Why You Should Exercise NOW: Short-Term Benefits of Physical Activity

Sometimes exercise can start to feel like huge commitment. Goals like “be stronger”, “lose weight”, “learn a new skill”, and such others are great, common goals, but they take time! Goals like this might not carry heavy weight compared to all the other things packed into our daily routine. After all, is training for next year’s annual Chocolate 5K really a priority when it’s lined up next to a test on Tuesday or grocery shopping that has to be done tonight? More often than not, the answer is ‘nope’. 

But what about studying easier? Feeling happier? Having more energy? Sleeping better? Those are all goals that can line up with any day’s needs and can be achieved instantly by working out now! While long-term goals may not be enough for day-to-day motivation, there are a lot of benefits that we can immediately get from exercising. Let’s check some of them out!

Better Brains!

A study showed that people who worked out at with moderate intensity for 15 minutes ended up having faster reactions in post-workout memory games than in their pre-workout baselines.

It should be noted that this is a study based on moderate-intensity exercise. Going super hard at the gym will likely result in fatigue, which will have the opposite effect. Everything in moderation!

Lifted Mood

When you workout, your brain will release a group of hormones – called endorphins – that are associated with happiness. It’s the same good stuff gets released when eating chocolate (or any other delicious food), laughing, or having sex.

This study had college students jog at a moderate pace for 20 minutes and found that this was enough to elevate the students’ mood. In addition, this study found that exercise boosted self-esteem in young people – likely because they were able to achieve a small goal.

To max-out the mood-boosting benefits of exercise, try listening to your favorite music. Or, most importantly, try to genuinely enjoy the workout. Focus on the fun, take on the challenge, or distract yourself with media to stay positive all the way through!

Lookin’ Good

Get that ‘healthy glow’ by being healthy! As we workout, our blood flow increases. This has a ton of health benefits, but it also makes our skin look pretty happenin’. As blood rushes all throughout the body it brings oxygen and other nutrients to your skin cells, allowing your skin to be fresh and well-nourished!

 

Quality ZZZs

Another study looked at how well people who spent 20+ minutes exercising slept. 65% of participants said they felt they slept better. Working out can lead to a deeper, more restful sleep and who doesn’t want better sleep?

As much good as a quick workout would do for your sleep, be sure not to do it too close to your bedtime since exercise directly before sleep may causes some interference.

We encourage all of our Eagles to keep working steadily towards their long-term fitness goals, but we also hope that you find a reason to be active TODAY!

Be well, do well!

– University Wellness

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