Almost every day, a new study comes up that shows the benefits of exercise. Even people who have nothing to do with working out have a vague idea about the importance of exercise in their daily lives.
Benefits of exercise are a major reason Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Google and their ilk come out with products like smart watches that focus on tracking and eventually improving your fitness levels. This rise in demand for fitness technology has given rise to companies like Fitbit and Jawbone.
Without any further ado, here are five of the most shocking benefits of exercise you didn’t know about:
1. Boosts Your Self-Confidence
Exercise isn’t given its fair share of credit when it comes to its psychological benefits. Apart from making you aesthetically appealing, working out conditions your brain to work at its optimal levels, making you better at everything you do.
As the old proverb goes: “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body.” When you are in good shape and you look in the mirror, you are subconsciously telling yourself you’re ready to face any challenge that comes your way.
This newly acquired self-confidence will show in everything you do. You will start to have a certain surety in the decisions you make. Having ample self-confidence is the first step toward becoming a leader in every aspect of life.
2. Gives You Radiating Skin
Time and again, studies have proven the benefit of working out when it comes to your skin. By increasing blood flow to all parts of your body, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin.
In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver.
By increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system. You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside. So, all that sweat isn’t for nothing; it’s doing good things to your body without you even knowing it.
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3. Improves Your Sex Drive
Working out gets the heart pumping and improves blood circulation, so all parts of the body get their fair share of blood. Exercise is also shown to increase testosterone production in men, leading to a better sex drive.
For women, being physically active can increase blood flow to the vagina and clitoris and hence increasing their libido. Even low-intensity activities, such as yoga or tantra, may help by increasing blood flow to the genitals and increasing arousal.
In addition to better blood circulation, exercise helps in increasing aerobic capabilities and muscle strength, which has also been linked to a revving sex drive. Exercise also leads to a release of endorphins, which is thought to lead to a subsequent release of hormones that pump up a person’s sex drive.
4. Helps You Sleep Better
This might come as a shock to some people, but regular exercise helps you sleep better. A recent study proved people sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Just make sure you’re not working out too close to your bed time. The increased heart rate and activity levels might interfere with your sleep, leading to sleepless nights. This can be even worse for people who have chronic insomnia.
Sleeping better while you’re exercising is essential, because no matter how hard you workout, you won’t see results until you are properly rested. A good night’s sleep helps you in recovering from your workouts, and this is where all the magic happens.
5. Slows Down the Aging Process
When you exercise, your brain naturally releases Human Growth Hormone (HGH), whose main function is to keep your growth function active. In men, working out naturally increases the testosterone production, which further slows down the aging process.
Testosterone production in men slows down as they age, while estrogen – the lady hormone – production increases. Estrogen is responsible for balding, big bellies and moobs in aging men. This process of estrogen production can be delayed by working out regularly.
A slower aging process results in more energy, clearer and smoother skin, more agile movements, a sharper brain and a firmer body. Exercise also makes your internal system better and puts your health in supreme condition.