Written By: Shiela Dela Cruz

Want to feel better, have energy, and even add more years to your life? Exercise! Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. It helps your muscles grow stronger, keep your heart, and other important organs in tip-top shape. Regular exercise is good as it can help you to lose weight, but if you are too busy at work, it is never too late to start. You can start slowly and find ways to fit more physical activity into your routine. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Am I not convincing you yet? Check out the five (5) benefits of regular exercise that can lead to a happier and healthier YOU.

1. Exercise reverses stress symptoms.

Stress seems to be a daily part of our lives. Regular exercise is considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate. It helps nearly every symptom of stress and almost magically removes it. From migraines to depression, stress can be a terror on your body and regular exercise can help reverse the symptoms and improve your mood.

2. Exercise makes you smarter

Studies show that regular exercise can stimulate the growth of new brain cells. As your brain gets bigger, the areas associated with memory and learning get bigger and overall brain function improves. Researchers have also learned that exercise can play a role in improving learning and memory. So, whether you take a spin class, Bootcamp class, or train for a 5k run, you can improve your brainpower and fend off the effect of aging, all while having fun.

3. Exercise helps you sleep.

Want to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling more rested? Get moving! Have you seen a toddler taking a nap after a long day playing in the park? They fall asleep fast and sleep hard. And you can, too! As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done regularly. Exercisers may reduce their risk of developing troublesome sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. When you put your body in motion and exercise, you’ll sleep better and fall asleep faster.

4. Exercise helps your mood.

Exercise can have an enormous impact on your mood. Sometimes, you will wake up in the morning in a bad mood and you just can’t explain why. A simple walk around the area can lift and put you in a better mood. Half an hour in the treadmill or little exercise can release chemicals in your brain that can instantly melt away those bad thoughts. You can increase the benefits when you make exercise a part of your routine. Whether it’s a lifting weight at the gym or joining any group classes, a little physical activity can make you a little happier every day.

5. Exercise helps your sex life.

Working out can do wonders for your sex life. Dr. Tina Penhollow, an associate professor in the Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion at Florida Atlantic University says, “Being active is a potent aphrodisiac for both women and men.” Regular exercise helps improve self-esteem, help you look your best, and have more energy. When we like how our bodies look, we’re more likely to want to show them off to our partners. This self-confidence boost comes at any size. If you’re moving your body regularly, you’re on the right track.

Exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health, and have fun. It offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside and out. Regular physical activity can increase the production of hormones that make you feel happier and help you sleep better. It’s important to start slowly. It’s safer that way, and when you set small goals, you set yourself up for success.