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Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

The 10 Reasons to Workout that Have Nothing to Do with Exercise

Individuals typically turn to exercise in efforts to shed those unwanted pounds, trim down, and feel strong in their own skin. Though weight loss is often a common result from exercise, it has more benefits than just looser-fitting jeans. Reap these benefits that have nothing to do with weight loss!

The 10 Reasons to Workout that Have Nothing to Do with Exercise

Individuals typically turn to exercise in efforts to shed those unwanted pounds, trim down, and feel strong and empowered in their own skin. Although weight loss is often a natural outcome of consistent exercise, there is more than meets the eye. Reap these exercise benefits that have nothing to do with weight loss!

10 Reasons to Workout

1. Keep the Cardiovascular System Healthy
Exercise is known to raise that "good" cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, consistent aerobic exercise can improve blood flow, thus lessening the chances of strokes.

2. Diabetes Reduction and Management
Overweight and obesity is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight limits the risk of developing diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes. Individuals diagnosed with diabetes may also experience blood sugar stabilization with consistent exercise, especially when paired with a nutritious diet.

3. Improve Bone Health
Weight bearing exercises can have a positive outcome on bone strength and prevent weakening and deterioration. Strong bones ultimately reduce the risk of osteoporosis, especially as age advances.

4. Ignite Muscle Growth
In accordance to bone health, weight bearing exercises can also stimulate muscle growth. Although muscle may be sought out for visual purposes, a leaner body mass increases metabolism (the breakdown of food for energy) even when at rest. Feeling stronger is a notorious added bonus!

5. Reduce Back Pain
Walking, running, stretching, and any other exercise that involves core and back strengthening improves posture. Good posture can reduce back pain or limit the opportunity to experience it later down the road.

6. Increase Quality and Quantity of Life
Research shows exercise, even walking, can add on years to your life. Not only will life be lengthened in time, but the quality of those years can be enhanced and celebrated.

7. Boost the Mood
Partaking in any sort of exercise releases endorphins, also known as those "feel good" hormones. Unleashed and accelerated endorphins within the body can lift moods and reduce levels of stress. So instead of reaching for food as comfort, lace up your shoes and take a meditating walk.

8. Increase Self-Esteem
Studies have shown active individuals have improved levels of happiness and self-esteem. Even with the absence of improved body image, exercise can ignite self-confidence.

9. Enhance Memory
Exercise may lead to improved memory and slow the progression of cognitive decline. Consistent exercise routines may be a preventative measure for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

10. Improve Sleep Quality
The average American rests four to six hours each night, several hours shy of the seven to nine hours recommended. A rigorous exercise may leave you worn out, but even slow-paced aerobic exercise can aid in the regulation of sleeping patterns.

Get Active!

You don't need to lift tremendously heavy weights at the gym or run a marathon to reap these exercise benefits. Health experts commonly agree aerobic workouts (running, biking, swimming) paired with weight-bearing training is the most effective way to produce results. At least 150 minutes of physical activity each week is recommended for healthy adults. Exercise can be used as a stress-reducer after a long day or enjoyed with family and friends. Group workouts can keep you accountable and motivated to put on your workout clothes, tie up your running shoes, and get active!

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on August 15, 2016.


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