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Health and Fitness News

More Than Weight Loss

You may be surprised to learn these lesser-known benefits of exercise.

Everyone knows exercise aids in weight loss and is good for your heart. Most people know it helps relieve stress and improves your mood. But there are a lot of benefits about exercise many people don’t yet realize, and by skipping their workout they’re missing out on them.

Read on to see if you knew all the wonderful things exercise can do for your body. You may be surprised.

Prevents Memory Loss

Exercise is not only good for your heart, but it’s also good for your brain. How? By increasing blood flow to your brain. This means more oxygen and nutrients reach your brain to assist in the forming of new nerve cells, strengthen connections, and reduce inflammation. In addition, because exercise is so good at managing stress, it helps protect your brain from the negative effects of stress and anxiety.

Many people find that as they age, their memory declines. While the brain does begin to shrink, exercise helps form new brain cells and stimulates the production of chemicals that prevent brain loss. Not sold? You should know that studies show exercise slows the rate of memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients.

Protects from Alcohol Damage

Drinking too much alcohol increases inflammation in the body, puts you at a greater risk for heart and liver disease, and kills brain cells. Aerobic exercise counteracts these negative effects of alcohol. While many people turn to alcohol to manage stress or boost their mood, exercise can do the same thing with no negative side effects or dependency.

Improves Skin

Rather than turn to expensive skin creams or prescription medications to treat acne or slow the effects of aging, you may want to try exercise. Exercise increases circulation to the skin, improving its health. Many acne breakouts are due to fluctuating hormone levels, but exercise helps stabilize your hormones, reducing your acne outbreaks. When you sweat during exercise, see it as a good thing. Perspiration helps clear your pores, minimize oil buildup, and prevent breakouts.

Boosts Self-Confidence

Many people who get regular exercise report increased self-confidence. Weight loss combined with improved health makes you feel better about your appearance and overall quality of life. Becoming an expert in an area of fitness can also contribute to positive feelings about yourself.

Increases Productivity

Have days when you feel lazy and unproductive? Regular exercise may motivate you to get more accomplished in your day. On the days you can’t seem to focus at work, get up and take a short walk or do some bodyweight exercises. When you have a busy schedule and aren’t inspired to face the day, start out with exercise and you’ll be energized to knock out your to-do list.

Protects from Risky Behaviors

Studies of teens show that those who get regular exercise are less likely to develop violent behavior, be part of a gang, or get in fights. Teens who exercise also have a lower chance of smoking. Encourage your kids to be involved in school or club sports or invite them to go to the gym with you. It could change their lives.

Promotes Better Sleep

Have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep at night? Instead of relying on medications that come with potential negative side effects, try adding 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise to your daily routine. To improve sleep at night, it’s best to work out early in the day. Exercising too close to bedtime may make it harder to fall asleep.