Exercise And Benefits You Never Thought About

exercise

Exercise has powerful effects on both the body and the mind. Although many people hit the gym to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a sizzling body, working out has even deep-reaching benefits too.

Studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits, regardless of your age or fitness level. Yes, from couch potatoes to top-level bodybuilders. 

Here are 10 ways a good workout can do your body better than you realize. 

  1. Reduce stress

Your day might surprisingly take a terrible turn and it might seem like the whole world is against you. Do you know that a short break to the gym can help?

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help you manage stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate how your brain handles stress.

So yes, going to the gym can make you feel better after a bad day. Go ahead and get sweaty — it can reduce stress and boost your body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. 

  1. Boost happy chemicals

Ever wondered why you suddenly feel good after a full workout? Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, which trigger happy feelings. Research has shown that in people with major depression, exercise can increase the chance of remission by 22 percent by circulating endorphins.

Doctors recommend that people dealing with depression or anxiety spend considerable time regularly doing exercise.  A 2013 study found no difference between the effectiveness of antidepressants and exercise.

Even if you feel great, working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost your overall mood.

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3. Improve self-confidence

If your confidence level isn’t touching the roof yet, don’t worry — not all of us have to jump the shark to feel great. Hopping on the treadmill can help you feel like a million bucks too.

On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image.

 Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of their attractiveness.

 

4. Prevent mental decline

The hard truth is that as we get older, our brains get a little… hazy. As aging and degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease kill off brain cells, the noggin shrinks, damaging many important brain functions in the process.

While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” some of the diseases that come with old age, they can help shore up your brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45.

Working out also boosts the chemicals that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of your brain for memory and learning.

 

5. Boost brainpower

You probably didn’t think of the gym as the right place to build your brainpower, did you? Well, studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance.

A 2019 study suggests that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF, which can help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.

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6. Help manage addiction

The human brain is known to release dopamine, the “reward chemical,” in response to any form of pleasure. And yes, our good friend exercise can kick off a considerable wave of dopamine.

However, so do drugs and alcohol. This reward cycle in the brain can lead to patterns of substance use disorder. Exercise is there for people while they recover from addiction.

 Physical activity can distract people from cravings when they’re trying to quit smoking. Working out while on the wagon has other benefits too. Excessive alcohol use disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, people with alcohol use disorder may find they have trouble falling asleep without drinking.

You probably have heard so much about exercises and set a date to start. Without passing blames, we imagine other things came up and that time you set didn’t see daylight. The next best time to start is now. You don’t have to delay any longer.

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