Of all the various ways to improve your physical and mental health, exercise is one of the safest and easiest methods. It can also be one of the most effective. Just by performing a little regular exercise can help ease depression, boost your energy and mood, enhance self-image, and relieve stress.
You don’t even have to be a fitness fanatic, or spend a lot of money on exercise equipment or club memberships to reap the benefits. Finding simple, enjoyable activities that get you moving can be enough to improve your health. No matter your age, health limitations, or fitness levels, there are enjoyable ways to use physical activity to make you feel better every day.
The life-changing benefits of exercise
Exercise is not just about flexibility and muscle size. Exercise does improve your health and your physique, but it has even greater benefits for your energy, mood, and brainpower. A study in the ACSM Journal of Health & Fitness asked long-term exercisers (those who had been regularly exercising for an average of 13 years) what motivated them to continue exercising. Rather than being motivated by building muscle or flattening their stomachs, for example, most exercisers cited the feelings of well-being they derived from exercise, along with increased pep and energy, and how exercise helped them sleep better and made them more relaxed.
The important thing to remember is that these benefits can be achieved without spending hours lifting weights in a gym or on a treadmill. Regular mild to moderate exercise can improve your life by:
- Easing stress and anxiety. A twenty-minute bike ride won’t sweep away life’s troubles, but exercising regularly helps you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
- Lifting your mood. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energizes your spirits and makes you feel good.
- Sharpening brainpower. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
- Improving self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.
- Boosting energy. Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise a day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.
Set yourself goals and rewards:
Rewarding yourself for reaching an exercise goal is one of the best ways to stay motivated. Set an achievable goal regarding your participation and effort, not necessarily how much weight you can lift, miles you can bike, or pounds
you can lose lost. If you stumble in your efforts, regroup and begin again. Reward yourself when you reach your goals–a new pair of shoes, a dinner out, whatever works to motivate you.
You can read more about Making Exercise Part of Your Everyday life by visiting the source link listed below.
Article Source: http://helpguide.org/life/exercise.htm
Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D, and Melinda Smith, M.A.