might not be treating yourself as well as you should be and fix it. Who knows... it might even start with... exercise?

-Corey Barton

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