It’s difficult sometimes to drag yourself to the gym, especially after a long day at work. Even when you’ve found a way to engage in some form of exercise, you want to be anywhere but there. It’s a lot easier to just go home, sit on the couch, and neglect any sort of physical movement. However, there’s a reason why doctors always recommend exercise- the incredible benefits that exercise provides to the body and mind cannot be denied. Need some convincing? Keep reading to find out more.
Exercise Reduces Stress
Even taking a simple walk greatly reduces any stress built up in your system. Your body needs a way to blow off steam, especially when you are feeling frustrated or defeated. Exercise helps you manage your stress. Not only does exercise reduce your current stress, but it improves your ability to handle stress in the future as well!
Happy Chemicals Get a Boost
When you exercise, you produce a chemical called endorphins. When endorphins are released, you can’t help but feel happy. If you are suffering from depression, studies show that regular exercise can reduce it by as much as 22%. Anxiety and depression are proven to be improved through exercise, and in some cases, can be just as effective as antidepressants. You don’t have to hit the gym and do the hardest workout available. Pick a type of exercise that you can handle, as any movement will benefit you.
Let the Outdoors Help
For your next workout, try taking it to the great outdoors. Studies have shown that nature can amplify the effectiveness of your workouts. Seeing panoramic views is beneficial for both the body and mind. Plus, being outside gives you plenty of sunshine, which helps you get your vitamin D for the day. Vitamin D helps ward off depression. Lace up those hiking boots and get a self-esteem boost!
Stop Brain Aging
As you begin to get older, your mental state also begins to decline and age with your body. Exercise is linked to preserving the brain. When you exercise, chemicals that prevent the degeneration of certain parts of your brain are released, further protecting your brain. Your memory and ability to learn can be improved as you gain mental clarity through exercise.
Push Anxiety Out of the Way
When you are done with a workout, those feel-good chemicals we discussed earlier begin to make an impact on you, and can instantly reduce anxious feelings. It is recommended to do moderate-to-hard exercise, as this has more of an effect on anxiety than light exercise.
Improve Your Quick Wit
When you consistently workout, your ability to remember things improves. In a study, children’s brain development was directly linked to their physical activity! However, you don’t have to be a child in order to enjoy the benefits of memory improvement. Adults can improve their memory as well through exercise.
Be Happier With Your Image
Did you know that every single time you workout, regardless of your shape, size, or gender, that you feel more attractive? You end up perceiving yourself as more attractive with each workout that you do! Self-esteem is quickly boosted by any form of exercise. When you hop on a treadmill or lift weights, you are basically sending a love letter to yourself!
Kick Addiction to the Curb
The brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which is also known as the “happy chemical.” That’s what makes certain drugs and alcohol so addictive- using substances releases a whole lot of dopamine. If you’re trying to quit, exercise can step in as the perfect substitute. When you workout, you release dopamine and feel the same pleasure as if you were using drugs or alcohol. Exercise is also distracting, and can help people stop thinking about their cravings.
Now that you’ve read some of the benefits to exercise, all you have to do is start. It doesn’t matter how you begin- just begin somewhere! Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you later.