Workouts are a great way to keep fit and healthy, obviously — it’s the primary reason people do them. You don’t have to be a gym rat or a pilates pro to find time to exercise for ten minutes during the day either. It’s all about going at your own pace, because working out should always feel more rewarding than taxing. You can gain so much more than a lean, toned figure from exercising. Once it’s a part of your daily routine, there’s no way it won’t bring a 180 degree tilt to the way you feel in and about your body, as well as mentally. Is the secret to lasting internal positivity and productivity a quick ab session in the morning? Read below to find out.
1. Relieves Stress
Avoiding stress is easier said than done, but there are many ways you can curb it. Working out is one of them. As you exercise, your body releases endorphins — feel good chemicals in your brain — which in turn lift up your mood. If you tend to be stressed out after work, join a gym class or plan a workout session with your friends after work hours.
2. Increases Energy
Logic dictates that an intense workout session will drain you of energy, the opposite is actually true – especially when it comes to morning workouts. After exercising your body may feel tired for a while, but the increased blood flow and release of endorphins give you the boost you need to sprint through the rest of the day. This will also help you focus better on your tasks for the day ahead.
3. Improves Sleep
A number of studies have suggested that exercise significantly improves sleep, particularly for those who suffer from chronic insomnia. Working out helps to relieve stress and improves your sleep time, as well as quality. However, you’ll only notice a positive change in your sleep cycle if you stick to an exercise routine for at least 16 weeks.
4. Improves Memory
Better fitness is associated with better brain function, verbal memory, psycho-motor speed and thinking skills. According to a study conducted at the University of British Columbia, regular aerobic exercise increases the size of the hippocampus – the part of your brain which is responsible for memory and learning. With the help of exercise, your heart rate increases and transfers more blood to your brain, and the blood carries oxygen with it, which further leads to neurogenesis – the production of neurons. More neuron production in the hippocampus makes it bigger and improves memory, spatial navigation, and thinking.
5. Fights Addiction
Developing fitness habits like exercising can be really helpful if you find yourself addicted to or dependent on certain unhealthy habits like smoking or binge eating. Addiction treatment can be strengthened by working out, since it boosts your confidence, releases stress, and gives you a natural high. The positive changes in your brain tend to reduce the craving for your addiction. Trust us, ‘runners high’ is real, and it’s time you start chasing it to get rid of your unhealthy habits.
6. Makes Bones Stronger
One of the reasons women suffer from osteoporosis in a higher proportion to men is because they tend to avoid strength training and lifting weights. Lifting heavier weights strengthens your body, makes your bones stronger, and prevents osteoporosis if done the right way, and consistently. Experts suggest that there’s a 70% chance females are more likely to develop the disease if they don’t strength train at all.