6 Surprising Benefits of Exercise : You know that you should exercise to help control your weight and reduce your chances of chronic diseases. However, being fit comes with some additional perks you shouldn’t overlook.
Could your career benefit from an elliptical session? It might! Discover six surprising benefits of exercise that will get you off the couch.
Rates of substance abuse skyrocketed during the pandemic. Many patients found themselves without access to their regular support systems, like in-person meetings. Others began using due to extraordinary circumstances causing life crises. Fully 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use to cope with the stress caused by COVID-19.
Exercise provides multiple psychological benefits that can help those who battle addiction get and stay clean. Physical activity prompts your body to produce endorphins, natural pain-killing chemicals that produce a natural “high” of sorts. The feelings of euphoria and optimism you get after each workout can curb your cravings for drugs or alcohol.
Furthermore, exercise can add structure and routine to your life. It gives you something to do to fill up empty hours when you would otherwise turn to substances for entertainment. It introduces you to new people who share your healthy habits.
If you find yourself struggling to get to the gym, why not phone a friend? It’s much harder to cave in to that urge to Netflix binge if you have a buddy waiting for you at the ellipticals.
You can connect with your fellow sports enthusiasts and keep your body moving by joining a recreational adult sports league. From softball to basketball, you can find something to suit your tastes. It’s one of the least awkward ways to make friends.
When you feel fit, you move with improved confidence. This surefooted attitude can help you excel in the workplace.
For example, exercises that stretch and strengthen your back muscles, like lifting weights or rowing, help you stand up straighter. Such a posture evokes authority and poise, making people pay closer attention to you. Improving your grip strength gives you a firm handshake, which is a definite plus in interviews.
Even though vaccines have significantly slashed risks, the pandemic threat hasn’t entirely dissipated. Plus, cold and flu season can leave even healthy folks feeling miserable. Why not give those germs a pass?
Exercise heats your body like a fever, creating an inhospitable environment for microbes to multiply. Physical activity also moves germs out of your airways more quickly before they can set up shop. Finally, it promotes healthy changes in your white blood cells, responsible for fighting germs.
Psychologists believe people respond to external stressors in three principal ways: fight, flight, or freeze. Exercise harnesses the innate physical responses your body has, helping you alleviate tension naturally.
Maybe you can’t outrun your problems, but you can use physical activity to help keep your cortisol levels in check. If this stress hormone runs rampant, it can cause all kinds of health problems, including high blood pressure and weight gain. Moderate daily movement helps you maintain your balance.
If you’re a parent, you probably know that your kid goes down for a nap more readily if you let them burn off their excess energy at the playground first. The same rule applies to adults.
However, you don’t want to move it too close to bedtime. Schedule your workouts at least an hour and a half before your regular turn-in time. Otherwise, the increased energy and blood flow you get from your exertion could make it trickier to get to sleep. You can, however, ease yourself into dreamland with some gentle yoga as you unwind for the night.
Working out is fantastic for more than your heart and waistline. Consider these six surprising benefits of exercise and get moving today!
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