Benefits of exercise which are not necessarily related to weight loss:

 

We are designed to move. The human body has over 600 individual skeletal muscles which not only provide us with an ability to move from one point to another but also help maintain body's integrity by providing biofeedback signals.  

People often believe that the benefit of movement is burning energy or calories which is true. However, moving muscles provides tremendous additional benefits. 

Below are a few of many Mind, Body and Spirit benefits of exercise which are beyond weight loss

 

  1. Mind   

    1. Brain Boost - Exercise releases a neurochemical BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) alpha in the brain which works as miracle grow for the brain. This leads to improved attention span, cognitive function and neuroprotection. 

    2. Antidepressant effect - Exercise improves the function of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. Dopamine plays a key role in mood improvement and helps us with a sense of well-being. 

    3. Improved Sleep - Physical exercise tones muscles and leads to natural improvement in sleep quality. 

    4. Creativity - Creative ideas are easy to come by during physical exercise and moments of reflection while the body is doing its work, which is to move. 

  2. Body 

    1. Skin Tone - Exercise helps improve circulation in the skin and improve skin tone and appearance.

    2. Muscle Tone - Physical exercise naturally increases muscle circulation thereby not only improving function and strength but also tone. This helps maintain posture and avoid age-related posture problems.

    3. Flexibility - Engagement of muscles during exercise can improve flexibility and this helps prevent aches and pains related to stiffness.

    4. Lymph flow - As our circulation system starts to become inefficient with age-related wear and tear, exercise helps improve circulation and lymph flow. Benefits are seen in terms of decreased soft tissue swelling. 

  3. Spirit

    1. Insightfulness - Exercise helps us learn about our physical and mental capacity and ability to push ourselves. Many people discover what they are capable of doing which they didn't know before. 

    2. Inner peace - Exercise improves inner peace by providing bio-feedback and positive reinforcement. 

    3. Self-esteem - Exercise restores our self-confidence and when we find out that we are capable of descipline even when there is no immediate obligation to do so, it improves our self-esteem.

    4. Connectivity with the Universe - Lastly but most importantly, exercise, especially outdoor exercise provides us with tremendous and priceless opportunity to connect with the universe. Those who experience this, become addicted to exercise. And this is the best addiction one can have. 

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