Along with making you look and feel better, there are many wonderful benefits of starting a fitness routine. Getting into the habit of working out produces a surprising range of physical and mental heath improvements that go beyond just making it easier to walk up the stairs. Engaging in regular exercise is a great outlet for stress and anxiety. It’s also a good way to improve self-esteem. This, in turn, can help you overcome challenges like drug addiction, smoking, drinking, and other unhealthy behaviors. Here are some far-reaching benefits of engaging in regular exercise.
Holistic Health Benefits
One of the biggest advantages of engaging in regular exercise is the physical changes it creates. After starting a new exercise program, you’ll find that your heart and lungs are in better condition. You’ll develop better balance as your muscles get stronger, and you’ll be able to sleep more soundly, too. Regular exercise can even reduce your likelihood of developing certain diseases like Type 2 diabetes. Sticking with a workout plan also burns fat and builds muscle, which in turn improves your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Better Brain Function
Along with giving you a beach-ready physique, exercise also creates positive changes in your brain. Research has found that exercise drives blood flow to the brain, which produces a protein that triggers the development of new blood cells and blood vessels. These proteins repair damaged brain cells and prevent them from degenerating, which also slows the process of aging. Exercise has also been linked to lower rates of Alzheimer’s disease. Other brain benefits that exercise produces are an improved memory, less depression, and faster learning.
Increase Your Levels of Happiness
Walking, cycling, swimming, running, and other kinds of exercise are proven mood-boosters. Exercise also causes certain chemicals to be released in the brain (including norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins) that play a role in reducing stress and pain. These chemicals have also been found to improve mood, both in the short term and long term. Being happier leads to a more positive outlook, which makes it easier to kick bad habits and behaviors.
Get Glowing Skin
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and like other organs in the body, its condition is a direct reflection of your health. Engaging in regular physical activity increases blood flow to the skin. The blood cells contain oxygen and vital nutrients that improve skin’s condition. The increased oxygen flow and nutrients also helps wounds recover faster. As an exercise program is continued for a longer period of time, new capillaries and blood vessels form beneath the skin, too, which contributes to giving skin a healthy, glowing appearance.
Battle Drug Addiction
Along with the physical and psychological benefits for the average population, routine physical activity has another set of benefits for recovering drug addicts. These benefits are both psychological and physiological. Getting regular physical exercise can return levels of dopamine in the brain to their normal, pre-substance abuse levels. The dopamine that the brain produces creates a feeling of euphoria, which many recovering addicts crave. Instead of turning to drugs, however, they engage in more exercise. As recovering addicts participate in more physical activity, their mood improves, as does their level of physical fitness. Their minds remain focused on exercise rather than drugs, which is key to a successful recovery. The numerous positive effects of exercise, many recovering addicts find, is an important part of a drug addiction treatment program. For that reason, many treatment centers around the country incorporate physical fitness activities into their recovery plans. Yoga, strength training, team sports, and hiking are some types of physical activity that treatment centers offer.
Recover from Illness More Quickly
In addition to reducing the likelihood of developing certain conditions, keeping up with a regular fitness routine can also shorten the duration of an illness. Previously, researchers thought that strenuous exercise was not advisable for people with certain medical conditions, such as individuals with heart failure and Type 2 diabetes. Clinical trials and additional research, however, have shed new light on the topic. Now, exercise has been found to quicken the rate of rehabilitation for many medical problems, including heart failure, stroke, and a variety of other chronic conditions.
At the end of the day, a regular physical fitness routine is key for physical and psychological well-being. It provides a range of direct and indirect benefits that improve mood, physical fitness levels, and even support drug recovery. These benefits can be accrued through various types physical activity, such as running, hiking, weight lifting, and yoga, which means that everyone can reap the benefits of physical fitness through an activity that they enjoy.