“A new drug has been discovered with such broad-ranging powers that it may end up being the cure for all human disease… There is only one catch. You have to take this drug almost every day for the rest of your life.” – Greg Wells, PH.D.
This new, magic drug is exercise.
Can you believe that?
Most people start, or try to start, an exercise program with the main goal of looking better. Yet, they are unaware of all of the other amazing benefits.
Yes, being motivated to lose weight can help you stick to a routine for a while.
However, I believe that when you discover and notice the other benefits of exercise, that is when it becomes a habit, for life. That is when you will start to crave it and miss it when you skip a workout. And not just because you feel “guilty,
but because you realize that you actually feel better when you workout regularly.
That is why I decided to highlight all of the other, less talked about benefits of exercise.
Benefits of Exercise:
The great thing about this effect is that it is instantly noticeable.
When you exercise your body releases, and increases production, of endorphins. Endorphins are our bodies natural pain relievers and anti-depressants. They give us a natural high, instantly improving our mood. Furthermore release of endorphins can actually decrease feelings of depression and anxiety as well.
I am not saying it will totally cure you of anything. I am saying it can help and is worth a shot.
Therefore, exercise gives you an instant mood boost, and can also have long term effects.
Just make sure to exercise regularly for lasting effects!
Improves the health of your skin.
Regular exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants which help to protect your cells. Furthermore, exercise stimulates blood flow and pumps more oxygen throughout the body and skin. The more oxygen that gets pumped through the skin, the more nutrients the skin gets. Therefore improving our skins overall health and function, while also delaying the effects of aging.
Improves brain health and memory.
As I just stated, exercise increases circulation, which means that more blood, oxygen and nutrients are also getting pumped to your brain. Furthermore, exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus (the part in your brain that is vital for learning and memory) to actually grow in size.
This means that exercise can not only help to keep you mentally sharp as you age, but can also decrease the chance of Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves self esteem.
When you start exercising not only does your body physically change, but your mindset changes as well. In my own personal experience, I have found that since I’ve started strength training regularly I have more confidence and higher feelings of self-worth.
And no, not just because of the physical transformation I saw, as I said these were benefits outside of appearance.
Furthermore, I have found strength training to be very empowering. I have more confidence in my own abilities, and actually worry less about what other people think.
It might sound strange, but when you start lifting weights, especially as a woman, you almost have to stop caring what people think. This is because a lot of people will tell you that you are going to look, “too manly,” or that, “girls shouldn’t have big muscles.” Although they are all completely wrong, you have to learn to quiet their voices and continue to do your thing.
So in the end, the physical changes you can see from exercise will probably help your confidence as well. However, the biggest boost in my self-esteem comes from how much stronger I am now, and the mental growth I’ve seen.
Improves immune system and decreases risk of many chronic diseases.
By improving your cardiovascular fitness you improve your body’s insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and body composition. Therefore decreasing your risk for certain cancers, heart disease and even reversing and/ or decreasing risk for type 2 diabetes.
Regular exercise also decreases the number of colds and flu infections you get, aids in prevention of osteoporosis and can delay and, as I previously stated, prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Yes, some things are out of your control. However, you do have total control over certain aspects and the ability to decrease some of the risks. So do yourself and your family a favour and exercise for the sake of your health!
Not everything in life is under our control. So if we know that there are proven ways to decrease certain risks, why wouldn’t we do everything we can?
Improves sleep quality and energy levels.
The stress on our bodies during exercise stimulates the recovery processes that are mainly active while we sleep. Therefore the need to recover from your exercise will not only help you fall asleep faster, but will help you sleep deeper and longer.
Then, since you are sleeping better you will also feel more energized when you wake up, and all throughout the day as well.
Moreover, exercising first thing is a great pick me up to help kickstart your day. However, if that doesn’t fit in your schedule, exercising mid day instead of going for that third cup of coffee can help to give you that energy boost needed to get through the rest of your day.
Even if you can only workout at the end of your work day, you will still notice all of the benefits. Just try not to workout too close to the time you will want to fall asleep or you may find yourself too hyped up to sleep.
Improves longevity and quality of life as you age.
‘If you don’t use it, you lose it.’
And that is especially true regarding our muscular strength and heart health as we age.
As you get older most people naturally lose muscle strength and tone. However, those effects of aging are not inevitable.
The main reason people get weaker as they age is due to inactivity.
When you get older you start doing less, and therefore allow your body to deteriorate. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
By maintaining an active lifestyle and workout regime that includes strength, cardio and flexibility you will be able to maintain strength and cardiovascular health as you age.
I am not telling you to keep working out like a teenager when you are a senior.
Not necessarily because you couldn’t, but mainly because when you are young you tend to forget about mobility, stretching and balance. Furthermore, mobility and stretching are even more important as you age to ensure you stay strong and injury free.
Also, if you are older please don’t jump right into an exercise program. I know I sound like I am contradicting myself here. But just because I said you can still maintain your fitness as you age, if you have not been exercising regularly you will need to ease into it.
But that does not mean you cannot start an exercise program if you are older, just start slow.
Exercise will not only keep you feeling good as you age, but it will also help you to stay more independent.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but when you are around active, older people, they tend to act and look younger than they are. And I don’t know about you, but I want to stay young and mobile for as long as I can!
Exercise has honestly changed my life.
It has changed the type of person I am.
The way I view myself and my abilities has completely changed.
Plus it makes me feel amazing.
I think that everyone should be able to feel this good and enjoy their life.
And the best part is, everyone can feel this amazing. You just need to get moving.
The main thing I want you to take away from this post is that there are so many benefits of exercise. Find at least one that resonates with you and use that as your motivation to get and stay active.
If you have any questions regarding where to start or your fitness program please don’t hesitate to send me an email, I would love to help you!
For more on how to incorporate small changes into your life, check out Small Changes for Big Success, here.
If you struggle with staying motivated, head to my post on for my best tips to help keep you motivated!