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Emotional Benefits of Exercise

Renee Eder on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

If you come to our gym and ask some of the people why they work out, you would hear reasons including, “I want to lose weight,” “I have an (event) coming up and want to fit into my (dress or suit),” or “I can’t be seen in a swimsuit like this!” What many people don’t realize is that exercise has emotional benefits, as well.

Whether you are running, doing yoga, or lifting weights, moving your body on a regular basis can help you feel great in more ways than one. Some of the emotional health benefits of exercise include:

  • Reduced stress and less anxiety: Research on anxiety and depression shows that exercise can help you relax, boost your confidence, and improve your mood, in addition to the physical benefits of an active lifestyle. Exercise makes you feel less tension by reducing levels of the body’s stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.
  • Improving mood: Working up a sweat with a run or a workout class can also help put a smile on your face. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, also known as “happy” chemicals. Endorphins are neurotransmitters in your brain that induce feelings of euphoria and act as the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Positive self-image: Adding exercise into your daily routine will help increase your sense of pride and build back your self-esteem over time. Shedding those extra pounds and noting your body’s newfound strength and stamina can encourage a positive “can-do” attitude to tackle all areas of your life with a sense of optimism.
  • Greater energy: Research suggests regular exercise can increase energy levels, even among people suffering from chronic medical conditions associated with fatigue, like cancer and heart disease. It may seem counterintuitive, but researchers say expending energy by engaging in regular exercise may pay off with increased energy in the long run.
  • Better sleep: As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your nighttime sleep, especially when done on a regular basis.

Exercising should be fun and tailored to who you are! Take a weight training class with your friends. Listen to your favorite music and run on the treadmill at the J. Swim a few laps at our pool with your kids. Choose something that gets your heart pumping and that you enjoy doing to make it easier to be consistent.

Mother's Day Gift Idea from the J's Health & Fitness Dept.

Moms are the heart, soul, and cornerstone of a family. Show yours how much she means to you by giving her the gift of health!

Special Mother’s Day Personal Training Gift Certificates are available from May 8 to May 14th. A 10% discount is being offered  on new client starter packages. Treat Mom (or yourself) to a special personalized workout. Email  Elin.Kanchev@jccnv.org to purchase your gift certificate! Learn more about our wellness offerings, including classes, workout facility, and trainers here. Hope to see you at the J!

 

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