We know by now that having a consistent workout routine makes us feel good on the outside and gives us a boost of confidence on our appearance, but what about what it does for us on the inside? We typically highlight all of the amazing benefits of working out from a physical aspect, but enough light doesn't get shed on what it does for us on the inside. Yes, we love a physical glow up, but ya know what we love even more? A mental glow up, sis! So, what are our top 4 reasons you should keep up with your routine from a non-physical aspect? Read it and weep!
#1 INCREASED ENERGY LEVELS + BETTER MOOD
Have you ever started a workout feeling sluggish, in a bad mood, or just real “blah” but then after the workout you feel like you’re on top of the world? The reason for that is our body releases endorphins as we exercise, which is a hormone our body produces when it senses stress, to then promote pleasure. It essentially tricks our brain to think we are alleviating pain. A lot of people think if it wasn’t for this little hormone guy, we wouldn't enjoy exercise as much - so a big thank you to endorphins!
As you release endorphins daily, you are making a positive impact on your overall mood. Studies have shown exercising for just 15 minutes a day can help combat the symptoms of anxiety and depression, in return increasing your drive for daily life activities. One way you may notice this translate into your daily routine is by having newfound energy to chase after your kids or extra patience at work!
#2 RELEASE FROM STRESS
Another huge benefit from exercising consistently is a reduction in stress aka our cortisol levels. Cortisol is another hormone that our body produces but does the opposite of what our friend, endorphin, does. Now don’t think that cortisol is ~bad~ for you because it’s not! It is an essential stress hormone that our body needs, but too much of it is when it can do more harm than good. It is released when we are faced with stress to help regulate your stress response, metabolism, blood pressure, blood sugar and helps suppress inflammation.
However, if you have consistently high levels of cortisol, your body can get used to having too much in your blood, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. So, finding the balance in your stress levels is important for your body to function properly, and one way to regulate that is through exercise! Regularly exercising overtime has also shown to improve sleep quality, which also helps lower cortisol levels. Certain activities like meditation, yoga, and long walks are a great place to start if you are new to working out!
#3 IMPROVED SLEEP
A balanced sleep schedule is critical to making progress with your fitness goals. This oftentimes gets overlooked, but at FBK, we typically recommend you get around 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation, or just simply not getting enough restful sleep at night, can be linked to an increased appetite and overall weight gain. So, let’s combat these chances with an increase in exercise to help improve your sleep. Studies have shown that moderate aerobic exercise increases the amount of slow wave sleep you get. Slow wave sleep refers to deep sleep, where the brain and body have a chance to rejuvenate. Exercise can also help to stabilize your mood and decompress the mind, a cognitive process that is important for falling asleep easier aka “turning your mind off”
Additionally, you need energy in order to keep up with your exercise regimen and to perform to your full potential in every session. If sleeping at night is hard for you, take a look at your workout schedule and see if it’s too close to bedtime. Elevation in core body temperature signals the body clock that it’s time to wake up, and after about 30 to 90 minutes, the core body temperature starts to fall, que the sense of sleepiness. If you workout at 8pm and want to be in bed at 10pm, it could limit you from falling and staying asleep.
#4 MORE CONFIDENCE
This goes without saying, but when you begin to exercise more frequently, you’ll start to feel better about yourself! While you’ll feel great about any progress that you make, you’ll also just feel good about yourself period. Walking into the gym with a bomb workout outfit, jamming to good music, and the rush of enorphins is a perfect recipe for a confidence booster Knowing that you’re prioritizing your health and working hard towards your goals will motivate you and make you feel more confident in your everyday life.
TO SUM IT UP
We all know that exercise is important to your physical health, but the non-physical benefits can out-weigh them! . Non-physical benefits can also be your NSVs (non-scale victories) like:
- I have more endurance during your workouts! I’ve noticed I’m not breathing as heavy during my runs.
- I went to a social event without makeup because I just felt THAT confident.
- I feel more rested when I wake up in the morning.
- I notice my stress levels have reduced, and I know of better ways to handle stressful situations now.
- I have the energy to take my dog for more than 2 walks a day.
- I’m in a better mood when I wake up and don’t get as irritated!
When you begin working out regularly, you’re in for so many benefits! Make sure to not get caught up on only the ones that you can see.