Some people do it for banging abs. Some people do it for macaroni and cheese binge sessions. Some people do it to impress their ex-boyfriends. Others to prove to themselves they can beat their own personal records.
Whatever our reasons for working out, there’s one very simple, and very important benefit that we often forget: mental health. Yes, your countless hours at the gym may reap you amazing rewards– break the internet, girlfriend– but we think the real success metric should be how working out is affecting our minds, not just our waist sizes.
If there’s one thing we know to be true, anything revolving around weight, exercise and personal health is well, personal. One girl’s idea of a great workout, may not be another’s. This often leads to intimidation and self-doubt.
If the scale doesn’t show results we wanted, did we even really work out at all? Let’s squash this mentality by exploring all the exercise benefits beyond the archaic number counting games. There’s a lot more to getting your sweat on than just a perfect “bikini body” and it all starts with your most precious body part– your brain.
We’ve teamed up with Crunch Live, the gym best known for its cutting-edge classes that now lets you get fit on the fly with online workouts, to help you get those endorphins pumping.
1. You’ll sleep better.
Hallelujah. Recently the National Sleep Foundation released a study that stated those who vigorously exercised daily had an overall better night sleep. And we can believe why. The more activity, the more tired you’ll be later on. Well rested, well deserved. For an ultimate full body work out, check out Crunch Live’s Total Body Bootcamp video here.
2. You can de-stress.
College. is. stressful. No doubt about it. By spending some extra time exercising you can “fuel your stress buffers.” AKA: Increase norepinephrine, a chemical that moderates the brains response to stress.
3. It’ll stop your anxiety.
We all know there’s a major difference between being anxious and having anxiety, and feeling anything on that spectrum will make you want to scream. By hitting the gym there are biological effects such as releasing more endorphins and norepinephrine into your system, but it also allows you to take your mind off of the source of your anxiety. By carving out a little “me time”, you can come back with a better perspective.
4. Your mood will be brighter.
According to Mayo Clinic, working out helps boost the production of endorphins in your brain. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to let us know exercising puts us in a cheerier mood. Having time to relax, think and zone out– hello, runner’s high– we’re naturally happier. Want double the happiness? Check out super fun dance cardio workouts like Bellatone, where you can exercise and shake it at the same time.
5. It’s a great time management tool.
Between homework, school, extra-circulars and having a life, it’s easy to feel like you have no time. But by always leaving space in your day to get a work out in you’ll not only reap all the benefits above, but you’ll figure out how to shift your other responsibilities around and make time for everything. Exercise is worth shifting stuff around for, Netflix (is almost always) not worth it. Feel like you’re actually too busy to work out? Exercise at home, on your computer using these fun online workout videos.
6. It’ll give you confidence.
It’s amazing how a quick workout will transform how you feel about yourself. It’s almost like you’re wearing a sign that says, “Yes! I just ran 5 miles today. Can’t you tell?” In reality, you may not look too different, but damn you feel like a rockstar.
Get off your couch and out of your mind with Crunch Live! For a limited time Crunch Live is giving all Lala readers a discount code for a 30-day free trial. Use the code Lala30 here.