When most people think of exercise they think of weight loss and six-pack abs, but the truth is exercise is far more beneficial to you than just looking good. From improving your mental health to becoming more productive, here are 5 additional health benefits of working out that don’t include losing weight.
1. You will get sick less
Exercise as you may know can decrease the chances of developing serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes and obesity, but it can also help with much smaller illnesses like colds and touches of flu.
Physical activity has been shown to help flush bacteria out of your airways while rises in your temperature when exercising could help your body to fight any harmful bacteria in your body and stop it from growing.
Exercising can also lower stress levels which is great because high-stress levels have been linked with an increase in illness.
With all of the above said it’s important to know that overdoing exercise can have the opposite effect on the body and can make you more susceptible to illness. If you want the health benefits from exercising, forget marathons and think about going to the gym 3 times a week or taking daily half-hour walks.
2. Better mental health
When you exercise your body releases hormones and endorphins into your bloodstream. Hormones such as testosterone can help you feel more confident and can boost your mood which will help if you are suffering from mental health issues like anxiety or depression.
Endorphins are also known to make you feel better and exercising 3 times a week has been shown to improve your mood and mental health.
Weight lifting, boxing and circuit training are excellent exercises to use to boost your mental health, but if you can’t be too active you could turn to exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi which can also help with anxiety and depression while being more accessible to all.
If you would like to learn Yoga or Tai Chi there are many videos on Youtube for complete beginners to watch and learn, but if you find these difficult you could join a local class where the instructor can help you out with any problems you may be experiencing.
3. Increased energy
You may think that increasing your activity levels instead of sleeping more is going to have a negative effect on your energy levels but you would be wrong. Increasing your activity levels is going to improve your blood flow and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your body than before.
When it comes to increased energy don’t think of heavy weight lifting or running marathons as these exercises will leave your energy bank feeling depleted. Instead, opt for less gruelling workouts like walking, golfing or Yoga.
Low to moderate exercises will benefit your body by giving it the initial buzz from endorphin and hormonal releases which will make you feel good and then your body will have better blood flow to deliver vital nutrients more quickly which will leave you feeling less lethargic.
4. Increased productivity
As well as improving your personal life, exercise can improve your professional life too. Studies have been carried out on office workers who exercise compared to those who don’t and have found that the group that exercised 3 days a week were more productive. The exercise group had better concentration, learned quicker and were far more creative than the group that didn’t exercise.
The best part is you can incorporate exercise into your daily work schedule. You can use the stairs instead of the lift, take a walk at lunchtime instead of using the car and if you’re really feeling adventurous you could cycle to and from work.
If you are looking for a pay rise in work or a promotion it may be time to start exercising.
5. Smoother skin
Looking younger is a nice benefit of working out and is caused by the improved delivery of nutrients in your body from the improved blood flow. These days you see so many people turning to surgery when they could have avoided it through non surgical methods or with a little exercise and by drinking a few cups of water a day to keep hydrated.
An additional tip to keeping your skin smooth is to use a sun cream protector when exercising outdoors. Tanned skin looks great but old leather looking skin doesn’t. Keep your skin safe and well looked after with an SPF cream when exercising outdoors.
About the author
Abi Phillips is a blogger that writes for drmajidshah.com, a website that helps people look better without surgery. When not writing, Abi can be found exercising in the gym and relaxing with her family at home.