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5 Reasons Why You Should Exercise

Why Exercise?

It makes you happier.

All you need is a little exercise. Have you heard the statement, “you’re one workout away from a good mood?” 

Maybe not always while we’re exercising.  I am not particularly happy while I’m on an assault bike. 

That said, when you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body.

Exercise also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals cause you to feel happy and even help you regulate your mood.

Getting a workout in can help you shift your mood if you’re feeling down.  Regular movement can help you maintain a positive outlook.

So….you are one workout away from a good mood!  #science!

Exercise helps you feel more confident!

Regular exercise helps us feel a sense of accomplishment, which boosts our confidence and builds mental toughness.

Regular movement can also improve self-esteem. Your self-esteem is your overall sense of self-worth and your value.

Someone who doesn’t have a healthy sense of self-worth is more likely to feel anxious, be depressed, resist the need to rest, tolerate abuse, and fall short of achieving their potential. 

Someone with a strong sense of self-worth is more likely to set and achieve goals, have happy relationships, and experience personal fulfillment. 

To be clear, exercise – or what we are capable of physically – isn’t the source of our worth.  Your value is innate.  We are valuable because we are loved by an amazing God who has gifted us exercise. 

But as long as we keep the Giver and the gift in their correct places, exercise can be a celebration of our amazing bodies. It can help us remember how valuable we are and help us feel more confident!

It improves your cognitive function!

During endurance exercise, a molecule called irisin is produced in the brain through a chain reaction.

Scientists believe it has neuroprotective effects and can activate genes involved in memory and learning. 

So exercise can help you learn!

Exercise for the myriad physiological benefits!

When working out is part of your life, and you are consistently moving your body, the benefits include:

  • Increased bone density
  • Stronger connective tissues that are less prone to injury
  • Healthy weight maintenance
  • Improved blood flow, one of the side effects is *ahem* more pleasurable sex
  • Decreased chronic pain
  • Decreased risk of chronic and terminal disease
  • Lower blood pressure

Regular exercise promotes physical health and well-being!

It helps you sleep!

This right here is one of my favorite benefits of exercise.

When you’re working out regularly, especially if you work out in the morning or afternoon, it raises your body temperature a few degrees. Later in the day, when your internal thermostat drops back to normal, this can cause you to feel drowsy and helps you drop off into sleep.

To optimize this effect, strive for a minimum of about 150 minutes of exercise every week – that’s 30 minutes a day, five days a week.  If you can’t get that much in, even 10 minutes of daily exercise – just moving your body every day – can improve your ability to fall asleep. 

Bonus benefit: if you exercise outdoors, you’ll be exposed to natural light, which is an important element in establishing a good sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm.

A quick caveat.  If you workout in the evening, that timeframe doesn’t necessarily provide enough time for your body temperature to decrease again after your workout before it’s bedtime.  On top of this, exercise temporarily raises your cortisol levels. So if you’re exercising in the evening or at night, that can inhibit your ability to fall asleep.

If the evening is the only time you can get a workout in, then make sure you’re taking measures to help your body come back down between your workout and bedtime.  You can do this by making sure you turn off all your devices at least an hour before bedtime, and by establishing a habitual pre-bedtime routine that prepares your body for sleep.  

Optimal is possible when you make regular exercise a priority in your life!

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