In the past several years, there’s been a growing buzz about the many benefits of regular exercise.
Whether you have a few favorite fitness influencers on Instagram whose quotes inspire you to get a move on, or you have started noticing the ever-increasing number of healthy food restaurants, the world has taken on a different, health-oriented mindset.
Building shapely legs and glutes and shedding a few extra pounds of fat is far from the only or even the main benefits of working out. In fact, as time goes by, research is discovering more and more perks associated with physical activity.
We all have those bad days when we struggle to get out of bed or get to the gym on a snowy day. However, those who have suffered from depression or anxiety for instance, know better than anyone how exercise can impact their overall wellbeing.
Whether you’re still looking for that perfect activity that will suit your persona, or you cannot push yourself to finally kick-start your exercise plan – perhaps learning more about its many happiness-inducing benefits will help you make the first step.
1. Serving as a stress-relief
Life is full of obstacles. They may come in the form of a loud boss, a needy client, or an argument in the family, but we’re often encumbered by stressful situations we have little control over.
Even though we cannot eliminate stress from our lives, we can certainly become more immune to the various triggers that cause us to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Exercise is one of the most effective tools to achieve just that: reduce stress in your life.
For instance, if you get a chance to work running into your schedule, you’ll help your system flush out cortisol and produce more happy hormones such as endorphins that balance your body’s chemistry.
With better mood thanks to your balanced hormones, you will be able to manage stress far better and feel better in your own skin.
2. Increasing resilience and confidence
Feeling good about yourself and being ready to tackle what life has in store for you isn’t something all of us are born with; we have to work very hard to get there.
It can stem from our physical insecurities or only because we feel we can never meet the expectations of those around us. Wherever the cause may lie, regular physical activity has the power to transform your self-image. When you finally see yourself performing better and improving, you will gain a new perspective on your abilities.
There’s nothing quite so empowering as putting on your gym clothes and getting to yet another challenging training session to overcome your limitations. Even the very act of putting on this gear is known to boost motivation as it puts you in the right mindset and helps you stay consistent with your routine.
Ultimately, when you see yourself tackle these physically grueling challenges, you’ll come to believe more in yourself and your ability to persevere in all other aspects of your life.
3. Helping you with other healthy choices
To some, the decision to start an exercise routine comes as naturally as brushing their teeth. To others, however, this is an actual burden.
We are creatures of habit. We easily fall into routines around work, daily chores, and socialization, without ever considering yet another task in the schedule. However, once you finally do decide to take that first step and stay true to your goals, you will also have an opportunity to change your entire lifestyle for the better.
People who exercise regularly tend to eat healthily and build other healthy habits while they quit the bad ones. When you get a glimpse of the wellbeing exercise provides for you, you’re motivated to quit smoking, lower your sugar and alcohol intake, and fix your sleeping schedule as well.
It builds your willpower and gives you the drive you need to stay positive–even when you feel like getting that second muffin or lighting a cigarette.
4. Boosting sleep quality
Finally, so much of our wellbeing depends on our sleep. That includes happiness as well. Our bodies repair during the night, our minds process the day’s events, and hormones have a chance to restore their natural balance.
Without exercise, some people have issues with insomnia. Many have a lack of energy throughout the day due to a lack of proper, quality sleep.
In addition to your diet, your exercise regime helps you boost your sleep to restore your health and protect your mood. Workouts also help you feel more alert and retain better focus during the day.
When you add an exercise plan to your life, you’ll allow your body to restore its circadian rhythm, too. When the time is right to turn in, your body will naturally slow down. It knows there’s another day of training and other efforts ahead.
There are so many different things you can do to enhance your wellbeing. Exercise is one of the healthiest, most rewarding habits you can build in your life. It will bring your not only momentary joy but long-term happiness and fulfillment.
So grab your running shoes or your yoga mat and let your body do the rest!