A state of physical and mental health allows you to take part in exercise comfortably andenjoyably so that it doesn’t hurt, so that you can look forward to it, and feel good afterwards. Ifyou are feeling down, exercise may help pick you up. Although researchers disagree on thisissue, one review of past studies found that long-term exercise, especially when it includeslong-lasting, strenuous training sessions, has about as much of an effect on depression aspsychotherapy.
Working out helps you deal with stress in your job, relationships or any area of life —possiblybecause exercise is a form of stress itself and helps condition your body to deal with it.WhenAustralian researchers compared people who did 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times aweek to those who practiced progressive relaxation techniques, they found that the formergroup responded better to acute stress and had lower blood pressure. Even a little exercisecan make you think less anxiously. Studies have shown that any amount of exercise, from abrisk10 minute walk to an intense aerobics or weightlifting session seems to decrease feelingsof anxiety.
Working out regularly may make you smarter now and lessen the possibility that you’ll losebrain function as you age. According to a recent animal study at the University of Illinois, exercise can actually help the brain develop new cells. In several studies, regular weight trainingor aerobic exercise was shown to improve the quality and duration of sleep. Naturally, this canmake you less fatigued and be able to function better during the day. Like meditation, hobbies or any other leisure activity, exercise gives your mind a needed break from everydaythoughts, responsibilities and commitments. Finally, there’s one more reason to keepexercising. When you work out regularly, your body simply functions better you are better, healthier and less likely to suffer painful physical conditions. And that just plain feels good.