WebMD is offering a nice slide show with what they call the top 12 rewards of exercise.
I called this post 12 +1 Rewards because I have included my own observation adding one reward from working out that WebMD didn’t mention.
They list Better Mood pointing out that exercise releases endorphins – the feel good’ chemicals in the brain.
Next is More Energy, noting that “when you exercise regularly that fatigue goes away and you find yourself with a lot more pep.”
A Good Night’s Sleep slots in as the third benefit of regular exercise. I would like to point out that I consider sleep to be one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated aspects of living a healthy life. Please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep to learn further details.
Number four is More Confidence. “Exercise makes you feel good about yourself.”
Less Stress is the fifth reward . “After your body works hard, the levels of stress hormones — like adrenaline and cortisol — drop. Stress and anxiety fade away, especially after aerobic exercise.”
You will be More Productive, according to WebMD. “In one study, people who got moving in the middle of the day were much more productive when they went back to work. “
Of course, Weight Control is probably one of the most commonly expected rewards. I am guessing that the majority of people exercising are doing it to cover their sins at the dinner table.
Long Life is a very important and probably overlooked benefit of exercise. “The American Heart Association says each hour of exercise adds 2 hours to your life.”
Number nine is Strong Bones and Muscles. I like this one a lot. Weight-bearing exercise helps to keep bones strong as we age and protects women (and men) against osteoporosis. While osteoporosis strikes more women than men, we are definitely vulnerable, particularly as we age.
Of course, a Healthy Heart follows naturally from working out with or without weights. “Regular workouts lower your risk of heart disease, improve your blood cholesterol levels, and help control and even prevent high blood pressure.”
Bringing up the rear in our consciousness, but not in importance is a Lower Risk of Cancer. “Regular exercise can cut your risk of some cancers, including colon, breast, and lung.”
Less Arthritis Pain is the final reward mentioned by WebMD and one near and dear to me as I suffer from arthritis in both hands.
The plus one reward is my favorite and I think the most important in the long run. Exercise Benefits the Brain and helps to fight against many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s. The Franklin Institute says that walking is especially good, because it increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain. Walking is not strenuous, so your leg muscles don’t take up extra oxygen and glucose like they do during other forms of exercise. As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits)
to learn more about this critical reward of working out.