Regular sweat sessions pay off in more ways than you might think! While there’s nothing wrong with working out to lose weight, tone up, or feel better about what you see in the mirror, there are so many good reasons to work out that have nothing at all to do with your appearance. Here are some of our favorites:
1. It Improves Your Mood
Working out boosts the production of brain chemicals that ease anxiety and stress while making you feel happier and more relaxed. So next time you’re feeling down, hit up spin or Zumba for a quick mood booster!
2. It Strengthens Your Memory
Got a big exam or presentation coming up? You might want to hit up your favorite fitness class first. A recent study from the Behavioral Brain Research found that a single session of aerobic exercise caused young adults to have higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory.
3. You’ll Get Better Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation recently published a study that found that as many as 67 percent of people who exercise regularly say they sleep well every night. The study also determined that it didn’t matter the time of day you worked out – so don’t be afraid to lace those sneakers up morning, afternoon, or night!
4. It Boosts Your Creativity
Are the fitness junkies in your life able to come up with new ideas, solve problems, or create cool artwork? Research published in the Frontiers in Neuroscience journal found that regular exercisers who rode a stationary bike performed better on creativity tests than people who don’t exercise.
5. You’ll Get Sick Less Often
Nobody likes to get sick! To keep yourself feeling healthy, hit up the gym a couple days a week. Research suggests that working out at least two to three times a week can result in a stronger immune system, meaning your body is better able to fight off bacteria and viruses.
6. It Recharges Your Batteries
Riding a bike at a moderate pace of two to three times per week can boost energy levels by 20 percent while also decreasing fatigue by 65 percent! Other cardio can have a similar effect, reducing exhaustion. Why? Breaking a sweat increases your metabolism and the production of the brain chemical dopamine, both of which help you feel less tired.
7. It Eases Period Cramps
We’ve all been there – lying in bed in sweats popping pain meds and clinging to a heat pack. The last thing you probably feel like doing is working out, but it can actually help alleviate discomfort from menstrual pains. Research has shown that being physically active triggers the release of endorphins, which are essentially natural opioids that can relieve the crampy agony of period pains.
8. You’ll Do Better at Work
A study published in the Population Health Management journal last year found links between infrequent exercise with lower productivity. Give your career and your body a boost by incorporating movement into your schedule!
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