With summer in full swing, it’s pretty hard to avoid getting hot and sweaty. It’s old news that exercise is good for you, but there are still surprising benefits that you may not know about. Check out the list below for benefits that will come from exercising this summer.
REDUCE STRESS LEVELS
Exercise not only reduces anxiety but also helps regulate stress hormones in the body. Regularly working up a sweat can also reduce cortisol spikes. Feeling wound up is the perfect season to throw on some sneakers and sweat it out. Want to really take your feelings out on something? Try kickboxing or something similar.
BOOST YOUR MOOD
Exercise can help with mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. A good sweat won’t replace any prescribed medications but it can help you feel better regardless. Getting your heart rate up will boost your serotonin production which can help regulate and improve your emotions. Any type of exercise will work but aerobic exercises like hiking, biking, running or swimming seem to be the most beneficial.
HELP CONTROL ADDICTION
Anything that feels good to us releases dopamine, unfortunately some people find themselves craving their dopamine rush from the wrong sources. Exercise not only give you an outlet for your energy but gives you a healthy and natural source of ‘feel good’ hormones. Physical activity can boost your nervous system’s ability to handle stress. Handling your stress in a healthy way means you can work hard towards your goal of kicking toxic habits.
A good workout really helps your body relax, plus it’s hard to stay up past your bedtime when you’re exhausted from kicking butt at the gym. One word of warning though: you don’t want to work out right before bed because exercise can make you feel energized. Feeling energized at bedtime is pretty much the opposite of what you want.
KEEP YOUR BRAIN HEALTHY
As we get older so do our brains. The more ‘wear and tear’ our brains see the deeper our cognitive decline over time. Exercise increases the blood being pumped to your brain and can help improve your mental clarity and stave off cognitive impairment.
IMPROVE SELF ESTEEM
Even if you don’t see changes in your body from exercise getting hot and sweaty could still make you feel sexier and more at home in your body. Physical activities (especially ones like yoga) can promote mindfulness and the idea of being ‘present’ in your body. Learning to exist in your body without judging it sounds pretty healthy to me. Practicing in front of a mirror is beneficial in more than one way; it allows you to see and correct any form problems and helps you to normalize your body to yourself. Being able to look in the mirror and like what you see goes a long way towards overall health.
LOWER YOUR CANCER RISK
Breast cancer is this big scary monster that hangs over a lot of women’s heads, especially those who have a family history or other factors that put them at increased risk. Luckily science is on our side and researchers have found that regular exercise may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 20%. Breast cancer isn’t the only type of cancer you can use exercise to lower your chances of; your liver, stomach, kidneys, esophagus and bone marrow will be a little bit safer with a regular workout routine.
GET MORE DONE
A quick sweat can have you feeling energized and ready to take on the world. Exercising regularly can help you feel more productive and prepared to tackle your tasks for the day. Exercise keeps you alert and focused which means you spend less ‘thinking’ time on tasks. All that blood flowing to your brain is helping you feel sharp which is exactly what you need to get through your workday.
Whether you get your sweat on gardening, pumping iron or by just taking a quick hike there’s tons of reasons why it’s a great way to spend your time. This just goes to show that there’s far more reasons to break a sweat than fitting into those skinny jeans you bought 5 years ago.
About the Author
Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Connect with Kacey on Twitter @kacey_mya and on Pinterest (@kaceymya).