The Hidden Power of Exercise

The Hidden Power of Exercise

Written by: Sushma Sharma and Pavita Singh

We all know that exercise is good for our health and that it’s something we “should” be doing more of. It’s true that regular exercise helps keep the weight down and decreases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. But beyond just the physical benefits, exercise also has the power to improve your life overall. There are several mental and emotional benefits of exercise that can help you in multiple areas of your life, including your work and your relationships. Exercise indeed has the power to make you a better person. Let’s take a look at how.

1. Stress Reduction: Exercise releases a neurotransmitter in the brain called norepinephrine, which regulates the brain’s response to stress. It also releases endorphins, which elevate your mood. Even exercising for 30 minutes a few times a week can send those endorphins running wild, leaving you feeling happier.

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic2-300x169 The Hidden Power of Exercise2. Improved Confidence: It’s true that many people exercise simply to look better. But more importantly, it can also help you feel better. Research shows that even if you don’t immediately see the physical effects of your exercise practice, the act of exercising enhances your self-esteem and your self-worth, leaving you feeling more confident in yourself. After all, how you feel about yourself is what matters most, isn’t it?

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic3-300x200 The Hidden Power of Exercise3. Prevent Cognitive Decline: As we age, our brains tend to get weaker and we might become more forgetful—unless we actively do something about it. Neurogenesis is the process of new brain cells being created, and a good workout stimulates neurogenesis no matter your age. These new brain cells enhance brain performance. Workouts also increase your levels of a brain-derived protein called BDNF, which is beneficial for decision making, higher thinking, and learning. Furthermore, exercise increases the production of cells in your hippocampus—the area of your brain associated with memory, thus sharpening your memory.

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic4-300x200 The Hidden Power of Exercise4. Addiction and Craving Control: When we’re engaged in an activity that we greatly enjoy, the brain releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine, appropriately nicknamed the “feel good neurotransmitter.” This release of dopamine motivates us to engage in this behavior more. Unfortunately, this is also the case for not-so-healthy behaviors, such as drinking too much, eating too many sweets, or playing too many video games. However, exercise also releases dopamine. By engaging in exercise instead of potentially addictive and unhealthy activities, you can keep those addictions and cravings under control.

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic5-300x200 The Hidden Power of Exercise5. Better Sleep: Moving around 5-6 hours before your bedtime raises your core body temperature, which keeps you energized and productive. (This is why if you’re feel like you’re crashing in the middle of the day at work, going for a walk can do just the trick to wake you up.) Your core body temperature naturally goes back down to normal after a few hours, signaling to your body that it’s time to wind down and helping to ensure that you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic6-300x200 The Hidden Power of Exercise6. A Break for your Brain: Let’s face it—we all lead busy lives and are often engaged in tasks that require a great deal of attention. You’re using your brain a lot, and sometimes it just needs a break. Exercising gives your brain the break it needs by allowing your mind to just wander and not worry about the several other tasks you may have on your plate.

7. Comfort with Discomfort: When you exercise, you put your body under stress. Granted, not all stress is bad, and in fact, the kind of stress you experience when you exercise is actually good for you. That being said, you might become a little bit uncomfortable while you’re exercising. But there’s no doubt you’ll feel great once your workout is complete. The same thing happens in real life. It is often said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Exercising helps you become comfortable being uncomfortable. Discomfort is a necessary part of living your life to your fullest, but once you get beyond your comfort zone, you’ll be grateful for the experience.

Blog40_PowerOfExercise_pic7-300x200 The Hidden Power of ExerciseExercising has many benefits beyond just the physical—benefits that transcend across multiple areas of our everyday lives. So why not set up a solid exercise plan? If you need help getting started, you can join Konversai—a knowledge-sharing platform that allows for live video conversations between knowledge providers and knowledge seekers. On Konversai, you can find several providers who can help you with your exercise regimen and several seekers who are looking for help getting started with exercise routines. As a knowledge provider, you also have the option of charging for your live video conversations with seekers.

Get moving and watch your life improve!

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