Working Out Goes beyond Weight Loss

In many of our minds’, exercise and losing weight walk hand in hand along a merged path. Because why would someone exercise? To lose weight, duh.

Well…yes and no. That’s merely the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, exercise can help you to maintain an ideal weight, but it’s SO MUCH MORE than that! If you don’t believe me – here are six major ways in which exercise can benefit your life revealed by U.S. News & World Report:

It reverses the detrimental effects of stress. Exercise boosts the levels of soothing brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Exercise may even work on a cellular level to reverse stress’s toll on your aging process. 23 forever? Yes please 😉

It lifts depression. Sustained sweat inducing activity can reduce symptoms of depression about as effectively as antidepressants.

It improves learning. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals called ‘growth factors’ that help make new brain cells.

It builds self-esteem and improves body image. Even just seeing small improvement like running a faster mile or lifting more weight can improve these things.

It leaves you feeling euphoric. High intensive exercise leaves you with a feeling of euphoria. Euphoria is a feeling/state of happiness. Bursts of high intensity during your workout (like for 30 seconds) and then back to lower intensity until your next set, where you can hit another intensity burst – is highly beneficial.

It improves the quality of your sleep. Exercise helps you get to sleep more quickly, and improves the sleep quality as well.

Believe me yet?

A Sharp Mind

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep your mind sharp and ward off dementia, according to Dr. Mercola. There has been a lot of research about the role of exercise on your brain. Basically, as you age the stem cells in your brain tend to become less active and you produce fewer new cells – which means your mind gets slower and “older”.

Unless you do something about it.

By exercising even moderately you can trigger the division of stem cells and promote neurogenesis, which is the production of new brain cells! So if you want to be that bright eyed 90 year old man or woman who still goes golfing every weekend…gets that booty into motion. Your health is in your hands.

A More Intense Immunity

Exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body (a.k.a. destruction of evil). The better these cells are able to circulate, the more efficient your immune system will be at locating and defending against viruses and diseases trying to attack your body.

Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold or flu, to devastating and even life threatening diseases like cancer. One of the primary reasons exercise can lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. It’s also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.

So yeah, pretty sure we all want those little immune cells to be victorious over the yucky ones.

Turn on the Tunes

Did you know that listening to music during exercise can increase your endurance by 15%? You just have to be sure to choose the “right” music. The most effective music as told by researchers should meet the following criteria:

– Functional for the activity (rhythm matches movements)

– Selected with the desired effects in mind (loud, fast, percussive music increases awakening while slower music helps you to cool down and unwind)

– Accompanied by lyrics associated with the workout, such as “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!”

– Within the tempo band of 125-140 beats per minute

These are just guidelines – obviously music is very personal and intuitive, choose the songs that get you best energized and ready to go so you can WORK it OUT!

So remember that when you’re exercising – there’s a lot more going on than just weight control. Your body is grateful to you and in turn you will be grateful. It’s a win-win. For those of you who maybe aren’t as active as you could be…I hope reading this post has given you some insight and motivation to start 🙂 because you’re worth it!