8 Amazing Ways Exercise Can Expand Your Life!

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Many of us begin an exercise program to change our bodies or physical health status. Often exercise is done in tandem with a weight loss goal. The benefits of activity surpass the number on the scale or reducing body fat, however. Exercise elevates, energizes, and expands our lives. Here’s how!

  1. Stymies stress: The early morning is my favorite time to flip on the sweat switch, but regardless of your preferred training time, exercise boosts the feel-good hormones in your body that counteract anxiety. Stress is based upon a negative perception of your circumstances. Exercising when you feel uncomfortable helps to expend the negative energy in a positive way and provides a healthy distraction. Timed breaks throughout the workday to step away from the computer and walk around the building, take the stairs up to your co-worker’s office, or fetch the mail, serve as a mental and physical reset. Exercise also prompts the release of GABA, a neurotransmitter which changes the brain’s chemistry and quiets the areas involved in the stress reaction.
  1. Ditches depression: I often refer to my workouts as my anti-depressants. There has never been a workout I’ve regretted, even if it was cut short or didn’t meet my expectations. The hormonal response that occurs with exercise reduces depression and low mood states. Studies indicate that engaging in exercise helps those diagnosed with depression as much as medication. Couple your exercise with friends, and you receive a double dose of dopamine.
  1. Builds the brain: Exercise benefits the brains of the young and old by improving planning, reasoning, and problem-solving and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown an increase in the volume of the hippocampus—the area involved in memory—by up to 2% with regular exercise training. Exercise also protects against volume loss that is typical in late adulthood.
  1. Increases immunity: Exercise reduces your chances of picking up the nasty bugs that like to worm their way into your social circle! Those who exercise once a week or less have colds that last up to 43% longer. Besides the common cold and flu, regular exercise helps avert serious conditions like Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and various cancers. 
  1. Conjures creativity: I’ve marveled at how I’m bombarded by my best ideas when I’m training! Studies have shown that when compared to their sedentary peers, those exercising at least four times per week performed better on a test of creativity. 
  1. Enhances energy: Exercise strengthens your muscles and increases endurance. Blood flow increases oxygen and nutrients delivered to your body’s tissues, giving you the energy you desire for your busy lives! Studies have shown how 1 in 4 people experience general fatigue unrelated to a health condition. Low to moderate exercise for even 20 minutes increases energy levels by up to 20%. 
  1. Directs your diet: When you exercise for self-care, positive tendencies toward nutrition often follow. The spillover effect explains how one health-related behavior propels another. You may have heard yourself say, “Why would I want to ruin my awesome workout by eating junk?” I use the spillover effect in the opposite direction. I want my workouts connected to positive emotion as opposed to being punishing for overindulging.
  1. Grows your grit: Grit is connected to resilience, fortitude, and delayed gratification. Routine exercise requires discipline and prioritization. If you always wake up for your workout, but complain of procrastinating in other areas of your life, see if you can translate your energy for exercise toward the areas in which you struggle.

Exercise benefits abound. If you’re spinning your wheels with your workouts, keep in mind the longer-term consequences of exercise. Think about trying a new activity, buddying up, and hiring a trainer to learn while you burn!

If you’re working toward weight loss and want to know how to keep it off, Dr. Kori will be speaking at the New Year, New You 2016 event this Saturday, May 14 in San Diego! Her talk is called Transformation Nation: Mastering Your Metabolism for Permanent Weight Loss! All proceeds for the event will be donated to care for victims of human trafficking. For more information, check out http://www.nyny2016.com/

For networking opportunities, thousands of dollars worth of prizes, and seminars to help you get fit for life (physically, mentally, in business, in relationships, and emotionally), this is the event of the year! Lunch is provided and is part of the registration fee. Don’t miss this opportunity!

Kori has a studio right in San Diego! Contact Kori at kori@thedietdoc.com for additional details about her nutrition and weight loss coaching, eating psychology consulting, as well as The Diet Doc- San Diego’s personal training and group fitness options!

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  1. Lissa | 10th May 16

    Great post… Perhaps this is what I need to give myself added energy

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