We heard it in gym class growing up, and we still hear it today from infomercials on TV and from our doctors: it is important for us to exercise. Although the many physical benefits associated with exercise might be common knowledge these days, there are also many lesser-known features you might not be aware of.
Strengthen your immune system
Various studies have shown that exercise improves immune function. In adults, exercise is a powerful natural immune cell stimulator, which reduces the risk of infectious diseases and increases the response to vaccination.
Want to be a smarty-pants? Exercise can increase production of cells in the hippocampus, which boosts memory and the ability to learn new things. Research also suggests that exercise increases the levels of a brain-derived protein believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.
Get more done
Is the drab office bringing you down? Taking a few steps away from your cubicle might be just what you need to get more done. Studies show that workers who take time for regular physical activity are more energetic and productive when compared to their sedentary peers.
Bring on the happy
What causes the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you are on a run? When you increase your heart rate, your body produces endorphins that create feelings of happiness and euphoria, and dopamine, the “reward chemical.” This is why regular exercise can alleviate symptoms of clinical depression.
Improve your confidence
This one isn’t that surprising! As stated in the points above, exercise makes you feel better both physically and mentally. So, of course, people who work out regularly typically have higher self-esteem and more positive self-images.