Most everyone knows about the physical benefits of exercise.

Things like controlling weight, cardiovascular (heart) health, keeping blood pressure under control, reducing the risk of diseases like diabetes, increasing energy levels, just to name a few.

What many might not consider is that there are also mental benefits that come from regular exercise.

Things like easing symptoms of depression and anxiety, reducing stress, improving brain function including memory, increased confidence and self-esteem.

  1. Exercise has been proven to increase levels of endorphins in the brain, the so-called “feel good” chemical. Sometimes, strenuous exercise can produce so many endorphins, people actually feel a temporary “buzz.” You’ve heard of runner’s high, right? Instead of going to the doctor for a prescription, a lot of people might be better off with getting in some good old-fashioned workouts.
  2.  Chronic stress causes a long list of health problems: along with depression, things like sleep disorders, digestive issues, skin problems, heart disease, memory problems.
  3. Aside from just plain feeling better and more energetic, how about looking better in clothes, getting compliments about your appearance, being able to climb stairs without getting out of breath. The little things that make everyday life better and more enjoyable.
  4.  Lots of people have sleep issues. Just look at all the advertisements these days for better sleep products. Regular exercise is said to have a calming effect on the mind and body, thereby improving sleep patterns.
  5. The human brain only weighs a few pounds but consumes up to 20 percent of the body’s blood supply. It only makes sense that a healthier body = a healthier brain, doesn’t it?

So if exercise is so good for us, why don’t more of us do it?

According to one survey, here are the leading reasons people don’t exercise:

  • I don’t have time
  • I don’t have the motivation
  • I don’t like exercising
  • Work gets in the way
  • I feel too old
  • I don’t see results
  • Don’t have equipment at home
  • It’s too expensive
  • It’s inconvenient
  • Gym is too far away

Any of those sound familiar?

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at some of the top excuses and see what we can figure out.

Have a great day!