While most of us have heard that exercising more helps you to lose weight and lessen the risk of diabetes and heart disease, you might be surprised at the overlooked benefits of exercise and being fit. Recent studies have indicated that regular exercise improves your mental health, your physical beauty, and your relationships.
How Exercise Improves Brain Power and Mental Health
- When you exercise, you experience an increased blood flow your brain, which helps you concentrate better. If you feel sluggish, often taking a brisk walk is better than reaching for another cup of coffee or glass of pop. Besides offering an immediate release, exercise offers several other mental and cognitive benefits that we don’t often think of.
- Simply put, exercise makes you smarter. Even in young children, just running around or jumping rope helps with memory games and passing exams. So find that young child in you and challenge a friend to a race because running sprints is known to help with memory and vocabulary retention in adults too. In particular, cardio work-outs can lead to neurogenesis, the creation of more brain cells. If you do an extremely hard work-out on the treadmill, it will increase your BDNF levels, assisting with better decisions and cognitive reasoning.
- Exercise makes you happy. It releases endorphins, which make you feel almost euphorically happy. Often, doctors recommend that you work out for 30 minutes at least three times a week to ward off depression and anxiety. Think of your “work-outs,” as your “happy pills.” Try to work-out outside whenever possible so you have access to the mood-boosting Vitamin D and sunshine.
- Exercising regularly reduces your stress levels. After a long day at work, engage in a cardio work-out for at least a half hour. Raising your heart rate and getting sweaty increases your norepinephrine levels and regulate your brain’s reaction to stress. In fact, if you do a vigorous 45-minute work-out on the elliptical or the treadmill three days in the row, you may slow down the aging process, and who doesn’t want that.
- Working out helps your creative process and your work productivity. While you may feel exhausted after an hour-long aerobics class or a 7-mile run, make good use of it. Studies have shown that inspiration and creativity is heightened for up to two hours after your work-out. Taking your run through a scenic trail in a park will help the process even more. In addition, if you’re feeling uninspired at the office, try fitting in a work-out on your lunch hour, such as walking nearby or even hitting the gym. You’ll return with more energy ready to tackle the rest of the day.
Exercise and a Healthy Lifestyle Improves Your Beauty Habits
- Exercising regularly not only sharpens your brain power, but enhances your natural beauty and gives you better skin and better eyes. It also helps you get more restful sleep.
- Technically, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and many dead skin cells are sloughed off daily. In order to replenish them, you need proper nutrients, lots of water, and a healthy exercise program. Sweating gives your skin a healthy glow, and seeing tight skin over muscle looks really appealing too.
- You can lower your risk of developing glaucoma by 25 percent by participating in moderate exercise. You’ll find you’ll reap these benefits even 15 to 20 years later so exercise as much as possible while you can.
- Working out for around 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week leads to more restful nights. In fact, scientific research states that a vigorous work done at least five or six hours before bedtime often will help you sleep better than medication.
Exercise Improves Both Social Relationships and Your Sex Life
As you find more motivation and self-confidence, you’ll notice you’re happier and that you have healthier relationships at both work and home. In addition, due to your new confidence as well as your toned body and flexibility, you’ll find that you’re enjoying a more active sex life.
- Exercising helps you make good first impressions, which is key in forming relationships, be it at a job interview, a first date, or meeting your future in-laws. This is partly because exercising releases chemicals to relax you, and partly because you’re more likely to feel confident if you’ve lost weight or toned up from exercising.
- This new confidence and happiness also helps you in your current relationships as others will notice your new determination as well as your body, and not your negative approach to unrealistic goals.
- Exercising regularly can improve your sex life. According to numerous studies, exercising vigorously by jogging two miles and burning around 200 calories lowers your risk of having issues with erectile dysfunction. Women also benefited from exercise partly because you often want to more because you feel prettier, but from being toned and more flexible from all those yoga classes, you can try different techniques and spice up your love life.
Exercise Has Surprising Health Benefits
Besides helping you reach your weight loss goal and prevent high-risk diseases, exercise helps with daily health occurrences and annoyances and prolongs your life expectancy.
- Exercise reduces your cravings. So the next time you’re craving that giant homemade chocolate chip cookie, try working out on the treadmill for an hour instead. It causes your blood flow to concentrate on your muscles instead of your hunger pains, in turn lessening the pleasure response of food. In addition, exercise strengthens your abdominal muscles and helps you digest food better in your intestinal tract, without feeling sluggish.
- Aerobic exercise helps in preventing migraines or lessening the strength of the headache. Combined with relation therapy, you may experience similar benefits to prescription drugs. Just be careful not to do any vigorous exercise during a migraine attack, or you could make it worse.
- Even exercising for 15 minutes a day could add three more years to your life. Therefore, join a fun dance class or meet a friend for a game of basketball or a brisk walk to make it more fun.
With all these unexpected benefits to exercising and a healthier lifestyle, is it time to follow through on your New Year’s resolution to actually use the gym membership you bought months ago?