9 Key Reasons Not to Miss a Workout ...

Reasons not to miss a workout, let me count the ways... If you want to stay on track with your fitness goals, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and even possibly look like a bit of a bombshell along the way, this is a list you won’t want to miss. Though there are definitely times to listen to your body and sit out a trip or two to the gym - especially if you are sick or injured - for most of us a missed workout is more about motivation and commitment than anything else. Long days at work, lack of sleep, stress and busy schedules - there will always be excuses not to fit in a little exercise, and as such, it is so important to remember the immense and lasting benefits of physical activity, and the very good reasons stick to your fitness plan. Read on, and then race yourself to the local gym... Ready? Set... Go!

1. Actions Form Habits

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Ask any woman who has tried to change her ways - whether on a diet, with a bad ex-boyfriend, or in terms of fitness - and she will tell you that the choices we make most often lay the groundwork for our habits, and set habits are really tough things to break. How can we change? The key is to create new behavioral patterns by repeating productive, healthy choices consistently. By staying accountable to your goals every day, not giving in to the couch and pushing yourself to work out for even a quick twenty minutes, you are setting yourself up to create healthy fitness habits that will eventually make it that much easier to stick to your exercise routine naturally - an excellent reason why you should not skip a workout (and stop calling your bad boy ex-boyfriend).

2. Improve Confidence

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From taking a brisk walk, to full on marathon training, and everything in between, exercising, even for a short amount of time, releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine - three naturally occurring chemicals which serve, among other things, to elevate your mood, boost your well-being and decrease your stress levels. The result? A happier you, along with enhanced feelings of productivity, accomplishment and self-confidence. Major benefits for simply lacing up your running shoes and getting out there, and yet another good reason to stick to your fitness plan.

3. Look Good

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For most women, working out leads to a leaner, toned frame, eliminating toxins, an improved immune system, maintaining a healthy body weight, and lowering stress - key ingredients to not only feeling your absolute best, but also looking your absolute best. In fact, when it comes to reasons not to miss a workout, there is none perhaps as sweet as the benefit of looking fabulous, and seeing for yourself how much your hard work continues to pay off - in the way your clothes fit, in the way you feel in your body, your increased energy, stamina and confidence, and in the many compliments you will inevitably find piling up around you as you stay on track. Soak it up and enjoy each blissful moment of your effort... and your admirers!

4. Reduce Stress

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Stress is a major factor in our society nowadays, and with negative effects like exhaustion, irritability and sadness, it can be incredibly consuming. Fortunately, one of the most effective, natural ways to fight the effects of stress and related health issues is through regular exercise - a main consideration for why you should not skip a workout. Even if you are currently worry-free, living an active lifestyle can serve to decrease future stress build-up and manage or minimize some of the symptoms, giving you an opportunity to bounce back more easily when things do become difficult. Furthermore, setting yourself up for success when you feel good will be a much smoother process than trying to start new habits when you are feeling down. The bottom line? Hit the gym today; you never know what tomorrow will bring.

5. Long Term Benefits

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The reasons not miss a workout may seem like they are primarily rooted in the present, but the truth is that what you do today has great impact on what happens to you tomorrow - in life, and in the gym. Building your self-esteem, achieving your fitness goals, rising above excuses and pushing yourself to be stronger physically can empower you to take on new challenges, overcome future obstacles, and manage your life with greater confidence and self-reliance. Moreover, the physical benefits you are creating for yourself today - good circulation, strength, endurance, flexibility and more - will be the building blocks you depend on to maintain the physical quality of your life down the road, hopefully increasing the length and enjoyment of your time here.

6. You Can Treat Yourself

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I remember my aunt once telling me, after chasing her on a particularly grueling uphill run, β€œI workout for wine.” The full truth of her words were lost on me at the time, but I cling to her wisdom now as my metabolism slows, and the eat-whatever-whenever attitude of my younger years is nothing more than a faded, distant memory of something that was once wonderful and, of course, not fully appreciated at the time. Many women - clever women, if you ask me - count the blessing of treating themselves to a little chocolate or a glass of wine without adding to their waist line as one of the best reasons not to miss a workout. A strategy of moderation and self-discipline, a little treat can be the extra perspective needed to remember why working out is so worth it. In this respect, you can have your cake and eat it, too. Well, a small piece.

7. Sleep Better

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We have all been there - a busy few days stack up and before we know it, the alarm clock is our arch nemesis, seemingly buzzing every day earlier than the last. Low on sleep, we are low on energy, slow to make decisions, not remembering or concentrating as much as usual, and eating to comfort ourselves in the process. The effects of a poor night's sleep encompass a great deal more than just the tired feeling the next day, and can accumulate very quickly. A great reason to stick to your fitness plan? More restful sleep, more often. Exercise not only clears your head and subdues stress, but it also tires you out physically, promotes a set daily routine, and allows you to better maintain a healthy diet - all factors which lead to consistent, calm and sleepy nights. Sweet dreams!

8. Time for Yourself

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It can often feel like we are giving so much of ourselves as women - to our work, our children, our partners, our families and our priorities - there is little time left over to even catch our breath, let alone take a moment to clear our minds or regroup. Of all the reasons not to miss a workout, taking time for yourself through exercise allows you an opportunity to sort your thoughts, set your priorities, and refocus your attention in a healthy, productive setting - in essence, knocking two birds out with one proverbial stone. Of course, balancing your physical, emotional and mental health is the best result here, but if nothing else, take that time on the treadmill to tune out the world - it can be an excellent chance to read a magazine, listen to music and daydream.

9. Every Workout Counts

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Asking why you should not skip a workout, you will get a number of good answers, but at the forefront of your mind, always remember that every single workout contributes positively to your life and your health. If you only get to the gym for ten minutes, it is ten minutes more fitness, ten minutes more energy, and ten minutes more motivation than you would have had by skipping the workout. When you're under the weather or hurting from an injury, you should absolutely take it easy, but if you are simply canceling your exercise for no good reason, remind yourself that there is immense value in leading an active lifestyle, even when you might not necessarily feel like it... It all counts and it all helps you to ensure you are staying healthy, one workout at a time!

Working out can be a positive part of your life in so many ways, but the reality is that it can also be a challenging habit to maintain motivation and loyalty for. Staying active, especially when it would be easy not to, or when you least feel like it, is a hard task to tackle, and that is when it is crucial to keep the benefits in perspective. Perhaps you want to be able to enjoy that extra delicious treat this week? Maybe you are using exercise to power through a stressful time at work? Or possibly you are loving how great those skinny jeans are feeling these days... Whatever your push to get out and exercise, all of the reasons not miss a workout have their own value. What motivates you to stick to your fitness plan? Share your tips for staying on track and not missing a workout!

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