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The BENEFITS of exercise that MOST don't even know!
We all know the physical health benefits of exercising...the psychological benefits however, are limitless! 
1. Improves your mood
A brisk workout is like a bad mood repellent, boosting production of brain chemicals that ease stress and anxiety and make you feel happier and more relaxed. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body similar to that of morphine. 
2. Helps you sleep better 
Whether you workout in the morning, afternoon or late at night, there is evidence that supports a correlation between exercise and better sleep patterns throughout the night. 
3. Strengthens your memory
Exercise results in higher blood levels of hormones that are associated with a strong memory. Ever feel like you think a bit more clearly after a good workout? Not only is your brain getting more energy and oxygen, but many studies have shown that exercise can boost your memory and help you learn better. 
4. Recharges your batteries
It makes sense that many people think working out will exhaust you, but breaking a sweat raises your metabolism and increases production of the brain chemical dopamine, which actually helps you feel less tired.
5. Boosts confidence
Of course we are all aware of the positive physical factors which are a result of exercising, but experiencing your own strength and power gives you kick-ass confidence that spills over into other areas of your life, like your career or even relationships. 

6. You will take fewer sick days 
It’s not exactly clear how regular exercise helps keep you from getting colds, the flu, and other illnesses, but research suggests that hitting the gym at least 2-3 times a week results in a stronger ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
7. Eases menstrual cramps 
Before you pop pain meds or stick one of those heat patches on your abdomen, give exercise a shot. Research shows that working out triggers the release of endorphins, which are like natural opioids that relieve the agony of period pain.
8. Helps you to de-stress
We all have stress in our lives, whether it's the occasional rough day or a more serious, chronic problem. Stress can really wreak havoc with your mind, but studies have shown that exercise is a great way to combat it. Not only are those endorphins natural stress-fighters, but getting yourself into that exercise groove helps get your mind off the things that are stressing you out. 
9. Strengthens your bones
Exercise, especially high-impact and weight-bearing exercise like running and weight lifting, strengthens not only your muscles, but also your bones and joints. Exercise can help prevent bone loss, even in people who have osteoporosis. 
10. Helps you resist temptation
They don't call it a "runner's high" for nothing! Whether you're addicted to sugar, cigarettes, or even heroin, exercise could play an important role in resisting your substance of choice. The  endorphin rush released during exercise acts on the same neural pathways as addictive substances. Exercise improves your overall health and happiness, so why is it the most underutilized anti-depressant???? 
Coach Rima
Main image shot by Arsenik Studios.

Coach Rima Messier | October 30, 2017

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