Exercising is an effective way to get in better shape and live a healthier life, but there are some other surprising benefits that come along with physical activity. Working out can improve certain brain functions and transform people in additional ways. Here are five non-physical benefits that people can experience through regular exercise.
Many studies have shown that working out reduces stress levels by distracting the mind from worrisome thoughts. While exercising, people also have the opportunity to escape from their daily lives for a while and forget about work and other stressful responsibilities. Furthermore, physical activity increases the body’s endorphins, which can produce a natural feel-good effect. Stress levels can improve with as little as five minutes of exercise, but prolonged periods of physical activity produce better results.
Improved Mental Health
In addition to reducing stress levels, the endorphins that are released in the body through exercise can improve a person’s overall mental health. The rush of endorphins can create a sense of euphoria and help people see life from a more positive prospective. Working out often acts as a natural treatment for depression, which might save some people from having to take antidepressants. Just about any form of exercise can help improve someone’s mood, but many people have experienced particularly positive changes with exercises like biking, running and low-impact aerobics.
Working out helps the body relax naturally during downtime and often makes it easier to fall asleep. The body’s core temperature increases with physical activity, and a person can feel naturally drowsy once core temperature lowers back to normal. Aerobic exercise, in particular, can help establish better sleep patterns. Research has shown that regular physical activity is even more effective than taking prescription sleeping pills. Exercise is especially beneficial for older adults who generally experience increased insomnia with age.
Confidence and self-esteem often improve with exercise. As people shed unwanted pounds and develop better muscle tone from working out, they often feel more comfortable in their own skin and can face the world with greater assurance. This may inspire someone to wear clothing that is more flattering and form-fitting, which can further help with self-confidence. The physical results achieved from exercise can also make it easier for people to maneuver and do things that they might have previously thought were impossible, and this can boost confidence levels even more.
Improved Social Life
Attending group exercise classes or finding workout buddies can result in a better social life. People who exercise together can help motivate one another and make it easier for everyone to reach their fitness goals. Working out often opens the door to new friendships and allows people to discover commonalities among other individuals. Exercising in a group is also a great way to improve communication and problem-solving skills.
There are many additional advantages to working out that go beyond the obvious physical effects. People who exercise often can live better-rounded lives and address other issues that might be taking away from their health and happiness.