There's More to Exercise than Just Weight Loss

When it comes to exercise the first thing that comes to mind for many individuals is weight loss. While weight loss and burning calories are an outcome of consistent workouts, there is a lot more to exercise. People often associate physical activity with losing weight when there are many other benefits of regular exercise and movement. Exercise can positively impact an individual’s mental and physical well-being. Mental Benefits Exercise can benefit our mental health and well-being by reducing stress, improving mood, improving our cognitive abilities, and overall just making us feel good. A study from Science Daily found a link between exercise and mental health, stating,“ A study of 1.2 million people in the USA has found that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month, compared to people who do not exercise.” Exercising can be relaxing, for example, when practicing yoga, Pilates, or light walks. It is also a way to help clear your mind and take your focus off stressful events or challenges that are happening in life. Having a workout routine, schedule, or attending workout classes can help give a structure to your day. Northwestern Medicine explains that having a routine can help lead to a healthier lifestyle. “People are creatures of habit, and routines offer a way to promote health and wellness through structure and organization. Having a routine can greatly improve your health,” states Northwestern Medicine. The sense of accomplishment we feel after a workout or after we reach a new personal fitness goal is also good for our mental health. For example, when we run our fastest mile or master a new skill in Pilates. Physical Benefits Exercising can lead to physical benefits other than just weight loss. Many individuals practice yoga and Pilates as a way to improve flexibility and core strength. Many people go to the gym and lift to increase their strength, while others run and improve their endurance. Exercise is also a way to help reduce the risk of disease and sickness. Walking is even a form of exercise that can help lower this risk. The American Heart Association explains how walking can be a way to help lower the risk of heart disease, saying, “Walking is one of the simplest ways to get active and stay active. With each step you take, you travel further down the path to a healthier lifestyle. Research has shown that walking can have a significant impact on your health by lowering your chances of heart disease.”. Social Benefits Exercise can also be a way to socialize and spend time with friends, family, and colleagues. Attending workout classes can be an activity to do with loved ones or a way to socialize and meet new people. Going for walks outdoors is another way to socialize and get movement in as well. Participating in a future charity run with Move for Mind is another way to get friends together and a great opportunity to meet new people. Why Workout? Working out and moving our bodies can greatly benefit us. It can positively impact our overall well-being; both mental and physical. It should be an enjoyable activity that leaves us feeling our best and in a good state of mind. By Julianna Michell Strano

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