Creating and sticking to a solid, consistent fitness routine takes work. And while a fit body is a major benefit of regular exercise, it’s only part of the equation. Many of the rewards of a healthy lifestyle go well beyond a sculpted bod. Read on for all the ways fitness benefits the many other facets of your life.
Stressful situations are less stressful
You can thank those daily workouts for your newfound ability to handle stressful situations with aplomb. Exercise, of almost any kind, reduces stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins—meaning a calmer and more relaxed you.
So, whether you’re having a hectic day at work or the kids are driving you crazy, exercise will make it easier (or at least easier to handle). Sometimes that means fitting in a full workout before or after work. And sometimes it’s as simple as a walking lunch break or meeting.
Your mood will improve.
Regular exercise makes you healthier. Since your health is everything, this improves your life as a whole. Exercise reduces blood pressure, ensures a healthier heart, and reduces your risk of major diseases, meaning you won’t need to take as many sick days.
And really, a healthier life is a happier one. When you’re feeling your best, you’re more likely to enjoy your personal and professional life.
You’ll do better at work.
Working out takes the cake when it comes to developing mental strength. There’s a reason kids have gym class and recess. Exercise improves the performance of our brains, naturally.
Along with added mental clarity, exercise slows cognitive decline, improves your memory, and enhances your creativity. So yes, crushing that run also means crushing that new project you’ve been working on forever. Or, winning at chess. Either one.
You’ll (probably) have a better sex life.
This is a good enough reason to exercise, right? Whether it’s because you look better or feel more confidant, or both, regular exercise equals a healthier sex life.
For men, regular exercise is a great way to prevent or help treat erectile dysfunction. This doesn’t mean you have to max out on the weights every day—even walking is beneficial.
Increased blood flow plus those endorphins we talked about earlier put your body in prime sexy mode. And let’s face it, if you’re exercising regularly, that most like means you have more strength and stamina.
You’ll sleep better.
Exercise is a natural remedy for insomnia, so it stands to reason that a regular workout routine means better sleep, consistently. Science has confirmed that your quality of sleep increases with regular exercise. Better yet, there’s a cyclical effect here: regular exercise means better sleep, and better sleep means a higher quality workout the next day.
If you’re having trouble getting sleepy despite exercise, make sure that you’re setting your self up for success at night—you want to create a calm environment to take over where that workout left off.
Help Kick Bad Habits
Once you’ve experienced even a few major fitness benefits, you’ll feel encouraged to keep up the good work. That could mean that you’re making healthier decisions when it comes to diet, getting up early, or keeping your house cleaner—anything to complement your fitness goals.
Likewise, it’s a super confidence boost knowing that you’ve reached a goal (weight loss, muscle gain, whatever), and that will carry over. If you’ve lost 10 pounds, surely you can quit smoking or stop drinking soda.
Although dedicating time to workout on a regular basis isn’t easy or always convenient, it really will pay off in dividends. And we’re not just saying that because we like to work out. Consistent exercise leads to fitness benefits in all areas, not just the waistline.