17 Feb The hidden benefits of exercise
According to data collected from Exercise Right Week 2016’s survey – out of over 8800 participants, 63.5% exercised with the main motivation being ‘to lose weight’ and ‘to get fitter’. Only 31% considered lengthening, and improving their overall quality of life when exercising. The remainder of participants were training for athletic purposes.
We all know that exercise has physical effects on the body, such as weight loss and increasing overall fitness; but what about the positive effects it has on what’s on the inside; your mental health, and your bank balance?
We share with you some of the hidden benefits of exercise:
It saves you money
Not only did a recent report show how much money engaging in exercise can save you – many exercise related activities are a fun way to spend your day, without spending much money. For example, going for a hike, or a bike ride. This is far cheaper than an afternoon drinking with your buddies, and much better for your health.
It improves confidence
When we aren’t happy with the way we look, or the way we feel, it can affect our confidence. Even if immediate physical changes to your body aren’t noticeable, regular exercise has been proven to make you feel better. Physical strength promotes mental strength and as you get closer to reaching your goals, your self confidence soars. You also start to realise that exercising isn’t just about the physical changes to how your body looks, and start to focus more on how exercise makes you feel. This change of mindset ensues confidence!
It boosts brain power & memory
Regular exercise, in particular aerobic exercise, has been proven to improve memory and thinking skills. Exercising increases blood flow which pumps more oxygen to the brain. You don’t even have to go too hard, 20 minutes has been proven to facilitate memory function and processing of information.
It reduces stress and alleviates anxiety
The endorphin’s -chemicals released from the brain – during and after a workout are proven anxiety-busters. According to studies, regular exercise works as well as mediation to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. The results can alleviate anxiety symptoms for several hours after you’ve finished exercising, and exercising regularly may reduce symptoms over time.
It reduces risks/symptoms of chronic conditions
Exercise can help to reduce the risk of and alleviate symptoms of a range of chronic conditions. Lack of exercise is one of the main causes of chronic conditions. It is important to consult an Accredited Exercise Physiologist if you have a chronic condition and wish to begin an exercise program to help manage your symptoms safely.
It improves relationships
Exercise is social. Whether you prefer to workout alone at the gym, or with a group, you’ll likely see familiar faces often and attract positive, like-minded people who are supportive and encourage you to reach your goals. Whether it’s just having a brief chat before your class starts, or going for a post-workout coffee, you’ll often end up having a little ‘exercise family’.