It’s no secret that exercising is good for you, but other than hearing about it lowering the risk of big killers like heart disease and diabetes, it’s really not given enough credit for how much it does for us. Most people turn to exercising look better, but let’s not focus so much on a flat belly or big biceps for a little bit. Exercise contributes to your health in a huge way, and healthy just plain looks good. Here are some incredible ways that staying fit can make you glow from the inside-out.
How it works: Exercise stimulates the growth of neurons in the specific regions of the brain that are affected by depression, be it diagnosed or just feeling blue. It can also help boost the brain chemical GABA, which translates to improving mood and lowering anxiety.
How it works: Regular physical activity improves your muscle strength, and increases your endurance (hence why you find yourself winded going up the stairs if you never work out.) It sends oxygen’s and all kinds of good nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently, and when your heart has energy, so do you.
How it works: Exercise has been shown to enhance arousal for women, probably due to a combination of better circulation, an improved mood, and being more satisfied with physical appearance. Men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than men who don’t exercise because it improves and maintains circulation and blood flow (and they are happier with how they look too.)
How it works: Exercise works your mind and body and therefore makes you tired (after you’ve been rejuvenated by it.) You sleep better, and deeper, and when you wake up you’re more refreshed than ever.
How it works: Physical activity increases brain chemicals called growth factors. Growth factors are what help create new brain cells and establish new connections between existing brains cells, which help us learn.
How it works: Exercise is just as physiologically beneficial as it is physically. It increases the brains plasticity, or ability to adapt and change, which enhances things like blood flow and neuronal resistance to injury, specifically in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain crucial for learning and memory storage.
Exercising is something that is so necessary, and something we know makes us feel great, but it’s also one of life’s greatest conundrums because it’s just so dang hard to actually do. One of the best ways to get into it? Set the bar low. If you try to set a standard of running 3 miles when you’ve barely been going for walks, you’re going to get discouraged as quit real fast. Get out of the house, or just get off of the couch, and start with something easy. Once you’re in the groove, it will be much easier to keep active-and easier to remember the above helpful tidbits, should you ever need extra motivation.
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