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Adefolake Ayotunde-Salami: The Health Benefits I Got From Exercising

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Even after my dietician suggested exercises to go alongside my portion control and weight loss journey, I decided not to do any and was consoled as I still achieved my desired weight loss. I’ve never been a fan of exercising. The only time I remember actively exercising was a couple of years ago when the gym was on the top floor of my apartment and it was free. So to actually leave my house and walk to the gym several times a week now is quite a shock but wait till you hear my story.

My first day in the gym, I could only do a few minutes on the treadmill, a few squats and another few on the cross-country but the story is different now. I initially started going to the gym because I did not want to put on weight but what I achieved was much more and it made sense to me why we have gym junkies (a person who has made working out a part of their daily lives). Believe me, that is one of the best decisions I have made this year and I wish I knew the importance of exercise all along.

My personal benefits

Mood booster

No matter the kind of day I have had, the moment I step into the gym and start one of my routines, my mood just gets better. Even on days when I am tired and I end up spending a short time, I still leave there feeling better than when I came in. Exercising increases dopamine, endorphins and adrenaline, all which are chemicals in the brain that make one happier, more confident and less stressed.

Makes me more agile

You do not want to see me climbing a staircase months ago, even though I had my dream weight, I could not run or even walk fast. A little activity and I would start to pant because I was always tired and weak because I ate less so it would make up for my lack of exercise. Now I have increased my food portion to accommodate my exercise routine but I feel lighter, quicker and generally more fit. Studies by Lennemann et al 2013  showed that agility training influences our physiological and cognitive performance

I used to wonder what slim people were doing in the gym but I have a better understanding now. It is not all about trying to lose weight, it is more about what exercising does to your mood, your confidence and all round fitness. I no longer visit the gym because of my weight but because of the other benefits. I finally understand why we have gym junkies.

In case there is no gym near you, put on your sneakers and go for a run, buy dumbbells, do squats or whatever you know can count as an exercise routine and stick with it. I know it might be difficult for the first few weeks but stay at it and see the difference in your mood, not just your body.



Photo by nappy from Pexels

Adefolake Ayotunde-Salami is a Social Safeguard Consultant on World Bank Assisted Projects. She has a B.Sc, M.Sc and hold numerous certifications. She is also an Independent Consultant for top companies in Nigeria and has work experience in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. She is the author of a book on Amazon and Smashwords titled “Functioning In The Knowledge Of Who You Are” and a website ( where she writes articles based on extensive research. She is a Columnist for Bellanaija, Nigeria's biggest blog.  

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