The emotional benefits of exercise

The emotional benefits of exerciseEveryone wants to lose weight. Even the people who don’t need to. It’s a bit crazy, how obsessed we’ve become about weight-loss – raise your hand if your self-worth waxes and wanes with the numbers on the scale! Fat shaming is so common in our culture now that people get into all kinds of unhealthy practices to fit into impossible standards.But exercise is not simply about shedding those extra pounds and if you want to last in a fitness program, you should stop seeing it as such. Much of adult life is about sitting in one place or the other. And then running crazily on the treadmill to compensate. Exercise should become a part of your routine if you want to get back in touch with your body again. Once this happens, you’ll see that it isn’t only your hips from where the weight is falling off…it’s your mind too!Bye bye bluesStudies have shown that exercise helps people battle mental illnesses like depression. Your brain releases endorphins that make you feel energetic and good about yourself. Exercise helps with neural growth, reduces inflammation and generally makes you feel more positive about life. You destress and get rid of those niggling anxieties with a hop, skip and a jump!Focus pocusExercise helps you improve concentration. Your mind becomes sharper and you are able to focus better. It gets you in tune with your body – the joints, the muscles, your breathing – and you find that your mind becomes refreshed and more alert after a good workout. Your memory and reflexes improve too!No more sheepExercise gets you to sleep better. It not only regulates your sleep pattern but also improves the quality of your sleep. And a good night’s sleep does wonders for a person’s moods! So if you’re the sort who needs to count sheep to fall asleep, hitting the gym might be the answer. Run buddiesYou can turn your workout to an opportunity to meet new people and make friends. Finding an exercise buddy will also keep you motivated to reach your fitness goals. Body imageBody image, simply put, is how you see yourself in your head. It may or may not match what you really look like or how other people perceive you. People who struggle with body image issues usually feel better when they start exercising. They feel closer to their bodies and learn to take more pride in what they look like. Good foodWorking out may steer you towards healthier habits overall. People often start eating better and avoiding junk food when they get into an exercise program. Appetite kicks in and your metabolism improves. All of this impacts your emotional make-up as well. You are what you eat!At the end of the day, exercising makes you look and feel better. It changes how you see yourself and the world around you. So strap on those shoes and take a hard look at the mirror – you’re going to be a whole new person once you begin!