In addition to weight loss and fitness, do you know the benefits of exercise? Physical activity is good for improving overall health and reducing risk of heart disease, but there are even more benefits of benefits of exercise for the amateur athlete, pro athlete and student athlete alike. Here are four ways exercise can improve your life.
1. Reduce stress. Too stressed to fit a workout into your daily routine? Exercise may be just what you need to reduce your daily stress. Exercise in any form increases endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. It improves mood by increasing self-confidence and reducing symptoms related to depression and anxiety. It can also improve your sleep at night, which may have an affect on your stress level. If you’re stressed out, take advantage of the stress-reducing benefit of exercise; take a break and go for a brisk walk or a light jog (or find a more vigorous exercise you can enjoy). You will likely find that exercise is the one thing that “takes the edge off” of your otherwise stressful day.
2. Boost brain function. Neuroscientists, psychologists and physicians all agree on this one fact: Exercise is the best thing you can do for your brain. Exercise improves blood flow to the brain, which can enhance memory and cognitive skills. No matter how old you are, make exercise a part of your daily routine to improve your brain function and reduce your risk of developing dementia as you age. If improved brain function were the only benefit of exercise, it would certainly be worth it.
3. Reduce risk of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is strong evidence that physical activity can reduce your risk of developing cancer of the colon, breasts, endometrial, lung and prostate. Some research also suggests exercise may increase chances of surviving cancer.
4. Increase sex drive. Perhaps one of the least talked about benefits of exercise is that it can improve your sex life. Not only will exercise make you confident in your own body and strengthen and tone trouble areas; certain forms of exercise can increase your libido. Weight lifting is also a natural way to boost testosterone levels in women testosterone doesn’t just increase your partner’s sex drive, it will increase yours as well. If you want to improve your sex life, incorporate these exercises into your regular workout routine:
Ready? Set? Move!