by Antonio Sini

Prioritize fitnessYou probably already knew this but prioritizing and finding an extra hour or two for exercise is not as simple of a task as one might think. Whether it’s work, kids or friends, it can sometimes be hard to concentrate on ourselves when so many other people depend on us. The interesting thing about exercise is that we’re all more efficient in our lives when we take time to do it.

The benefits of working out include:

Stress Reduction
Physical exercise increases the concentration of a chemical called norepinephrine, which helps moderate the brain’s response to stress. The next time you feel stressed out, put on your sneakers and work it out!
Memory Boost
Exercise is responsible for the creation of new brain cells in the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. Many of the world’s most successful CEOs, for example, regularly exercise first thing in the morning before going into work.
Improved Self-Confidence
Studies have shown that exercise helps you feel better about yourself. The idea of getting fitter can help boost your self-image and self-confidence.
Overall Happiness
Physical exercise releases endorphins, which trigger happy and euphoric feelings in people. People who are happy are also more resistant to diseases ranging from the common cold to heart disease. There is evidence to indicate that social contact between people who are working out or involved in sports may be an important source of satisfaction as well.

There are so many reasons why it’s important to prioritize fitness and the “me” time that comes with it. Don’t make excuses. Take the time every week (every day if possible) to exercise, even if only for 20 minutes–remove other, less important things from your schedule. Remember, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. Know that you will come back to your responsibilities with greater focus, commitment and enjoyment.