Six Hidden Benefits to Exercise

You'll be pleasantly surprised...

Six Hidden Benefits to Exercise

Written by Samantha Kelly. 

With HBF Run for a Reason fast approaching, we want to ask - How’s #datfitlife working out for you?

For some of you, health and fitness means measuring out your kale and chicken salad and pumping iron in the gym, or running a ‘casual’ 10km. For others, it is trying to reach at least 3,000 steps on your Fitbit whilst chanting the mantra “Must not eat donuts. Must not eat donuts…”

*slowly puts down donut*

Whether you’re chasing your PB or just trying to keep your overall health in check, we’re here to tell you that there are a number of hidden perks to those squats other than scoring yourself a booty that resembles the peach emoji! 

If you’re hunting for a little extra motivation to get off the couch and go for a jog, then look no further because hit92.9 has uncovered some hidden benefits of health and fitness with the help of fitness expert, Robin Carlse - A Personal Trainer from Renouf Personal Fitness with a decade of experience under his belt.

  1. Exercise boosts the positivity and lowers the negativity

As it turns out, El Woods was right when she said “Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy.” As Carlse explains, finding your 30 can have a huge impact on your mental health.

“Endorphins that create the feeling of happiness are released during exercise,” he explains.

“As you get moving, your brain releases these endorphins which create euphoria, as well as chemicals to reduce stress and anxiety.”

“Think of it like a natural anti-depressant!”

  1. Breaking a sweat can help you catch those Zzzz’s

Do you have trouble sleeping? If you’re laying awake at night worrying about that work deadline, exercising can definitely help get that stress under control. However, if you’re laying awake with a little too much left over energy from the day, then exercise is also the perfect cure.

“A cardio or weights session is the perfect way to burn the remaining fuel in your body,” says Carlse.

“A solid gym session after a full day of work will have you physically tired and ready for sleep come night time.”

  1. First you do the moving, then you do the thinking

Did we just suggest exercise could make you smarter? You’re damn right we did! According to our expert, going for a run or picking up those dumbbells could be more beneficial than reaching for the coffee.

“Exercise increases the blood flow to the brain, which in turn boosts its functionality and assists with memory retention,” Carlse explains.

“Cardio is excellent for this, but weights works too, anything that increases your heart rate.”

Ladies, the next time your hubby or boyfriend forgets your anniversary, consider gifting him a gym membership or new pair of runners to assist with his forgetfulness. Help him help you!

  1. Train yourself to a Grade A immune system

Are you one of those people that just always seems to get sick? As in, a sneeze in the next city will somehow make its way across the country and target you and only you!? Well, according to Carlse, another benefit of making time for an evening walk is it can help boost your immune system and fight off sickness.

“Healthy eating and exercise can boost the activity of your immune system, helping you overcome colds and flues faster.”

“It can also reduce the symptoms of chronic illnesses, reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and strengthen your heart and lung functionality.”

  1. Exercise makes you feel bada$$

Let’s not overlook this very important factor – not only will healthy eating and exercise help you shift body fat, it will also help you FEEL a million bucks, which is arguably the most important thing.

“Exercising can really have a big impact on your self-confidence and get you feeling good about yourself, especially as you start to achieve your fitness goals,” says Carlse.

Beyond the physical, exercise can also get you feeling good by providing an escape from your problems. Squeezing out one more km on that run or another rep on the bench press is a sure-fire way to make you feel great!

“I often have clients that come in after a hard day and are feeling a bit flat,” says Carlse.

“At the end of the session, there is an obvious shift in their mood and attitude.”

“I like to have a chat and a laugh with my clients too. It helps them take their mind off their day and be present in their work-out.”

  1. Check out those relationship gainz!

There’s a saying ‘those who train together, stay together’ and it turns out, there is actually some truth to that according to Carlse.

“Think about the release of endorphins and increased happiness, achieving goals, increased confidence and all the other good things exercise does for your mental health … now think of sharing these positive feelings with your loved one.”

“Sharing your fitness goals with your partner, and then achieving them as a couple, can really do wonders for your relationship.”

For example - If you have a friend or family member training with you then you are accountable – if you miss the 6am meeting time you both agreed on for your morning run… you’ll be in big trouble!