6 Non-Physical Benefits of Regular Exercise
6 Non-Physical Benefits of Regular Exercise
This post is SO important to me, because it really is at the core of why I am so passionate about helping and supporting other women to live active, healthy lifestyles. I don’t want you to work out because you feel you need to change your body. I encourage you to exercise because your body is AMAZING and beautiful, and deserves to be taken care of. And you deserve to know that about yourself.
Simply put, I TRULY believe that if you care for your body, you begin to love your body. And when you love your body, you want to care for it. It is a beautiful cycle of nurturing self-love and regaining the self-confidence that the world can seem to easily and relentlessly strip away.
In my Instagram posts, I am constantly talking about how the greatest 'transformation' I have made since striving to live a healthy lifestyle is NOT my physical one, and I will never stop emphasizing that, because it is TRUE. I began feeling and seeing a change in my mental wellbeing far before I ever started to see a change in the mirror, which is really what helped me stick to the BBG program in the beginning. I noticed that the days I took a half hour to break a sweat, I was calmer. I had more energy. My anxiety lessened. I was kinder to myself. I had more patience. To put it simply, I found that as I made a little time each day to take care of myself, I was much better able to take care of my husband and our new baby. At the same time I felt that my nerves were calmed, but my confidence grew!
I can clearly remember getting ready for a date with Ry one evening, maybe 3 months post-delivery, and crying. It was our first date alone since Anderson had been born and all I wanted was to feel beautiful and look hot for my man. I tried on all my pre-pregnancy jeans, and none of them fit. Instead, I wore a pair I had bought during the first trimester of my pregnancy and was bummed and felt self-conscious the whole night. Flash forward to about a month later – I had been working out consistently for a few weeks and was feeling much better overall! It was date night again, and just like before, I tried on all of my pre-pregnancy jeans. Guess what? They still didn’t fit. But guess what else? I didn’t cry this time. I wore the same pair of jeans I had worn the month prior, and I ROCKED THEM. We went out and I felt beautiful. My size hadn’t changed. My body hadn’t changed much yet at all. But my PERSPECTIVE had begun to shift, and THAT is everything.
Just in case I haven’t convinced you yet that getting your workout on is 100 zillion% worth it – I’m going to break down the non-physical benefits of exercise for you now in a slightly more scientific way 😃.
1. Post-workout High
Yes, this is 100% a real thing thanks to little hormones you may have heard of – adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin. And guess what?! Some studies suggest that it may take only about 30 minutes of continuous exercise to experience a boost in all three.
2. Better Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation (and tons of other research), people who exercise regularly can experience significantly better sleep AND feel more alert during the day. Yes, please!
3. Less Stress
Getting your sweat can increase concentrations of norepinephrine, a neurochemical (brain chemical) that is believed to moderate the brain’s response to stress!
4. Brain Power
Exercise can help to literally create new brain cells (neurogenesis) and improve brain performance overall! Regular exercise may also help to boost memory.
5. More Energy
Exercise can improve cardiovascular health and circulation to the heart, which in turn can help to boost your energy levels.
6. More Self-confidence!
As you begin to work out regularly, you may begin to achieve your goals and your confidence will grow. Even before you begin to reach physical goals, simply accomplishing your goal to exercise each day can jumpstart your confidence.
Moral of the story? It goes back to my self-love cycle. Take care of yourself because you love yourself. If you are having a hard time finding that love for yourself, then begin taking care of yourself and watch it start to blossom.
Happy endorphins, babes!
* Results from SELF may vary. Strict adherence to the program is required for best results.