We all know that exercise helps you lose weight and that gives you the energy boost you need to get active.
But, if you needed any more persuading to start exercising, then here we highlight ten added benefits of exercise to help you look and feel great from top to toe!
1. Boost Your Mood
Whether you’re not feeling quite yourself or you suffer from chronic depression, exercise is an extremely effective mood booster.
One study found that depression sufferers who did aerobic exercise showed just as much improvement in their symptoms as people on medication.
And these mood-lifting added benefits of exercise can be seen straight away; 20 minutes of activity is enough to elevate your mood and increase feelings of positivity.
The workout doesn’t even have to be intense, so choose an exercise you like and ride the exercise high for hours!
2. Resist Cravings
Talking of highs, whether your particular addiction is soda, cigarettes, or sugar, one of the added benefits of exercise is that it could play a role in helping you to resist these.
In one study, scientists found that the endorphin rush released during exercise acts on the same neural pathways as addictive substances.
Replacing your donut addiction with an exercise high sounds pretty healthy to us!
3. Sleep Better
In immediate terms, exercise boosts energy and motivation for the day ahead.
But, a recent study found that once it gets to bedtime, those who work out in the morning were found to fall asleep quicker and enjoy a better quality of deep sleep, which leaves you feeling more rested and also helps to boost weight loss.
4. Tone Up
Controlling what you eat helps weight loss, but it won’t help you tone up your body, and it definitely won’t help you build the lean muscle your body needs to turn food into energy.
Probably one of the main added benefits of exercise is that it helps your body to become more efficient for the future, meaning that maintaining your goal weight will be a whole lot easier.
5. Increase Your ‘Lust For Life’
A study by Penn State University found that those who exercise regularly are more likely to report feeling happier, more excited, and more enthusiastic than those who don’t exercise.
And, since we’re hard-wired to want instant rewards, it’s interesting to note that this effect was shown in those who had only just started working out.
So, you should soon appreciate the day-to-day positive vibes that exercise can inspire in you!
6. Boost Your Self-Esteem
We all want to feel great about ourselves, and it seems that exercise could hold the key to boosting self-esteem and confidence.
Researchers in Norway found that participants who exercised regularly showed immediate improvements in self-esteem in the period directly after exercise.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that exercisers report higher self-esteem and fewer negative thoughts about their bodies than non-exercisers and that this, in turn, boosts confidence in other areas of your personal and professional life.
It’s thought that the sense of achievement you feel after exercise is what initiates this self-esteem boost.
7. Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Whatever is stressing you out, exercise is the perfect way to get out your frustrations.
Scientists report that this is because working out is one of the fastest ways to clear the stress hormone cortisol out of your system and calm down an anxious mind.
This also helps you to avoid resorting to emotional eating, which not only doesn’t help to reduce stress, it can lead to weight gain and further triggers for stress, low mood, and anxiety.
8. Look Better
People who work out can often look younger and healthier than those who don’t exercise, but it’s never too late to start seeing the physical benefits of a healthy workout session.
Due to the increase in blood and oxygen pumping around your body, the release of feel-good endorphins, and that post-exercise glow, you’ll start to look better immediately – well, after a shower, that is!
9. Think More Clearly
Another of the many added benefits of exercise is the way it boosts our brain power.
Exercise has been shown to improve our creativity, help our problem-solving abilities, and speed up our reaction time – just what you need for a productive day!
But, don’t work yourself into the ground with too much intense exercise, as physical fatigue can make your reactions slower.
10. Have Fun!
Being able to exercise is a benefit in itself; think about what you would miss if you could no longer do it – run, swim, dance, or just walk.
So, why aren’t you doing it now?
Start with an exercise you genuinely like and build from there – actually enjoying the exercise you’re doing makes it more likely you’ll come back for more, so think positive and focus on the fun factor rather than worrying about how many calories you’re burning.
And, for added inspiration, check out these great ways to make exercise more fun!
So, here you have ten of the many added benefits of exercise, which are all in addition to losing weight!