7 Social and Emotional Benefits of Exercise
Exercising is good for more than getting your body in shape and improving your health.
In addition to improving cardiovascular health and keeping bones strong, there are emotional and social benefits of exercise as well.
Let’s talk about these 7 social and emotional benefits of exercise that will give you more reasons to start working out and reaping the amazing results from it.
The Link Between Exercise and Your Brain
Exercise impacts your brain, not just your body!
As you get older, cognitive functions have the potential to decline. This is a common symptom of aging that you can combat through regular low impact exercise.
Through regular exercise, the activity in your hippocampus will improve. The hippocampus is a small organ located in the medial temporal lobe.
It’s responsible for memory, and mood regulation.(1) When you exercise, new neurons in the hippocampus are formed.
Exercise has been proved to fight off Alzheimer’s disease, improves memory and thinking skills. That’s reason enough to start a workout routine!
What Exercising Does to Your Emotions
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins in your brain, which are feel-good chemicals that give you that boost.
These happy chemicals are naturally released while you workout, but they also work on your behalf after your workout is over, effectively reducing depression and anxiety.
These are the very same chemicals that help you manage pain when you are injured. This is why when you jog or take a brisk walk, your emotions will improve naturally.
Exercise is Food For Your Emotions
If you are feeling dull, bored, or flat, you don’t have to raid the fridge and eat your way to enjoyment.
In fact, eating to soothe your emotions causes a cycle of feeling low, eating, have a brief period of relief but quickly feeling low again. Exercise, on the other hand, is a natural way to fight off depression and anxiety! (2)
Benefits of Exercise to Your Social and Emotional Health
Whether you are trying to lose weight, wanting to manage your weight, or just hoping to feel happier, exercising is the best solution.Here are the 7 positive changes resulting from daily exercise.
1. Boost in Confidence
Not feeling too good about the current shape of your body?
Muscle toning helps you look better and feel more confident in your clothes! Exercising different body areas helps to sculpt those hard to get rid of love handles.
However, targeted exercise is difficult. Practicing a well-rounded excise plan will help to shape your body and result in a more confident you!
2. A Feeling of Empowerment
Don’t you just love it when you get to check off things in your to-do list?
Being able to accomplish tasks can be quite empowering, and this is something that you can achieve when you exercise.
Perhaps you aim to do 10 push ups a day or at least get off the couch and walk for 10 minutes.
Whatever it is that’s on your list, creating goals and following through will accomplishing them will lead you to feeling a sense of achievement and empowerment.
You will realize that you can do anything, as long as you put your heart and mind to it.
3. Maintain a Positive Disposition
Those feel-good chemicals produced through exercise is enough to give you a boost of optimism as you notice positive changes in your body.
Each time you look in the mirror, you’ll see improvements in your physique, which is something to feel optimistic about.
Plus, as you get stronger and fitter, you will realize that you can do more things that people who never exercised cannot do.
You’re one tough cookie!
4. Be calmer and happier.
We all have stress in life. Some stress is unavoidable, but you have to have a healthy outlet so those feelings don’t build up and cause problems. Exercise is shown to successful reduce anxiety. (3)
So even if you can’t avoid a high-stress situation at home or work, through staying active, you can manage these emotions when they pop up.
5. Meet New People
When you workout at the gym, there are like-minded people there who want to get healthy and happy just like you.
Or perhaps you’re at the park walking your dog, so both of you can get some exercise. Just being outside your home gives you an opportunity to meet new people. Folks you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
People who work out with a buddy are shown to have more success. So does being in an environment where others are trying to achieve similar goals.
So get out there and break a sweat!
6. Increase Your Self-esteem
Are you a bit shy and withdrawn? Has it gotten worst since the pounds have packed on?
The more you get out there and work out with others, and improve on your body the better you will feel about yourself.
Seeing that you are not alone in your struggle takes away unnecessary negative talk and helps you to focus more on your goals.
Daily exposure to people will help your self-esteem, which is important in making you more adjusted to social activities and situations.
7. Experience Total Satisfaction in Life
Overall, exercising will make you feel better about your body and your health. Your mood will improve, your confidence will increase, you’ll meet new people, your body will become stronger and your brain will thank you for all your efforts.
The empowerment and self-confidence that exercising gives you will make you feel more satisfied with your life.
Exercises to Try – Getting Started
What are the best exercises for you to do when you have ZERO experience with working out?There are actually many options to try. You don’t have to be buff or have a gym membership to exercise either! Yes, anyone can get started with exercising anytime and anywhere and at any age!
Calisthenics, Yoga, Strength-Training, and More!
Here are just a few of the different exercises you should try.
Calisthenics, Yoga, Strength-Training, and More!
Brisk walking is great for your heart and overall health. 30 mins of walking a day is enough to help you lose weight and feel great!
Jogging is something you can build up to over time. Even though it’s a great way to burn calories in half the time, make sure to listen to your body and start slow. Since this is a high impact workout, be sure to wear the proper shoes and take care of yourself before and post workout.
Lift weights, do push ups, or pull-ups. Muscle gains are shown to improve bone health and counteract the effects of fragile bones that come with age. (4) Start with lighter weights and fewer repetitions. Slowly progress to heavier weights and more reps once your body has adapted.
Yoga is not just an amazing exercise for the body but it also helps you relax and calm your mind. Check out these yoga benefits and some yoga poses to try that will help you boost your emotional and social health.
Exercise Your Way to Total Well-Being
It may be as simple as doing stretches at the park or walking your dog.Or you may take it to the next level and sign up for a yoga class or strength-training exercise with a fitness trainer at the gym.Whatever floats your boat for the sake of emotional and social health, do it!Exercise is the way to go to a happier, richer, and fuller life that will make you thrive and not just survive!