Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but not many really know why, except for the obvious! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best in those adorable gym selfies you can’t stop taking, but the beautiful and glorious thing about working out is that there are so many good reasons to do it that have nothing to do with what you see when you look in the mirror.
Here’s a list of things to help you understand the deeper importance of exercise:
It improves your overall mood
A brisk workout is like a bad mood repellent, boosting production of brain chemicals that ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. Research shows that you’ll reap the benefits even if you feel so bummed, you’ve got to drag yourself to Zumba class.
Bike riding, even at moderate pace 2-3 times a week, can boost energy levels by 20 percent and decrease fatigue by 65 percent; a run or other cardio workout can also reduce exhaustion. The reason: breaking a sweat raises your metabolism and increases production of the brain chemical dopamine, and that helps you feel less tired.
It increases muscle mitochondria density
The energy our body uses comes from a little fancy named organelles called Mitochondria. These organelles convert oxygen and nutrients into energy that your body can use. The more dense the organelle, more energy it can store.
You can’t always rely on coffee! Having your own natural energy is much healthier for your heart.
It helps you sleep at night
Call it nature’s Ambien: A recent National Sleep Foundation study found that up to 67 percent of regular exercisers say they get a good night’s sleep—and it doesn’t matter if you lace up your sneakers in the morning, afternoon, or even late at night.
It increases muscle glycogen storage capacity
When you eat food, your body has different ways to store it, one of those ways being muscle glycogen. The more muscles you have, the more space your body will have to store food in glycogen, instead of turning the food into fat. When your glycogen storage is full, your body begins to store the excess as fat. That means, the more muscle you have, the more you can eat what you like, without gaining a lot of weight!
It helps you remember things
Whether you’ve got an exam coming up or a big presentation at work to give, you might want to hit your fave indoor cycling class first. A new study of young adults from the journal Behavioral Brain Research found that a single session of aerobic exercise resulted in higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory.
It decreases your resting heart rate
The more blood your heart can pump with each beat, the less number of times it has to beat each minute to keep the rest of your body resting. Simply put, better fitness translates to larger heart capacity and lower resting heart rate.
It decreases body fat
An increased body fat is a problem that a lot of people as young as 25 starting to face, because of lack in physical activity. Over time, excessive body fat can cause a lot of negative effects, not only on your body but your mind as well.
It boosts your creativity
If you’re already fit, working out can jack your ability to brainstorm new ideas. New research published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience determined that regular exercisers who rode a stationary bike fared better on creativity tests than did non-exercisers.
It makes you more confident
Just knowing the amazing physical feats your body is capable of and experiencing your own strength and power gives you kick-ass confidence that spills over into other areas of your life.
So, what do you think? Is is still all about looking good, or is there more to working out than getting six-pack abs? After working out on a regular basis with a proper exercise program, you’ll seem to be living a much happier life. You’ll have more energy, sleep better, eat better, feel better about yourself. It’s not magic, it’s just exercise!