14 Weird Benefits of Working Out That You Didn’t Know
No matter how many times people are told that exercise is essential to their health and well-being, it’s not exciting enough to get them going to the gym. Tomorrow, they say. But new information shows that exercise may do more than tone your abs. Just as your typical medication, working out has many “side-effects”. After reading these, you may just want to hit the gym today.
1. It Can Land You a Higher Paying Job
A new study shows that hitting the gym is highly correlated with making more money. A study in the Journal of Labor Research shows that those working out at least 3 times per week are likely to make 9% more then their co-workers. There are opposite studies that for example, show that obese women earned 18% less than women who weren’t obese.
While exercising won’t directly make you wealthier, it can give you confidence among many other benefits listed below, which in turn can lead to a higher paying job. So if you won’t do it for your body, do it for your wallet.
2. It Helps Form a Stronger Bond with Your Loved One
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology claims that couples who exercise (especially together) report higher satisfaction with each other and even greater intimacy. And no, sex does not count as exercise for this one…but maybe it should.
3. It Keeps Your Brain Sharp For The Future
If you exercise while you’re young, it may pay your brain dividends in the future. Young adults (18-30) with a better fitness level performed better on cognitive tests that were given 25 years later, as compared to their lazier counter parts, according to a 2014 study published in Neurology.
4. It Makes You More Intelligent
This is the closest thing to the pill in the movie Limitless. Working out may boost your brain power. While it was believed that you could not generate more brain cells (only get dumber year by year after losing them), an article published in New York Times shows that exercise can not only slow down the process of brain cell loss but also reverse the process as well after just one year of exercise.
The next billion dollar app idea may be waiting at the gym.
5. It Keeps Diseases at Bay
When it comes to the leading causes of death such as breast cancer, heart attacks and conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high blood pressure and stroke, the experts always recommend the same thing – good diet and exercise.
Exercise is an incredible natural tool in warding off majority of your health problems. Combine it with a healthy diet and that is the most powerful natural medicine that we have today.
6. It Makes You Live Longer
People who are physically active live longer. It’s a fact. A 20 year follow-up study, showed that exercising regularly significantly reduced the risk of dying prematurely.
If YOLO is your moto, then hit the gym.
7. It Makes Your Skin Younger
If you’ve tried all the creams in your local Sephora store and nothing seems to work, then exercise may be your skin’s path to the fountain of youth.
Research by the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine suggests that exercising at least three hours (moderate to high activity) a week may lead to a more beautiful complexion. Women in their 40s who did this had similar compositions as people who were in their 20’s and 30’s after examining them microscopically.
8. It Reverses Damaging Effects of Alcohol
A study published in 2013 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research reveals that getting your heart rate up daily can repair and prevent further damage to white matter, which is responsible for learning, communication and cognition. White matter is damaged by heavy drinking. So, bottoms up. Literally.
9. It Makes You Smile More
Researchers suggest that burning 350 calories three times a week or more, through sweat-inducing exercises can be just as effective as reducing symptoms of depression as antidepressants. It’s a natural antidepressant, which can be explained by the fact that it stimulates the growth of neurons in the regions of the brain where it is damaged by depression. Everyone can use an extra smile or two!
10. It Cures Hangovers
Say what? We’re not kidding either. Light exercise may be the miracle hangover cure you are looking for. Good hydration and light exercise that doesn’t require special balance can help cleanse toxins from your body and provide you with a endorphin rush that may just be enough to hold out until the hangover passes.
Suggested exercises include yoga, light stretching, gentle aerobics, swimming and dance. However, if you over-extend yourself or fail to hydrate properly, it may leave you in worse shape than when you started.
11. It Lets You Hibernate Like a Bear
If you have trouble falling asleep, you know that counting sheep works as good as a blind man directing traffic. Exercise may be a better solution. A survey from 2013 by National Sleep Foundation found that those who exercised experienced better quality sleep that those who did not (although number of hours was about the same).
The same was confirmed by a study of women aged over 55 who had a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. After half of the participants were ordered to workout four times a week (30-40 min at a time) they reported better quality sleep, more vitality and less sleepiness during the day.
12. It Makes Sex Better
There are many studies that point out that regular exercise can boost your arousal even though you may not have gotten lucky in a while. This may be due to the fact that exercise improves your blood flow, which contributes to genital sensation, lubrication and sexual excitement. Not to mention that endurance combined with those crafty yoga poses may come in handy as well.
13. It Helps Control Your Cravings
If you can’t seem to put down those hot-pockets or your bag of chips, here are some more good news when it comes to exercise. According to American Journal of Clinical nutrition, exercise may help you control your cravings.
According to their studies using the MRI machine, after just an hour of running, the parts of the brain that control your appetite will light up when viewing low-calorie foods. This makes your brain view them as rewarding and therefore diminishing your desire for higher-calorie counterparts.
14. It Makes Women Orgasm
No, we’re not kidding. Indiana University researchers asked women if they had ever experienced an orgasm induced by exercise and an incredible 15% of women admitted having one. A survey published in Time magazine confirmed that 40% of respondents experienced orgasm or sexual pleasure after exercising 10 times or more.
To all our fellas, sorry, this condition seems to be far rarer in men.