You’ve heard that exercise is good for you a hundred times. But if you’re not intensely focused on “improving” your physique, are the other potential benefits of exercise worth it? Being aware of important preventative health benefits and mental health benefits may give you the motivation you need to start working out.
Boost Your Energy
One of the biggest benefits to your health that you can receive from exercise is a boost to your energy. Exercising has both short-term and long-term effects on your energy. In a session of exercise, your body’s oxygen levels are increased, and oxygen is more fully distributed throughout your body. This allows nutrients to be more fully absorbed and for you to have more energy throughout the day.
In addition to having short-term positive effects, consistent exercise can also help you increase your endurance over the long haul. If you’re winded going up the stairs or playing in the yard with your kids, exercise, particularly cardio, will help you develop the strength to be able to perform these daily tasks without getting exhausted.
Another important benefit of exercise is the ability to prevent deadly diseases in your body as you grow older. Of the variety of different diseases that become more prevalent as people age, heart disease is one of the worst. Heart disease develops as veins and arteries become clogged. When you exercise regularly, your blood pressure goes down which means the pressure on these veins also goes down.
In addition to preventing heart disease, exercise also helps prevent other chronic diseases like diabetes. Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to properly modulate your blood sugar and insulin. While this disease isn’t caused by an unhealthy lifestyle in many cases, regular exercise can help you prevent diabetes that you might develop otherwise.
One of the main effects of consistent exercise is greater longevity. There are a variety of benefits of exercise that help you continue feeling and looking younger for longer. First of all, exercising helps you maintain and strengthen key muscles that help you do daily activities like walking, lifting, or even standing up. Additionally, because exercise helps you strengthen these muscles, it also helps you avoid potential falls or accidents that could result in serious injury.
Besides preventing falls and accidents, consistent exercise can also prevent other conditions. For example, there are numerous vein conditions associated with getting older that exercise can help prevent.
Aid Your Mental Health
Besides visually obvious physical benefits, exercise can have huge benefits for your mental health as well. Exercising has been shown to have major effects on depression. When struggling with depression, exercise can help produce happy hormones that help alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
If you are prone to depression, exercise can help prevent depression in some cases. And while it’s not a one size fits all solution to mental health problems or depression, it can still have a meaningful impact on stopping crippling depression from developing.
Another important benefit of exercise is the possibility to have reduced stress. When you exercise, it releases endorphins that help your body relax more. These chemical reactions in your brain can produce long-term positive mental effects. Creating a habit of regular exercise coupled with other healthy habits will help you better address stress in your life.
Not only are the literal physical benefits of moving your body stress-reducing, but the opportunity to have this time to simply think can be incredibly beneficial as well. As you think about the types of exercise that you invest in, don’t just think about the physical effects like reduced fat, added muscle, or increased endurance that you’re interested in.
Take into consideration the types of exercise that allow you time for your mind to unwind. This might mean choosing to run once a week instead of doing HIIT. This might mean biking to work a couple of days a week instead of driving. Figure out what best works for you.
Of all the benefits that you can get from exercise, improving your self-esteem may be one that is the most easily taken for granted. But regular exercise can help you raise your self-esteem in a meaningful way. Particularly, as you exercise and can accomplish something physically demanding, you will feel more motivated to accomplish other tasks throughout your day. This feeling of accomplishment often results in greater self-esteem.
Additionally, as you can develop your physical abilities, likely, feelings of self-esteem and self-love will also further develop.
Working out is hard. It takes time. It makes you sweat. But even if it doesn’t seem like something you’re super excited about, it can have incredibly important health benefits.
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