For some, just reading the word “Exercise” sends shivers down the spine and PTSD-level responses, while others devote every Tweet, Instagram pic, and SnapChat to sharing their fitness journey. What keeps one group borderline obsessed and another loathing it? With new studies and news reports everyday covering the latest nutrition or exercise trend, it’s easy to see that breaking a sweat and hitting the gym can have tremendous positive effects on the body and mind. By getting our heart rate going, and carefully working our bodies, we can tap into wonderful physical, mental, and health benefits.
Some of the best effects exercise has on the body are the practical benefits. Working out allows you to live your lives more easily, and perform daily activities with less effort and thought. Depending on how you train, the benefits in everyday activities are tremendous. From carrying groceries home from the supermarket without stopping to shake out your arms, to riding your bike to work and not being exhausted and out of breath at your desk, working out has direct correlations with things you do everyday.
Some great benefits within your reach are increased strength, endurance and lung capacity, which are great goals to aim for. Additionally, exercising the right way may decrease chronic pain related to muscle imbalances and bad posture. All of these can help you enjoy your life without worrying about your body holding you back.
Another physical effect of exercise on the body is of course the visual. You get to look good and feel good, with some work and effort. By tapping into your energy stores through a routine of working out, and eating right, you’ll be on your way to decreasing unwanted fat throughout the body. Combine this with increasing muscle mass from resistance-based strength training, and you’ll look even more fantastic than you already do.
With these physical changes come some amazing mental benefits. Looking at, and feeling, your fabulous body can lead to a nice increase in your self-esteem. Looking the way you want and feeling more comfortable with yourself can go a long way to help improve confidence levels. This is a great self-fulfilling upward spiral: by feeling more confident, you’ll in turn end up with an even bigger boost, and continue to reap the benefits.
Exercise has also been shown to help decrease stress levels by releasing endorphins which immediately lowers your stress. Studies have also shown that this has a further long-term impact in people with chronic stress and depression. So keep lifting, walking, running, and smiling!
Aside from these clear physical and mental improvements, consistent exercise has been shown to lower risk of many health issues and conditions such as heart disease & stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.
These are just some of the awesome ways becoming more active can directly benefit you and improve your life. So get up, get out there, get started, and work your way to a better you.