Physical activity is a core component of any weight management journey, but is it all about burning calories and watching a number move on the scale?
In addition to many mental and emotional benefits, studies show that physical activity actually produces a wide variety of physical advantages that many don’t consider. Need more of an excuse to get out and get active? We’ve got some.
Exercise Benefits that Extend beyond Weight-loss
You’ve heard time and time again that exercise is good for you, but what exactly does “good” entail?
- Better Sleep – Exercise releases pent-up energy, promotes relaxation and results in better sleep quality.
- Stress Management – Releasing endorphins can help you manage stress and stay focused on priorities.
- Improved Self-esteem – Exercise is hard work, but its mental benefits can help you build confidence and determination.
- Pain Relief – Building muscle strength, endurance and flexibility can reduce pain throughout your body.
- Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke – Exercise strengthens your heart, improves blood flow and lowers bad cholesterol.
- Healthier Digestion – Consistent movement helps your body digest food, promotes hydration and encourages better dietary intake.
- Elevated Mood – The same release of endorphins that combats stress can produce feelings of well-being and lower depression/anxiety.
- Bone Strength – High-impact exercises can boost bone mass, thus preventing conditions such as osteoarthritis.
- Improved Learning and Memory – Exercise works the brain, boosting brain function and aiding in cognitive function.
… But Wait, There’s So Much More!
You know that food fuels your body. But did you know that consistent exercise plays a crucial role in making sure your body is functioning at its optimal level?
Every organ and bodily process can benefit from physical activity. We’re not built to be sedentary creatures. Unless we are faced with physical or mental limitations, frequent exercise is one of our best forms of medicine. Our muscles, bones and organs depend on movement and utility.
The next time you lace up your sneakers and prepare for a workout, challenge yourself to think of the ways you’re helping your body beyond weight-loss. There’s so much more to achieve!