10 fitness benefits that aren't losing weight
It's always good to feel in shape. But exercising can be about so much more than toning up - that's why we've looked into all the benefits of fitness that go beyond simply fitting into your favourite skinny jeans. Read on to discover the many different ways visiting the gym can boost your health and happiness:
Ever wondered if there was a cheap (even free!) way to give yourself a sunnier state of mind? Guess what - there is. And it's exercise. After a trip to the gym, you should feel a rush of endorphins - these are natural, feel-good chemicals that are triggered by working out.
Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise increases the size of your hippocampus - that's the part of your brain that takes care of memory and learning. And it doesn't take much exercise to see impressive results; a quick walk a couple of times a week can allow you to start seeing improvements in your ability to remember and learn.
The impact involved in exercising - think running, dancing or even just walking up the stairs - helps to improves the strength of our bones. Resistance training actually encourages bone development, which helps to prevent fractures and brittleness in later life.
It's amazing how many illnesses exercising can protect you against. It improves your heart's health, reduces joint pain by strengthening your muscles and regulates your response to insulin; it can even improve your asthma. It's important to keep switching up the intensity of your workouts to keep increasing your fitness level - and keep your health at its best.
It might seem strange that exercising hard would give you more energy - but it's true. The increased blood flow leads to a boost of oxygen and nutrient delivery in your body. In fact, studies show that people who took on low-to-moderate exercise for just 20 minutes three times a week found that they had more energy than they did before. Magic!
Working out is a great way to improve your sleep. As it helps to relieve stress, a gym session can be a great way to clear your mind so you can rest easy once you hit the hay. And while keeping fit raises your energy levels overall, it also allows you to naturally grow comfortably tired at the end of each day. Sounds good, right?