4 Surprising Benefits of Exercise
It's common knowledge that exercise can help you lose weight, build muscle and increase your overall health. But the benefits of working out don't stop there. Did you know that exercise can also spur creativity and lower your blood pressure? There are numerous lesser-known benefits of exercise. Here are four surprising, positive effects of incorporating fitness into your life:
- It's good for your brain
Ever have trouble remembering where you left your keys or how to get somewhere? Luckily, studies have shown that working out can increase your memory and improve cognitive skills. When you work out, the size of your hippocampus increases — this is the area of your brain that controls verbal memory and learning. By incorporating regular aerobic exercise, such as running or swimming, into your life, you can help keep your brain fit and healthy. Some studies event suggest that exercise can prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Researchers found that aerobic exercise can influence Alzheimer's-related brain changes.
- You'll be happier
It's no secret that fitness can improve self-confidence, but now multiple studies are proving that it can also make you happier and combat depression. Researchers have found that burning 350 calories a week in a sweat-inducing workout can have the same effects as taking antidepressants. Additionally, people who are physically active are more likely to feel excited and be enthusiastic than those who aren't active. Science proves that it's possible to sweat your way to happiness.
- It'll be easier to quit smoking
Kick your smoking habit by creating a fitness routine. Experts say that people who exercise have a higher quit rate than those who don't. In fact, those happy sensations you get from working out are the same ones you get from nicotine. This will make it easier for you to resist the urge to smoke and turn to fitness instead. Plus, withdrawal symptoms decrease during exercise and for a short time afterwards, so put on your running shoes and get going.
- It's good for your skin
Everyone knows that exercise is good for your muscles, but did you also know that it's good for your skin? Regular exercise creates healthy blood circulation, which means your cells are being given more oxygen and nutrients. As a result, your skin will look healthier and more vibrant than ever. In addition, exercise has been proven to ward off stress — a known cause of acne and eczema. So if you want clearer, younger-looking skin, try adding fitness to your everyday life.