Alrighty friends, it’s not exactly a secret that we’re big fans of working out. I mean, Ben’s abs don’t really give off the subtlety vibe, and I get seriously cranky if I can’t get my weekly runs in. While we used to hit the weights for cosmetic reasons (who doesn’t want a six pack and toned arms?!), our pump up passion now stems from a much deeper place. Through years of experience, we’ve realized that working out gives you so much more than a great body. The mental and emotional benefits of a daily sweat are nothing short of incredible. We’ve witnessed firsthand the power that exercise has on not only the body, but also the mind, and soul. Without hesitation, we’ll assure you that the non-physical benefits of exercise are equally as lust worthy as the physical ones.
Here are our top 5 non-physical benefits of exercise, and why they’re so freaking awesome.
The effects of depression are no joke. People struggling with depression often report feeling sad, hopeless, lethargic, and even physical pain. While depression can stem from a wide variety of causes, exercise is one badass and drug free way people have managed to treat these symptoms. The reasons for this lie both within the mechanics of exercise, and our brain chemistry.
To begin with, regular exercise simply helps you get up and moving consistently. This kind of activity can be effective in promoting positive thoughts and self-image. Additionally, the process of both setting and meeting physical goals promotes a feeling of control over ones life.
On a chemical level, exercise releases endorphins, which are a type of chemical messenger in your body that naturally relieve pain and stress. When you physically exert yourself, your body releases this chemical and you literally FEEL GOOD. Working out also stimulates the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. All of these chemicals are key players in regulating mood through your chemical processes.
(We’re not doctors and this article isn’t intended to diagnose any health concerns. Please consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medications).
Feeling like those bags under your eyes are getting darker by the second? One of the greatest benefits of exercise is that it helps regulate your sleep patterns. Regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster, and sleep deeper, which means that you wake up feeling way more rested.
In addition, if you’re struggling to fall asleep at night, working out early in the morning or mid afternoon can help reset your sleep wake cycle. This happens because when you work out, your body temperature naturally rises. As it falls later in the day, this triggers a ‘sleepy’ feeling.
Some people find that working out right before they try to sleep can actually hinder their sleep cycle, since it energizes them. But this really depends on the individual. So see what works for you!
Increased Self Esteem
This is hands down one of our favorite byproducts of working out. Obviously, having what you see as a better body makes you feel confident. But it’s so much more than the aesthetic component. If you’ve set the goal of enhancing your body, you’ve naturally empowered yourself by achieving this goal. Not to mention, you’ve crushed your mini goals along the way. In addition, feeling strong physically translates into feeling strong mentally. As you work through the challenges of working out by pushing yourself further and harder, you increase your mental strength along the way.
The bottom line to this is: one of the biggest benefits of exercise is the fact that you look good, and you feel even better. What you’ll really be blown away by is how much this impacts the surrounding parts of your life. You’ll be performing better at work, at home, in your relationships, etc. If that’s not a reason to start crushing some cardio, we don’t know what is.
There’s no getting around it. We live in a stressful world. All you have to do is turn on the TV and be bombarded with all the jacked up mishaps and shenanigans, and your blood pressure will be through the roof. OR, check out that mile long to do list that seems to give the gift of NEVER ENDING. Just writing these words is putting us into a mental frenzy. BUT, working out regularly is a killer way to naturally reduce stress.
As we said above, physical exertion releases endorphins and other feel good chemicals in your body, which naturally reduce feelings of stress (I mean, try being stressed on a runner’s high). Along with that, taking at least 30 minutes out of the day for yourself is a fantastic way to reset your mind and relax your body. There are few people out there who don’t see the world with a calmer lens after a few downward dogs, or some solid rope slams.
Feel like you’re always hitting that afternoon slump? That sucks, especially when they afternoon slump hits at 10AM. The good news? Regular exercise has been shown to significantly boost productivity. Why is this? For starters, an immediate effect of working out is an instant mood boost. When you’re happier, you get more sh*t done (okay, that might not be scientific, but it’s still true).
In addition (and this IS scientific) regular exercise boosts your overall energy levels. The reason for this? It’s all about the cells. Mitochondria are the ‘powerhouse’ of your cells. They produce the chemical that your body uses for energy, which is ATP. Working out regularly stimulates the development of new mitochondria in your cells, which then results in your body being able to produce more ATP over time. This not only gives you more energy physically, it also boosts brain power.
So let’s sum it up: regular exercise = more mitochondria = more ATP = more energy + brain power
P.S. You’re welcome for teaching you more in a few paragraphs than you learned in an entire year of high school biology.
So there it is Dreamers. The benefits of exercise extend far beyond the physical. Working out will not only give you a rockin’ booty, it’ll also benefit your mental state, emotional state, AND your ability to get things done. Convinced? We sure are.
Until next time.