We’ve all been told that exercise is good for us. If you have an exercise routine you probably already feel the benefits you reap from it. Exercise has many physical and mental benefits that affect on your day to day life and long term health condition. So what is it that makes us feel good after exercising?
Something happens in our brain during exercise
When you start to exercise and your heart rate increase, the brain is getting signals that your are in some sort of stress. To fight that stress, the brain releases a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This protein to put it in simple terms- resets your brains to relieve the stress. At the same time the well known endorphins chemicals are released, endorphins make us feel good by reducing pain and stress levels.
So what are some of the benefits of exercise?
- Improves your mood
- Helps you lose weight.
- Increase energy levels
- Enhance your immune system.
- Improves sleep and sex life.
How much or often should you exercise to reap the benefits?
The good news, you don’t need to embrace a professional athlete routine!
Here’s an interesting finding by New York Times best-selling author Gretchen Reynold who claims in his book: “The first 20 minutes” that the first 20 minutes of a workout provide the most health benefits. So if you put in 20 focused minutes of activity every day you can reap the benefits mentioned here fairly easy. A study by Penn state confirmed this claim when it conducted memory tests and found that a group of people who exercised the morning of the test outperformed the group of people who exercised during the preceding month but not on the day of the test. So it’s not the quantity of workouts or their lengths but more the consistency.
How to start exercising daily?
*If you want a good book about changing habits you should check out :The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.
Here are a few methods you can use to help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
- Set a up a 30 day challenge- we discussed the power of 30 day challenges here . What you can do is decide that for the next 30 days you will walk for 20 minutes every morning, or do push ups, sit ups and squats for 20 minutes. Write down your exercise every day, and after 30 days you can replace the exercise.
- Find 20 minute workouts on youtube/online- These days you don’t even need to leave the house. get on you computer, search 20 minutes workout on youtube and here you go, hundreds of video you can follow.
- Find a friend/s to commit to a 20 minutes daily exercise with you-You both will be more committed to the challenge and it will make it easier on you to do it together.
- Compose a playlist of 4-5 of your favorite songs and play them as you exercise. Music, especially high rhythm music is really motivating to get you through a workout.
Finally,remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.
Do you exercise daily? Do you have any tips on how to get started on an exercise routine? don’t be shy to share!