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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercise

September 22, 2016

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While exercise has a myriad physical benefits that we’ve been taught since we were in elementary school, it also has a lot of positive mental side effects.

So before you hit that snooze button in the morning or plump down on the couch after work, take a look at these five surprising benefits of exercise.

1. Reduce Stress

When you participate in activity, whether it is cardio or strength training, your stress can be alleviated. Norepinephrine levels increase, which is related to improved thinking. This allows the brain to regulate control stress levels. If you’ve had a stressful day at work or in your personal life, try getting out for a jog or even a group class to reduce the negative effects of stress.

2. Improve Memory

Aerobic activity enlarges the hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory. Additionally, exercise reduces inflammation and insulin resistance and promotes the production of new brain cells. Have a big test coming up? Try working out before you study. It could improve your ability to retain the information.

3. Sleep Better

Exercising is a beneficial physical stressor. The brain makes up for it by prolonging your REM, or deep sleep. Exercise raises body temperature which then later falls, also making it easier to sleep.

4. Remedy Addiction

Those battling alcohol or drug addictions can find help in regular activity. Exercising on a consistent basis can help addicts get the high levels of endorphins they need to replace their usual vices. Exercising combats and can help remedy side effects like depression, insomnia and anxiety. Not only are you replacing a dangerous and harmful addiction with a healthy one, you’re helping yourself recover from the repercussions of giving up the addiction.

5. Increase Self-Confidence

The hormones released when working out control and improve happiness. This can lead to a higher sense of self-esteem and confidence. You’ll feel better about your body and mindset as you continue to develop a fitness routine.

Working out regularly, even for 15 to 20 minutes per day, helps your body and mind in many ways. It doesn’t require a fancy, costly gym either—it simply takes moving your body in some form of an activity that you enjoy.

Learn what works best for you and then set timers if you have to remind yourself that it’s workout time. Whatever you choose to do, regulate it and enjoy it.

Physical Activity Guidelines