The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise boosts happy chemicals
What better reason to hit the treadmill. Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. For this reason, doctors recommend that people suffering from depression and anxiety get in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression.
Exercise improves self-confidence
Physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Whatever one’s weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate your perception of your self-worth.
Exercise is about your brain as much as your body
Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals with real mental benefits. Benefits that prove to leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.
Exercise reduces stress
One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So get physical — working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. And better sleep benefits everything from weight loss to cognitive ability.
Exercise helps prevent cognitive decline
Exercise and a healthy diet can help bolster the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.
Exercise alleviates anxiety
The chemicals that are released during and after moderate-to-high intensity exercise can help calm people with anxiety disorders. And it’s uplifting to know you’re burning kilojoules!
Exercise boosts brainpower
Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells – a process called neurogenesis – and improve overall brain performance. Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning. What a wonderful side-effect!
Exercise sharpens memory
Working up a sweat increases the production of the cells in the hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with their level of physical fitness. But exercise-based brainpower can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults.
Exercise boosts creativity
A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards
The benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability.