With bathing suit season well underway, and a million things commanding our attention, finding time for exercise can be stressful and often falls to the bottom of the list.  But what if exercising was the key to having less stress and more time?  At Humboldt Storage & Moving, agent for United Van Lines and Boston moving company, we have done a little bit of research on this question, and have determined that encouraging exercise is a great tool todecrease stress in our personal and professional lives.  According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, “Men and women of all ages benefit from a moderate amount of daily physical activity. The same moderate amount of activity can be obtained in longer sessions of moderately intense activities (such as 30 minutes of brisk walking) as in shorter sessions of more strenuous activities (such as 15-20 minutes of jogging).”  Fifteen minutes, you say?!  Now that actually sounds reasonable!  Although 15 minutes probably isn’t going to give you Megan Fox’s incredible body, it might make you feel a lot better in your own skin, and getting your blood pumping is proven to boost your energy level and increase productivity!  In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic (www.mayoclinic.com), a world renowned medical institution, “Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently.  When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.” But not only that, exercise can reduce your stress!  Don’t believe me?  The Mayo Clinic also claims, “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You’ll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.”    So, if spending 15-30 minutes at the gym a couple times a week is going to boost our motivation, increase our energy, decrease our stress and boost our mood, what’s the hold up?  It sounds like a no-brainer!  But some of us really struggle with even giving up that small part of our day, because every moment is so valuable.  But the first step is the hardest, and once you build the gym into your daily routine, you will be happy you did. Not convinced?  Here are some other compelling reasons to give fitness a shot: – Exercise increases your chances of living a longer life! – Exercise promotes better sleep. – Helps you lose weight, which puts less stress on your bones and joints – Reduces the risk of developing and/or dying from heart disease – Improves range of motion in joints and body flexibility – Improves balance and core strength – Reduces high blood pressure and/or the risk of developing high blood pressure – Reduces high cholesterol and/or the risk of developing high cholesterol – Reduces the risk of developing breast and colon cancer – Reduces the risk of developing diabetes – Helps you lose weight and get the body you’ve always wanted – Helps you gain muscle mass and strength in tendons and ligaments, which makes you stronger and protects your bones and joints – Encourages memory retention, through increase blood flow to the brain – Can improve your sex life (seriously!) not only because you feel better about your body, but because physical energy actually leads to increased arousal and less dysfunction in men and women. And as I already mentioned… – Exercise increases blood flow, which boosts the productivity of your lungs and heart – Boosts your energy – Increases motivation – Helps you feel more relaxed and happy – Increases well-being – Helps prevent depression – Boosts confidence and self esteem Humboldt Storage & Moving has taken the first step toward getting healthy and being stress-free by setting up a corporate membership with a local gym.  It cost Humboldt nothing, but secured a competitive rate and no contract for our employees (talk about less stress!).  Have you looked into that for your team?  And if our research has proven anything, it is that a little effort can go a long way when it comes to exercise!  Its time to take the first step.