Why you should prioritise exercising
Exercising is not about getting your perfect Bikini Body. Well it is not ONLY that anyway. We all love getting nice comments on our shape and physical appearance. I know you like it when your friends comment on how you lost weight or how your new jeans compliment your body etc.
However working out is so much more than this.
Getting daily movement helps your body and your mind be fit and ready to assist you in your everyday life. Exercise has been linked to many benefits. Let’s take a look at what it can do for you.
Decreases and prevent depression
Every time you exercise your brain releases small happiness chemicals called endorphins. This is the reason why after a workout you get this feeling of euphoria even if you felt a bit down before. In one study published at The Lancet the benefits of exercising in depression and overall mental health were apparent for those engaging in physical exercise and especially team sports or exercise of 45 min duration, 3 to 5 times per week.
Calms anxiety and stress
Exercising, as you might have already noticed, helps you take your mind of things that bother you or stress you out during the day, at work or at home. This, in addition to the increase in endorphin levels and decrease in cortisol and adrenaline (known as stress hormones),is the reason you get a feeling of calmness and tranquility after a workout.
By now you must be able to guess at least one reason. You got it!! Endorphins- the happiness chemicals. But it is not just this. Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a mood stabiliser that enhances the feeling of happiness. This is probably why people look so happy at Gym-selfies!
Boosts self esteem and confidence
Working out helps you improve not only your self image but also your sense of accomplishment. A study in the International Journal of Sport Psychology found that consistently following a regular workout routine for six months allowed participants to build up stronger self-confidence. This can even happen for younger exercisers.
Exercising has been associated with better sleep patterns and therefore better rest. This has as a result the increase in our energy levels during the day. Moreover, exercising outdoors helps us secure this energy boost according to a review of several studies. “Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger, and depression, and increased energy,” the researchers wrote.
Hones overall cognitive function
Did you know that when you workout, its not only your muscles that benefit, but also your brain?
High-intensity aerobic exercise in particular can boost cognitive performance. One study at the University of Texas found that participants had improved cognitive flexibility after this type of exercise. Another study reported that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can improve short term memory and selective attention, and that a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session can boost cognitive function.
There’s also the chemical brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which guards neurons in the area of the brain that dictates learning and memory. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University said that working out promotes the release of BDNF.
And last, but not least exercising is beneficial for your memory. Knowing that aerobic exercise, like running, can boost memory, Georgia Institute of Technology studied if lifting weights had the same effect—it did.
Well there you have it!! Next time you think that you are too tired to exercise or that you don’t have time, think again. Make exercise your priority and change your life!