Those of you who exercise regularly will already understand the benefits of exercise. When you commit to a regular workout routine, be that a run each day, a cycle ride, or an afternoon at the gym (or something else besides), you will do much for your physical and mental health. Exercise can…
- Help you lose weight
- Improve your heart health
- De-stress you
- Make you feel happier
And many more benefits besides. Those of you who do exercise on a regular basis will have experienced these benefits already, and for those of who don’t, you now have the incentive to commit to some kind of exercise program each day.
But other than the benefits that you might expect, exercise can also grant you those unexpected benefits that will further improve your wellbeing.
We will list some of them below, so if you ever needed the extra incentive to get off your sofa and put on your running shoes or your cycling shorts, consider the following.
#1: Improved Eye Health
To improve your eye health, you will already know some of the things you should and shouldn’t be doing.
You will know the importance of limiting your time staring at computer screens, for example, and you will understand the need to choose the right prescription when visiting glasses stores akin to Eyeglasses.com.
By caring for your eyes in such ways, you won’t strain them unnecessarily, and you will prevent a variety of eye-related conditions. But did you know that regular exercise can also improve your eye health?
According to Runner’s World, the more fit and active you are, the less likely you are to suffer from glaucoma, the condition that can lead to blindness.
When you commit to cardio exercises, you increase the flow of blood to your optical nerve, and this can support your eye health and strengthen your vision.
So, whether you’re in need of glasses or not, you can do much to stop your eyesight from getting worse if you run, cycle, swim, or do any other types of cardio exercise each week.
#2: Improved Self-Confidence
Exercise can be a great mood-lifter because when you get active, happiness chemicals (endorphins) are released into your brain.
This in itself can be enough to improve your self-confidence, as you might be able to lift yourself from any negative feelings you were experiencing beforehand.
However, exercise can improve your self-confidence in other ways.
For one, consider your weight. If you have ever felt self-conscious because of your extra pounds, you might start to feel more confident in yourself when you start shedding them.
Secondly, consider your skin. Many of us suffer from acne, dryness, and other skin conditions, and this can affect our self-esteem.
But as exercise improves the blood circulation in the skin, it can improve the way we look and minimise skin problems. Everyday Health goes into the science of this, so have a read.
These are just some of the ways exercise can improve your self-confidence, so if you are feeling a little low today, for whatever reason, do something rather than nothing to support yourself.
#3: A More Interesting Life
Many of us fall into the pattern of getting up in the morning, going to work, and coming home for an evening in front of the television.
When this becomes the norm, we can suffer from boredom and dissatisfaction, and our physical and mental health can take a knock too.
So, if you are on a similar hamster wheel, and your life is one of monotonous routine, consider the benefits of exercise.
Instead of coming home to sit in front of the television, consider popping into your local gym for an hour or so instead.
At the weekend, you could get out into the great outdoors, and go running, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, or something else besides.
This would be far more interesting than a weekend at home doing very little with your time. You could also take up a sport on the weekend or during the evening if there is something that you have always wanted to get involved in.
This might be far more interesting to you than watching the same sport on the TV.
By keeping fit with a hobby, you will enjoy life more, especially when you find something to do that makes you feel happy and contented.
So, put down the TV remote, brainstorm the activities you might want to get involved in, and do something different (and active) within your daily routines.
#4: Freedom From Your Addictions
Certain addictions release dopamine, the ‘reward chemical,’ and this is why we struggle to give them up. Such addictions include those involving drugs, alcohol, and other substances.
However, exercise is another way to release dopamine and is a healthier way to experience those inner feelings of reward than those other, deadlier habits.
Many addiction centres encourage their clients to exercise as part of their recovery program, but even if you’re not at the stage where you’re fully caught up in an addictive cycle, you might want to exercise more to alleviate any risks.
Exercise also acts as a distraction. If you ever experience cravings for another cigarette, glass of alcohol, or something else besides, you might want to get out of your armchair and into exercise.
A good workout will fend off those cravings, as you will be concentrating on something other than your bad habit.
Of course, you will need to seek extra help if you have an addiction problem. Professional support is always a good idea when you’re struggling to manage alone.
But exercise is still a useful way to free yourself from your addiction, alongside the other steps that will be recommended to you by an addiction specialist.
#5: An Improved Social Life
Exercise doesn’t have to be a solitary activity, as there are lots of activities you could do with others. You could buddy up with your friends and go for a run, a cycle ride, or any other type of physical activity.
This would give you the incentive to meet up with your friends more often, and you would then benefit from increased social interactions.
You can also make new friends. By joining a local sports or hobby club, you will have the opportunity to meet people. You will also meet people when at the gym or when you take an exercise class.
Not only will you benefit from the extra social company, but you will have more incentive to exercise too. You will have a responsibility to the people you exercise with, especially when buddying up with a friend to go for a run or when joining a sports team, so you will have less reason to back down from doing something active.
So, chat with your friends and arrange something together. Find out what is going on in your local community. And look online for local Meetup groups, and focus on something that is active.
#6: Greater Productivity
Feeling tired and uninspired at work? Get up and for a walk. Can’t be bothered to get on with the household chores? Pick up the vacuum and force yourself to get started.
Exercise is a great way to boost your energy levels, so if you are ever feeling unproductive, do something active, as you will start to experience the benefits.
When you’re in the office, you will start to get more work done after exercising a little. When you’re at home, you will get those chores done in double-quick time when you start with something active, such as vacuuming.
And in all areas of your life, you will get through whatever it is you need to do with your day when you have more energy running through your body.
So, lift yourself from your slumber when you’re in a rut. Get your body moving. You will become more productive when you do, and you won’t need to do overtime or suffer any other consequences of unproductivity.
These are just a few of the unexpected benefits you will experience when you exercise, so make the effort to do something active each day. Your life will be enriched because of your efforts, and your overall health and wellbeing will be improved too!