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Most people go to the gym in order to lose weight, build muscle and improve cardiovascular health but there are quite a few more health benefits of going to the gym and working out than just gaining a good body. Mental benefits are abundant too and in order to lead an overall happy and healthy life, getting active is key. Gyms offer a safe space for you to get the right kind of physical exercise that you need to improve all areas of your life.
After just a few visits to the gym, it becomes a lot easier and you will begin to notice a drastic improvement in more than just your body condition.
Here are some of the most important physical and mental benefits of going to the gym:
One of the main benefits of going to the gym is weight loss or weight management, is the number one reason people typically go to the gym. Getting the right mix of cardio and weight training is vital for weight loss and management. This reduces the fat and tones the muscle to give you a better-looking body. Doing both cardio and weight training is the fastest way to lose weight effectively.
Muscle and Bone Health
As we age, our muscles lose mass and their function. This can lead to injuries and even disabilities. In order to prevent this from happening, it is vital to keep your muscles strong through physical activity such as exercising at the gym.
Osteoporosis is another hazard of aging and while a healthy diet certainly helps, exercising helps to build your bone density which is vital for preventing osteoporosis.
Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
According to research, one of the key causes of chronic disease is a lack of physical exercise. Studies show that regular physical exercise improves insulin sensitivity, body composition and cardiovascular fitness while at the same time decreasing blood fat levels and blood pressure.
Without regular physical exercise, belly fat increases significantly which ultimately leads to diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart conditions. These conditions are a major cause of suffering and early death.
Chronic pain is potentially debilitating but the pain can be reduced with regular exercise. Weight training can strengthen muscles around the cause of the pain which ultimately takes the pressure off.
The entire body basically strengthens and can really target the underlying cause of pain and reduce the pain tremendously, if not heal it for good. Physical exercise has also been linked to increasing one’s pain tolerance which thus decreases the pain perception.
Increased Energy Levels
Regularly going to the gym can be a major energy boost, especially for those who suffer from certain medical conditions. Unlike quick fixes, regular gym visits can increase energy levels on a long-term basis which allows you to become far more active and productive within your daily life.
Sufferers of serious medical conditions have been proven to show huge signs of energy increases after just a few weeks of regular exercise.
A healthy glowing skin that is free from blemishes and severe signs of aging is basically what we all want. The great news is that going to the gym and exercising regularly can help make that happen. Not only do you tone your entire body which tightens your skin too but exercising regularly increases the production of antioxidants which are vital to cell protection. This repairs any damage to the cells caused by free radicals.
Exercising at the gym also helps to stimulate the blood flow as well as induce skin cells to adapt thus reducing the appearance of fine lines wrinkles caused by aging.
Improves Sleep Quality and Relaxation
Even though regularly going to the gym boosts your energy levels, it also helps you to sleep better and relax easier. Because of energy depletion from the exercise, recuperative processes are stimulated during sleep. And, your body’s temperature increases while exercising which is said to assist with sleeping better because the temperature drops again when you are sleeping. Numerous studies have shown that regular physical exercise improves the quality of sleep which allows you to sleep longer and deeper. This is most beneficial for the elderly or those suffering with sleeping disorders.
A good night’s sleep is vital for functioning well during the waking hours. Good sleep and regular relaxation assists tremendously with both physical and mental health almost as much as regular exercise does.
One of the other benefits of going to the gym is that it has been scientifically proven that going to the gym and exercising regularly releases endorphins which are the hormones, known as the happy hormones, that create the feeling of happiness or even euphoria. Exercise is really effective in boosting your overall mood in general but studies have shown that it is also quite effective for those suffering from clinical depression and anxiety. It is proven that exercise may be an excellent treatment for depression but it is also great to just keep your mood happy.
All it takes is a few 30-minute workouts per week to boost your mood. It isn’t necessary to spend too much time in the gym or undergo extremely strenuous exercise in order to feel good.
Stress is commonly felt by most people and it is quite easy to stress about basically anything that is going on in our daily lives. Stress is also a major cause of physical and mental conditions, in fact, stress is a leading cause of some serious medical conditions and diseases. Relieving stress is a must for anyone wanting to prevent the potential devastation that it can cause. Luckily, exercise is a major stress reliever. Going to the gym after a stressful event helps for relief but regular visits will also help keep the stress levels down to a minimum on a long-term basis. This is because working out helps the body release norepinephrine chemicals which are vital to moderating your brain’s response to stress.
Improves Self Confidence
Everyone wants to look and feel good and regular visits to the gym can make this happen. Not only do you lose weight and feel good but your eyes shine, your skin glows and you look and feel great in general. Regardless of your age, size or weight, you can still enjoy a positive body image by boosting your self-worth. Regular exercise really will make you feel good about yourself, therefore, boost your self-confidence and ultimately make you look happy and amazing.
Boosts Cognitive Function
As we get older, our brains begin losing function especially when degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s begin killing brain cells. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s but exercising the brain from an early age and regularly can slow the process or prevent it from appearing later on in life.
Keeping the brain active is key but physical exercise is also vital as it boosts the important chemicals in the brain that prevent and support any degeneration of the brain’s hippocampus which is the part of the brain that focuses on learning and memory.
Along with boosting the chemicals that support the brain’s hippocampus, exercising regularly will also increase the production of the cells in that area of the brain. This boosts your ability to remember and to learn new things while retaining the knowledge. It has been proven that children who are physically active tend to learn faster which is the same for adults too.
Studies have shown that when you do cardiovascular exercise, new brain cells are created which improves your brain’s performance overall. This is called neurogenesis. BDNF, a brain-derived protein, gets increased levels in your body when you work out hard. This protein aids your body and brain with decision making, learning and higher thinking.
Helps Control Addictions
Forms of pleasure such as exercise, sex, alcohol, food and drugs cause the brain to release a chemical called dopamine. This is called the reward chemical and is the reason people become addicted to things. There are unhealthy addictions such as alcohol and drugs but going to the gym and exercising regularly can help distract addicts from their cravings.
There are many more benefits of going to the gym regularly and it is clear that exercise is a vital part of sustaining a healthy and happy life. Some people prefer to get active at the gym because they have assistance from professionals who guide them in the right direction towards reaching their goals and it is a safe place to get the right mix of cardio and weight training. Gyms also help to motivate you into taking active action and getting physical exercise regularly.
On the other hand, there may be some people who are not yet motivated enough to even join a gym but the many benefits highlighted above really make it worth it. An active lifestyle can be the start to a much better standard of living. Enjoying the outdoors by walking, jogging, hiking, cycling or playing sports are alternative options to getting active and finding the energy to enjoy a better life.