Everybody knows it, exercise is good for you! But why is it so hard to motivate yourself when the benefits are clear – actually, are they? A lot of people think that exercise is good for the heart when in actual fact, it has many more health benefits to take advantage of.
Did you know that the recommended 150 minutes of cardio and strength exercise a week is not adhered to by 80% of Americans? Maybe the following reasons will be enough to persuade you to start exercising.
Exercise is good for Your Brain
Surprised? Well, you shouldn't be. Exercise is proven to be good for tackling depression, increases your ability to learn faster and even helps your memory. You could say really that it sharpens your brain - which is also the reason why it is thought to be one of the best preventative measures to tackle Alzheimer's.
In terms of depression, we know that it decreases our ability to process information making for a decreased level of concentration, exercise does the opposite for the brain and counters this.
Scientists have discovered that exercise increases the flow of blood to the brain which gives more oxygen and therefore explains why the above is true. When you exercise your cortisol levels lower, making exercise great at beating stress. If you are feeling overwhelmed with pressure from something, take 20 minutes to move your body and see what happens. You will at the very least feel good for having taken even a small bit of positive action.
Increases Happy Chemicals
Exercise acts as a trigger to the brain to release good chemicals for the rest of the body to enjoy. Endorphins, dopamine and serotonin to name a few relieve stress and improve your general mood. Why wouldn't you want to do something that is scientifically proven to make you happy? The emotional effects of exercise cannot be ignored, it is not just your physical body that benefits.
Decreases the Rate of Aging
Some believe that exercise may even give you up to an extra 5 years of life! Some studies have shown that regular exercise keeps your cells young, therefore keeping you young overall. There are also those that believe exercise makes you look younger and even feel younger than you actually are. The outside can also show signs of youth, and that's not even taking into account the weight loss that comes with it.
Good for Your Skin
Cardio increases blood flow to your skin, oxygen being pushed around your whole body including skin that increases the health of your outer layer. It has even been thought to help heal any wounds you might have. There are even cases where adults have started to exercise for 20 minutes a day and found that it cleared their acne. It is also good for sleep, making those dark circles beneath your eyes disappear.
Additionally, when you put your body through a good workout, it will need the rest more than usual and you will find yourself falling into a deeper more beneficial and pleasant sleep.
Helps with Recovery from Illness
When recovering from a serious illness, the advice in the past has been to not put your body through strenuous exercise. While this would be true in the short term of recovery, it has also been discovered recently in some studies that exercise might be a good idea for those who have suffered a stroke or heart failure. Even just walking to raise the heart rate can help, but always consult the experts when recovering from major illness, especially if there is surgery involved.
Promotes Weight Loss
Not everyone exercises to lose weight, there are many benefits besides this, but for many, one of the major goals when deciding to exercise is to shift fat from their body.
Keep up a consistent routine and your body will begin to burn fat in a more efficient manner. To do so will take a lot of oxygen, your cardiovascular system will perform better and will be able to get more oxygen around your body the more you exercise, therefore your body will target the fat in your body as its source of energy.
Increase Self Confidence
Everyone likes to feel good about the way they look, everyone wants to feel better, and everyone likes it when they achieve their goals. These are just some of things that can happen when we exercise.
Physical exercise is well known for increasing self-esteem and helps people to feel good about themselves. It has even been shown to increase how attractive someone feels they are - another confidence boost for many. Even our energy levels that increase with regular exercise are proven to aid self-confidence.
When you exercise, it will start to become part of your positive identity. This means you will start to tell others about how good you feel, or how much better you sleep, or how it has increased your confidence. This might inspire someone else to do the same.
If you are talking about the benefits, or even showing them through your glowing skin or weight loss, others will look to you as an inspiration.
Exercise done the right way can improve your posture. Exercise such as yoga can stretch your muscles as well as strengthen them at the same time. Maybe they don't actually make you taller they just make you the height you are supposed to be with better posture.
Better Immune system
Exercise has been proven to help your body prevent illness before it can take hold of your body. The increased white blood cells that come from exercise help to stop bacteria and viruses from getting through to you and causing you to fall ill.
Your new found confidence and even body and health might be the motivation someone else needs to take action in their own life. There might even be a group class that you take that you can invite someone else to. Overall, exercise has a wealth of benefits you can take advantage of, so why not start today?