We always see ads for fitness programs and workout equipment. You know the type, the ones with muscular men and fit women doing exercise, encouraging the viewers to join them. It has long been known that working out helps maintain a good physical figure, but there are many other benefits to exercising.
Exercise Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
If you’ve ever done any exercise after work, then you know this feeling. It may sound strange to exercise after a hard day’s work, especially when you’re feeling both mentally and physically tired. Exercising releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel happy. Studies have also shown that exercise increases the production of neurotransmitters, like serotonin and dopamine, that provides a ‘natural high.’ This also makes us sleep better at night.
This has been proven so effective that regular exercise is often prescribed to depressed people, as it has shown that it can also help alleviate anxiety. There’s also the side benefit of having a better-looking body that can affect a person’s overall self-image. The benefits of physical activity to mental health are being discovered day by day, but even at this point, it’s safe to say that exercising helps you stay happy.
It Improves Your Quality of Sleep
People often assume that exercising helps you sleep better at night. While it may be due to the physical exhaustion it brings, making you fall asleep easier, there is a lot more to it than that. Regular exercise helps reset your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle by increasing your body temperature slightly and letting drop to trigger drowsiness a couple of hours later.
But the quality of sleep after exercising receives many benefits as well. It can help increase the hours you sleep- crucial to get the 8 hours of sleep advised. Insomniacs and others with sleeping disorders find exercise a natural therapy to establish a better sleeping cycle. The next time you find it hard to sleep, maybe considering going for a jog during the day.
Regulated Exercise During Pregnancy Is Good
Pregnant women are often seen as fragile and are told not to stress their body out too much. While this may be true to some degree, regular exercise has some interesting benefits for pregnant women. These benefits include; boosting the mood, increasing energy levels, preventing too much weight gain, and reducing the common effects of pregnancy such as constipation, swelling, backaches, and bloating.
Of course, caution must be taken whenever you exercise, especially for pregnant women. There are a wide variety of pregnant-friendly exercises, from pilates for pregnant women to even weight lifting. There is plenty of exercises that promote an easier delivery, yes, but there are still some that should be avoided. It’s best to consult a professional in a situation like this.
It Increases Your Social Circle
We don’t make as many friends as adults, especially when compared to our younger years. Being stuck in the same classroom basically forced most of us to mingle and socialize with others, developing bonds that eventually turned to friendship. An interesting benefit of exercising is mimicking that effect.
Exercise classes are growing in popularity, not just for the health benefits, but also because it’s a chance to go out and socialize with like-minded people. Exercises classes like dancing, kickboxing, and running allow you to meet different people and have something to bond over. Friendships are formed in these exercise groups, so consider joining a workout class if you want to make more friends.
It Prevents the Deterioration of the Brain
As we grow older, many organs start to deteriorate and fail. Among the worst ones to happen is to develop memory problems such as dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly enough, exercise can help prevent the brain from weakening.
Studies have shown that exercise, especially aerobic exercise, helps prevent symptoms commonly associated with dementia. Aerobic exercise for about half an hour, done four to five times weekly, can reduce atrophy or deterioration. Walking around five miles a week has shown that it can help resist memory loss and cognitive impairment. Along with the benefits to mental health, this only proves that exercise is not just for our body but also our minds.
Start Exercising Now
There is no best time to start exercising than today. It’s not easy, but it’s one of the best ways you can take care of yourself. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard, nor does it have to be sudden. Gradual increase of difficulty through consistent light workouts still counts as exercise, and it still counts as taking care of yourself.