There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best. And for most of us, that’s where the gym fits in – we push ourselves harder to expend a few extra calories because we know in the end we will reap the benefits – we will have a toned, trimmed, fit body and will look totally svelte in those gym selfies we love to upload on FB.
But the beautiful and glorious thing about working out is that there are so many good reasons to do it that have nothing to do with what you see when you look in the mirror! Exercise isn’t just great for your physique and crucially important for your fitness level – there are even more benefits than just those two. So let’s take a look at 10 more reasons why you should workout regularly to achieve not just a sexy figure, but a healthier mind and body too.
1. It Improves Your Mood
There are so many benefits of exercise. A brisk workout is like a bad mood repellent, boosting production of brain chemicals that ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Research shows that you’ll reap the benefits even if you feel so bummed, you’ve got to drag yourself to the gym. No matter how cranky and tired you are before you workout, it’s an absolute guarantee that you are going to come out of that Zumba class refreshed and revitalized.
2. It Helps You Sleep Better
Call it nature’s Ambien: A recent National Sleep Foundation study found that up to 67 percent of regular exercisers say they get a good night’s sleep—and it doesn’t matter if you lace up your sneakers in the morning, afternoon, or even late at night. The reason? Your body is tired after the exertion and needs the rest to repair, while your hormones are balanced and your metabolism is speedier. Hence, you sleep better.
3. It Boosts Your Creativity
If you’re already fit, working out can jack your ability to brainstorm new ideas. New research published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience determined that regular exercisers who rode a stationary bike fared better on creativity tests than did non-exercisers.
4. It Strengthens Your Memory
Whether you’ve got an exam coming up or a big presentation at work to give, you might want to hit the cardio machine first. A new study of young adults from the journal Behavioral Brain Research found that a single session of aerobic exercise resulted in higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory. An excellent workout can helps improve brain function as it boosts memory by requiring you to remember a sequence of steps, and also because research has shown it increases the growth of nerve cells in the brain.
5. It Can Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
How much working out and what type of exercise isn’t exactly clear, but research links physical activity with a lower risk of breast and endometrial cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. And the reason could be simple – exercising reduced the visceral fat that surrounds organs and also encourages the body to rebuild and repair muscles and cells every night. As a result, abnormal cell activity can be minimized. Many studies around the world have consistently found that adults who increase their physical activity, either in intensity, duration, or frequency, can reduce risk of developing cancer by 30-40% as compared to those who are sedentary regardless of body mass index. Physical activity most likely influences the development of cancer cell in multiple ways. It plays a role in energy balance, hormone metabolism, insulin regulation, and by decreasing the time organs are exposed to potential carcinogens. Physical activity has also been found to alter a number of inflammatory and immune factors, some of which may influence cancer risk.
6. It Makes You Feel Energized
Bike riding, even at moderate pace 2-3 times a week, can boost energy levels by 20% and decrease fatigue by 65%. A run or other cardio workout can also reduce exhaustion. The reason? Breaking a sweat raises your metabolism and increases production of the brain chemical dopamine, and that helps you feel less tired.
7. It Makes You More Confident
Just knowing the amazing physical feats your body is capable of and experiencing your own strength and power gives you kick-ass confidence that spills over into other areas of your life. Exercise is excellent for posture, coordination and balance, not to mention it helps to tone all muscle groups and results in a better physical form. These factors alone can work wonders on a person’s self esteem.
8. It Strengthens Your Immunity
It’s not exactly clear how regular exercise helps keep you from getting colds, the flu, and other illnesses, but research suggests that hitting the gym at least 2-3 times a week results in a stronger ability to fight off bacteria and viruses. If your body is stronger and healthier, it’s obvious that you will be less susceptible to diseases.
9. It Improves Work Productivity
No wonder so many companies have in-house gyms: a study published last year in the journal Population Health Management links infrequent exercise with lower productivity on the job. Exercise helps you build coordination, focus and memory retention powers. It increases your endurance, both physical and mental, and hence you don’t tire easily. The result? You can put in more number of hours at work and enhance your work output.
For a more productive day at work, read this article about Miracle Foods That Boost Energy and Increase Work Productivity.
10. It Eases Killer Cramps
Before you pop pain meds or stick one of those heat patches on your abdomen, give exercise a shot. Research shows that working out triggers the release of endorphins, which are like natural painkillers that relieve the agony of period pain.
Exercise can transform you – it breathes new life in to a mundane routine and can make your spirits soar, while unlocking your creativity. So go ahead, give your workout a whole new edge because now you know it will work wonders for not just your physical appearance, but also your physical and mental health.