By Stephanie Clookey,
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are an avid exerciser or you want to be. Maybe you know it is good for your heart and disease prevention. Or maybe you exercise to stay looking your best by being in tip-top shape. Or maybe a hobby you love requires some level of physical fitness. Whatever the reason, I bet you will find some other great reasons to exercise on this list of lesser-known benefits of exercise.
Here are 5 things physical fitness can do for you:
1. IMPROVE LEARNING AND MENTAL PERFORMANCE
I’ve spent the entirety of my academic life trying to convince my professors that athletes like me were actually the geniuses in the room, and now I have some science to back me up! Exercise does more than just improve physical performance and make you look good – it has also been shown to boost mental performance. Aerobic exercise has been shown to improve attention and processing speed, executive function, and memory!
2. BOOST YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND PREVENT MEMORY LOSS
Exercise has also been shown to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimher’s and dementia, psychiatric diseases like anxiety and depression, and normal age-related decline in memory. This is likely due to the maintenance of vascular health and promotion of blood flow to the brain, as well as exercise-induced reductions in oxidative stress and inflammation.
3. SAVE YOUR GRANDMA’S LIFE
I bet this one threw you for a loop! I know what you’re thinking, “You’re being dramatic, Stephanie”. But after spending a majority of my career working with people over the age of 70, I am thoroughly convinced that exercise not only adds years to life, but also puts quality into those years.
One of the ways exercise can save your older loved ones is through fall prevention. Falls are one of the most dangerous threats to the health of older people, and they are very common. Each year, 3 million older adults are treated in the emergency room for falls, and 800,000 are hospitalized due to falls. Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, and often result in debilitating broken bones and fractures.
In terms of life quality, as mentioned above, exercise improves cognitive function and mental health. It can also prevent sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and help your loved ones maintain independence longer.
4. HELP YOU SLEEP LIKE A BABY
We all know exercise can make us tired, but that’s not the end of the story when it comes to the power of exercise on sleep. Daily exercise improves sleep quality and can prevent the development of sleep disorders! I’ve written a whole blog about the power of sleep, if you’re interested you can access that here.
5. IMPROVE YOUR SEX LIFE
Last but not least, exercise can improve your sex life (this fitness thing keeps getting better and better, am I right?). Exercise can increase libido, increase sexual performance and pleasure. In one study, women reported more frequent orgasms with the incorporation of higher intensity exercise. In another, men who reported more hours of exercise per week had higher sexual function scores.
So, there you have it! I have gifted you 5 additional reasons to commit to your health and wellness and adopt an exercise routine! If you or a loved one are looking to start your fitness journey, we are here to help. We offer both in person and remote 1:1 training and group classes.
About The Author
MKT Nutrition Coach
Stephanie is a compassionate and spunky trainer that will guide, support, and challenge you every step of the way!
Stephanie enjoys life long learning, lifting heavy things over her head, and being outside with her dogs.
American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EPC)
USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach (USAW-L1)
Healthy Step Nutrition, Nutrition Coach
Master’s of Science, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology – University of Missouri
Bachelor’s of Science, Biochemistry – SUNY Geneseo