Top 10 INSTANT Benefits of Exercise

Top 10 INSTANT Benefits of Exercise

We all know that exercise is good for our health, but that doesn’t make it any easier to get up for an early morning run or head for the gym after work when the couch is calling your name.

Many of us exercise to tone up, build muscle, lose weight, boost our health, or look better, but unfortunately, these changes don’t happen overnight. As a result, sometimes it’s hard to stay motivated.

Experiments have shown that most people will choose a smaller, immediate reward instead of waiting for a bigger prize later on – we’re hardwired for instant gratification. So, here are the top ten INSTANT benefits of exercise for anyone who hates to wait!

1. Boost Your Mood

Whether it’s just not feeling quite yourself or chronic depression, exercise is a highly effective mood booster. One study found that depression sufferers who did aerobic exercise showed just as much improvement in their symptoms as people on medication.

Best of all, these mood-lifting benefits are noticeable right away. Just 20 minutes of exercise is enough to elevate your mood and increase feelings of positivity. The workout doesn’t have to be intense, so choose an exercise you like and ride the exercise high for hours!

2. Resist Temptation

While we’re on the subject of highs, whether your particular addiction is soda, coffee, sugar, or cigarettes, exercise could help you resist your vice. In one study, scientists found that the endorphin rush released during exercise acts on the same neural pathways as addictive substances, reducing the craving for the addictive substance. Replacing your donut addiction with an exercise addiction sounds pretty healthy to us!

3. Boost Creativity

Feeling a little uninspired? Go for a walk! A recent study found that walking improved both convergent and divergent thinking, the two types associated with enhanced creativity.

4. Sleep Better

In immediate terms, exercise boosts energy and motivation for the day ahead. Excitingly, a recent study found that people who exercise in the morning fall asleep quicker and enjoy a better quality of deep sleep than their sedentary counterparts. That means a good workout – especially in the morning – will help you feel more rested AND boost weight loss.

5. Increase Your Lust For Life

A study by Penn State University found that those who exercise regularly report feeling happier, more excited, and more enthusiastic than those who don’t exercise. So, instead of focusing on what exercise can give you in the long term, take a minute to appreciate the day-to-day positive vibes it can inspire!

6. Look Better

Those who work out often look younger and healthier than their non-exercising peers, but it’s never too late to start seeing the physical benefits of a healthy workout session. Due to the increase in blood and oxygen pumping around your body, and the release of feel-good endorphins and that post-exercise glow, you’ll start looking better immediately… well, after a shower, that is!

7. Reduce Stress & Anxiety

Whatever you’re worried about, exercise is the perfect way to relieve your frustrations. Scientists report that working out is one of the fastest ways to reduce stress hormone cortisol levels and calm an anxious mind.

Breaking a sweat also helps you avoid resorting to emotional eating, which not only doesn´t help to reduce stress but often leads to weight gain and may even trigger more stress, low mood, and anxiety.

8. Boost Your Self Esteem

We all want to feel great about ourselves, and it seems that exercise could hold the key to boosting self-esteem and confidence. Researchers in Norway found that participants who exercised regularly showed immediate improvements in self-esteem in the period directly after exercise.

Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that exercisers report higher self-esteem and fewer negative thoughts about their bodies than non-exercisers. Positive self-perception, in turn, boosts confidence in other areas of your personal and professional life. Best yet, before you even start to see and feel the physical results of exercise, the sense of achievement after a workout also helps boost self-esteem.

9. Think More Clearly

Exercise boosts creative thinking, problem-solving abilities, and reaction time—just what you need for a productive day at work! But don’t work yourself into the ground with intense exercise, as physical fatigue can slow your reactions.

10. Have Fun!

Being able to exercise is a benefit in itself. Think about how much you would miss it if you could no longer do your favorite activity – running, swimming, dancing, or walking. So, why aren’t you doing it now?

Start with an exercise you genuinely like and build from there. Actually, enjoying the exercise you’re doing makes you more likely to come back for more, so think positive and focus on the fun factor rather than worrying about how many calories you’re burning.

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