There are many reasons why people decide to get physically fit. For some, fitness is doctor recommended, though most people want to lose weight and achieve a knockout body.
Theresa Roemer, U.S. Open bodybuilder, certified personal trainer and author of NAKED in 30 Days: A One Month Guide to Getting Your Body, Mind and Spirit in Shape, offers five surprising reasons to get physically fit that have nothing to do with the way your body looks.
1. Brain Boost: Physical activity gets the blood flowing throughout the body, especially to the brain. This increase in blood flow to the brain aids the in the creation of new brain cells. Additionally, exercise has been shown to positively impact overall brain function specifically by improving decision-making, and leading to a boost in memory. As we age, we do lose some memory, thus increasing physical activity can really help minimize this natural enemy.
2. Better Sex: Aging is not always kind to sexuality. Women may experience fluctuations in hormones making it harder for them to get in the mood, while men may be in the mood but finding it hard to perform. Physical activity may help to increase female arousal while men who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction. Physical activity also translates to increased strength and stamina, making it easier for you to enjoy yourself longer and try out more challenging sexual positions.
3. The Deep Sleep: If you have trouble sleeping at night a workout will help you rest easier. A study in the journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity shows that just 2.5 hours of physical fitness each week is enough to help you sleep deeper and longer.
4. Happiness: If you’ve ever found yourself smiling and feeling happier after a good workout then you know firsthand that exercise makes you feel good. When you engage in physical activity your body releases endorphins which work to decrease feelings of pain. This post workout euphoria is most commonly known as a runner’s high, even though the same effect can be achieved by almost any workout.
5. Live a Longer Life: Exercising not only makes you feel better but it can help you live longer. In the United States, heart disease and cancer are the top two leading causes of death. Regular exercise can lower your cholesterol which puts you at a less risk of cardiovascular disease, ultimately decreasing the chances of stroke and/or heart attack which can be brought on by heart disease.
Additionally, staying active can help you to reduce your chances of certain types of cancer. Studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer by 40-50%, and that exercising for 3 or more hours per week can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 30-40%.