By Mark Stibich, Ph.D., About.com Guide to Longevity
Everyone knows that exercise is good for your heart and helps you stay slimmer, but did you know that exercise also improves your balance? Helps you sleep better at night? Puts you in a good mood? Learn more about the hidden benefits of exercise to help motivate your exercise habits.
Energize With Exercise
Routine exercise will increase your energy level. Exercise will make you feel great and you’ll be able to take on more than you ever thought possible. Regular exercise also decreases your chance of developing fatigue and exhaustion. So instead of feeling run down, go for a run.
Want Better Sex? Exercise More
Better sex has been linked to higher levels of physical activity. The more you exercise, the better your circulation and the more sensitive you are to sexual pleasure. Frequent exercise will also help your body image, allowing you to relax more during sex.
Exercise Improves Sleep
Exercise, especially morning exercise, can improve your sleep quality. Researchers believe that morning exercise helps to set your body clock each day. This in turn makes you feel awake during the day and tired at night. Try some morning exercise for a week and see if your sleep improves.
Keep Your Brain Sharp by Exercising Your Body
If you though Sudoku was a great brain workout, try playing tennis. Physical activity requires a lot of participation from our brain. In exercise, you must make quick decisions, judgment calls, find the best strategies and learn to stay concentrated. People who remain physical active as they age have a reduced risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
Exercise and Be Happy
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals that make you feel good. These chemicals can improve your body and help you relax. Exercise also makes you feel good about yourself. It can improve your mood and even help ease the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Exercise Adds Years to Your Life
Not only does exercise add years to your life, it also increases the number of years that you live without disease or disability. If you are 65, adding in exercise now can add over 5 additional years of disability free living (on average). If you are younger than 65, the benefits can be even greater.
Fight Colds With Exercise
Exercise improves your immune system. People who are physically active are less likely to catch a cold. And if you have a mild cold, a little bit of exercise can help speed your recovery. So increase the power of your immune system by going for a walk, joining the gym or dusting off your bike and going for a ride.
Exercise Your Bones
Your bones need stimulation to stay strong. Weight bearing exercises help increase your bone density and strength. Be sure to include exercises like running or walking that put weight one your bones. And don’t forget to add in some resistance and weight training too.
Exercise Improves Balance
Regular exercise can improve your sense of balance. This is especially important as you age. Lack of balance can lead to falls and hip fractures. Follow these simple instructions for balance exercises that you can do at home. Research has shown that exercises like these will reduce your risk of falling.
Be Social – Exercise
Exercise is a great way to meet people and be more social. There are plenty of group exercise activities that you can do that will give you both physical and social benefits. Be sure to work at least one social exercise routine into your week – both your physical and social health will improve.
Your thoughts…How does exercise benefit you?