We all know that exercise is good for us – even those of us who choose not to think about that too much! It’s just one of those fundamental facts we’ve heard over and over again since childhood, so much so that it’s become a part of our everyday working knowledge. When we think about the benefits of exercising, weight loss is usually the first thing that comes to mind, but in fact there are a whole host of reasons we should all start exercising that many of us won’t have thought of.
Boosts your confidence
Exercise usually improves your appearance, which then in turn improves your confidence, but it also has other confidence boosting qualities. You can become more socially active by regularly attending the gym, a class or even joining a sports club. This makes you feel accomplished. Even if you don’t see immediate results in your body, the effort you make will have you feeling better about yourself almost instantly.
Helps you to sleep better
If you are having trouble falling asleep at night, the National Sleep Foundation states that regular exercise can help you sleep better. However, make sure you work out during the day, rather than just before bed as exercising too close to bedtime can actually keep you awake instead!
Improves your memory
A good workout can often make you feel as though you are thinking more clearly afterwards, this is because you’re supplying your brain with much more oxygen and energy. But regular exercise doesn’t just improve your memory in the short term. Research conducted by the Alzheimer’s Society suggests that regular exercise could significantly reduce the risk of individuals developing dementia in later life, yet 64 % of the people they surveyed were unaware of this. Susannah Spencer is a Dementia Specialist and she said ‘What’s good for the heart is good for the head and regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing dementia, so it’s worrying that so many people questioned didn’t know that.’
Let’s you live longer
It’s no secret that leading a healthy lifestyle helps you to live longer, but you might be surprised at just how much longer it could give you! One study found that exercise improves life expectancy just as much as quitting smoking does! And you’ll be pleased to know that there’s no need to turn yourself into a lean, mean exercising machine in order to achieve this. Research has shown that walking for only 15 minutes a day, which is an easily achievable goal for most people, reduces the risk of an early death by 22%.
Improves your sex life
Yes, it’s true. You heard it here first. Studies have actually shown that regular exercise can improve your sex life. It can increase arousal in both sexes and decrease a man’s risk of erectile dysfunction, probably because it improves circulation. Now, do please finish reading the rest of the article before you all go running off to the gym!
Our existence is so fast paced these days that everybody and their mother has stress in their lives. You might just have the occasional tough day or perhaps you have a more serious and chronic problem. Whatever level of stress you have, it really can wreak havoc with your mind. ‘In 2014/15 stress accounted for 35% of all work related ill health cases and 43% of all working days lost due to ill health,’ according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). So it really is a much bigger problem that you might think in our society today. The good news is, research has shown that exercise is also a great way to combat it. Not only are the endorphins that you produce during and after exercising a natural stress-fighter, but your mind is usually not focused on the things that might be stressing you out whilst you are exercising.
Keeps you well
Nobody would say they like being ill and exercise really can help you to keep well. People who partake in regular exercise are half as likely to catch a cold as people who don’t. Now those are some amazing odds I like! Taking a good steam after your work out can help to fend off those germs as well – if you’re exercising at home a hot shower with the door shut will work, but it’s not quite the same!
Makes you happier
All these factors I have mentioned, when put together make for a much happier you. Regular exercise can actually improve your life in so many ways. All you need to do is make a habit of it. Find a way to squeeze a quick work out into your daily routine and you’ll be well on your way to achieving all this and more.