Five reasons to lock up your TV remote and hit the gym
Odds are, you already know working out is good for you. Many people are familiar with the fact that regular exercise can help you build muscle, lose weight and improve your heart health, but the benefits don't stop there. There are countless advantages to a healthy workout routine that you may not have heard about yet. Here are five exercise benefits to keep in mind the next time you’re deciding whether or not to get moving:
1) Helps you sleep better
People who commit to a regular workout schedule tend to fall asleep faster than those who do not exercise and are less likely to wake up during the night. Just try not get your workout in too close to bedtime or it could have the opposite effect. Many individuals who spend their nights frequently waking up due to breathing issues have found that working out helped them overcome their night-time struggles. This is due to the improved lung capacity that they gained from frequent exercise.
2) Keeps you standing tall
How’s your posture? If, like most people, yours could use some improvement, then exercise can help. Building strength in the back and core muscles helps your body stay in a more upright position when walking without you even thinking about it. Many individuals find that the improved posture and strength they gain from working out even helps to lessen the effects of everyday back pain.
3) Fights off fatigue
When you're feeling fatigued, finding the willpower to get moving can be hard, but it’s worth it. This is because exercise actually increases the amount of energy you have all day long. Regular workouts cause your body to produce more mitochondria, tiny organs within cells that work to produce energy. Energy production can be pretty complex, but to keep things simple think of it this way: food is the fuel and the mitochondria are the factories that turn that fuel into energy you can use. A study done by the University of Georgia in 2008 showed that generally inactive people who suffered from fatigue increased their energy levels by over 20%, while reducing the amount of fatigue they felt by about 60%, simply by adding regular exercise to their routines.
4) Reduces stress
Working out is a great way to reduce stress and, the best part is, the effects can be felt fast. Vigorous exercise sends a rush of endorphins into your body that act as natural stress-fighters. These endorphins also trigger positive feelings that promote an improved mood and positive outlook. If you have ever heard the term “runner’s high”, that great feeling it is used to describe is the product of endorphins.
5) Gives your brain a boost
Regular exercise can improve your attention span, your memory and can help your brain process information quicker, helping you make smart decisions faster than ever. This is partially due to the release of several hormones that occurs during exercise such as dopamine (a hormone that affects learning), norepinephrine (which affects motivation) and serotonin (a mood booster). Those who exercise regularly are frequently exposing their brains to a rush of blood and hormones that studies have shown actually helps the brain grow. In just six months’ time, individuals who begin a regular workout regime can experience a measurable growth in the size of their hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. This change to the hippocampus means improved concentration and an increase in one’s ability to accurately recall information. In the long term, the effects of exercise on the brain have shown to delay or even prevent the onset of dementia later on in life for individuals who have or had an regular exercise routine (even for those who have not exercised in years).
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