Whether it was from your 5th grade P.E. teacher, your mom or your varsity coach, you’ve probably heard just how important exercise and physical activity is for your health. However, the benefits go beyond just the slightly-more-obvious physique side of things. Exercise is very beneficial for both your physical and mental health, productivity and overall life quality. (*Note this doesn’t mean if you don’t exercise you can’t or don’t have a quality life…there have just been studies shown that exercise can increase overall feelings of happiness and relaxation in life.) Although there are tons and tons of benefits to exercising, here are 6 simple benefits. Hopefully this–if nothing else has–will fuel you to start exercising regularly.
Stimulate Happy Chemicals
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals create a positive feeling and a euphoric state of mind while also eliminating pain (by connecting to receptors in your brain). The short story? Exercise=Endorphins; Endorphins=Happy You. (And yes all those Legally Blonde watchers, this is exactly what you are thinking!)
Boost Your Brain
Studies have shown that exercising helps boost brainpower by improving overall brain performance. It also sharpens your memory and increases your learning. Even leisurely activities of exercise help keep your brain fit and active (not just your body!) which will help fight off memory loss and keep certain skills such as vocabulary.
Improves Self Confidence and Body Image
In today’s society, it sometimes seems that many women (and men) are lacking in the self-confidence and positive body image departments. Exercising regularly will lead to you seeing fitness improvements that will surge your confidence. And sure, part of it does come from seeing your physical body change and seeing yourself as more attractive. However, even just being able to run faster or farther or lift heavier, regardless of how you look, can improve your self-esteem and the way you see your body.
Everyone wants to be more creative and productive, especially in the middle-of-the-afternoon slump. Solution? Exercise! Research has shown that people who exercise regularly tend to be more productive in their work. Also, “creativity power” is boosted up to two hours after working out. So even if you think you don’t have time to workout during your busy day, finding time for a quick walk or bout of exercise may be more beneficial than you may think!
When you feel sluggish or tired, I’m sure the last thing on your mind is to exercise…but maybe it should be the first! As mentioned before, exercise increases endorphins which boosts your mood and leaves you feeling happier. Exercise and other physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues in your body which can boost your energy. Next time you feel low-energy, take a walk or slight jog around the block.
Combat Bad Health Conditions/Disease
Regularly exercising can help you combat a range of health issues and concerns including, but not limited to, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Working out boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is good cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly for a healthy body system.
Overall, being active is one of the best things you can do for your health! But want to know the best part? In all the research and studies, there is nothing that ever limits your exercise. Nothing says your exercise has to be running 3 miles, or heavy Olympic Lifting, or doing 3 different workouts a day…the point is just to exercise regularly: whatever that means for you! Maybe it’s taking a walk on your lunch break every day or fitting in a workout in between classes. As long as you are being active on a pretty regular basis (3-5 days a week), your body and health will thank you! Exercise because you want to take care of your body–after all, it’s the only one you get!
What are your thoughts? What are some of the reasons you workout and the benefits you get from it?