If you are looking to shed some pounds, exercise can help you achieve weight loss. But regardless of whether you have that goal, the benefits of exercise go way beyond weight loss. Below I list twelve additional benefits of exercise with the hopes that the more you know, the more likely you are to do it! Reduce Chronic Disease Risk Regular exercise reduces your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, dementia, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, obesity and high blood pressure. Apart from not smoking, being physically active is the most powerful lifestyle choice you can make to improve your health. Improved Mood When you exercise, hormones and neurotransmitters that improve your mood (endorphins, serotonin and dopamine) flood your brain and simultaneously hormones that cause stress and anxiety are suppressed. Immunity Boost In the short term, exercise helps your immune system find and fight pathogens. In the long term, regular exercise reduces your risk of infections by slowing down aging-induced immune system changes. Healthy Bones Over time, regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation, increases bone density and prevents bone loss. This includes day-to-day movements such as walking and stairs, as well as sports like tennis and running. Increased Energy Levels Exercise improves and increases blood circulation, which allows more oxygen and nutrients to reach your cells, causing increased levels of energy, Improved Sleep Exercise is a simple, inexpensive, drug-free route to a better night's rest. Stronger Muscles By exercising, you will find everyday movements easier, boost your heart health, improve your posture, and keep injuries at bay. Better Sex Seriously! Regular exercise boosts your self-esteem, improves blood circulation to those "sensitive" areas, and decreases (libido-killing) stress. Improved Memory Regular aerobic exercise (like running or cycling) increases the size of your hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Increased Productivity Studies have found that on the days individuals have exercised, they have better time management, are more productive, and are more tolerant to others. Smoother Skin Exercise releases a protein (interleukin-15) that interacts with the mitochondria in your cells to slow skin aging, and it also stimulates the production of collagen, which gives your skin elasticity. Longevity Studies have shown that by exercising 150 minutes a week, you can add up to seven years to your life!
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