I’m not just doing this for my health! Or, wait, I guess I am.
Exercise, while not particularly fun for some people, has health benefits. That sounds like an incredibly obvious statement, right? But you might be surprised how many people think that you only need to exercise if you want to get really buff or fast. Not so; healthy amounts of regular exercise can yield all sorts of net benefits in addition to getting really buff or fast.
Cardio improves blood circulation, and blood circulation keeps your body’s faculties working in tip-top shape. Can’t drive the car if there’s no oil in the engine. With improved blood flow comes additional oxygen and nutrients to places like your brain and skin, which means improved mood and cognitive capacity and healthier looking skin, respectively. Some scientists have even theorized that regular exercise can delay the effects of aging and prevent Alzheimer’s, though the jury’s still out on that one.
Speaking of the brain, exercise prompts the release of brain chemicals like serotonin. These kinds of chemicals improve your pain tolerance, lighten your mood, and vent out stress. Not to mention, when you burn off lots of energy and get all your chemicals flowing properly, you’ll sleep like a baby come nighttime.
As your body gets more used to regular exercise, it also develops certain proficiencies. For example, burning fat. If you have difficulty burning off a big meal, some regular exercise will improve your metabolism and shrink your fat cells, which makes it easier to keep off undesired weight and, as a bonus, prevents inflammation.