‘’You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking 5 miles a day when she was 60. She’s 97 today, and we don’t know where the hell she is.’’ – Ellen DeGeneres

 

Most people know the primary benefits of exercise – weight loss, general health and longevity. However, exercise offers a lot more than a means to stay in shape and maintain good health.

Exercise can have an unexpected, and positive impact on the many areas of your life that sometimes go unnoticed. In this article today, we will explore 6 unexpected ways exercise improves your life, that may just surprise you.

1. Exercise Raises Your Self-Esteem

Exercise can improve your levels of self-esteem, lower feelings of anxiety, which then makes it easier for you to do more of the things you enjoy.

High self-esteem and confidence go hand in hand. Exercise not only allows you to feel better about your overall image, but you can apply this new wave of confidence to virtually every area of your life, allowing you to overcome some of the things you may have once avoided.

When it comes to taking the next step in your new vocation, exercise may just be the key ingredient to your success

2. Exercise Reserves Your Vital Organs

The more lean muscle you maintain throughout life, the better your organs will function. Optimal organ function correlates with maximum longevity and excellent health.

Organs, like muscles, must either be used or risk being lost. When you train the muscles in your body, it calls to effort your heart, lungs, liver, adrenals and other organs into action.

When your activity diminishes, as in the classic paradigm of ageing, muscles and organs can atrophy. Their function decreases because they are given no reason to remain at 100 percent efficiency.

3. Exercise Improves The Body’s Metabolism

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has been known to eat everything in sight — anything from up to 12,000 calories a day! As hard as he works, he doesn’t expend 12,000 calories in physical activity; yet he doesn’t gain weight.

That’s because exercise increases the number of mitochondria in the form of increased muscle. And increased muscle means you burn more energy at rest, which improves your metabolic status. Through exercise, the rate at which you burn calories at rest increases, which allows you to eat better.

Not only this, but metabolic improvements translate into disease prevention, as a study of thirty-eight thousand American men showed that physical activity was more potent in preventing heart disease, even whilst maintaining their weight, because of the metabolic advantages.

4. Exercise Improves The Immune system

Exercise improves the immune system because it helps flush bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing the chances of getting flu, cold or other airborne illnesses.

Not only this, but due to the rise in body heat temperature of physical activity, this can prevent bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight off infections. Studies also show that exercise can detect illnesses earlier, because it sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a quicker rate, allowing you to fight off potential bacteria coming your way.

5. Exercise Builds Mental Strength And Discipline

Exercise is a reflection of character and personal values. Pushing yourself to work out takes mental discipline. This mental strength and discipline to workout regularly usually takes effect in other areas of life, also — the discipline to eat correctly. The strength to take on new life challenges.

The discipline to be more self-organised and structured. When it comes to working the body and pushing past the pain barriers, we not only develop a better physique, but strength of mind that will stay with us virtually forever.

6. Exercise Leads To Better Habits

What most people don’t realise is that the habit of regular exercise leads to more empowering habits. A person who is consistent with exercise is usually someone who is consistent in many areas of life that serve them well — nutrition habits, goal setting habits, career habits, etc. Rarely do you find a gym lover not being an overall health lover.

If you can motivate yourself to be in the gym regularly, the chances are, you’re able to motivate yourself to do more of the things in life you want. If you think about it: those with serious weight issues don’t exercise; those who don’t exercise aren’t reading health books; those not reading health books don’t value health; those who with no value for health don’t have a track record of habits to get in shape. The habit of exercise is usually followed by a track record of other healthy habits.