The Top 10 Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise is defined as any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories.

There are many types of physical activity, including swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing, to name a few.

Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer (1Trusted Source).

Here are the top 10 ways regular exercise benefits your body and brain.

1. Exercise can make you feel happier

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress (2Trusted Source).

It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression (3Trusted Source).

Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain (Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is. It seems that exercise can benefit your mood no matter the intensity of the physical activity.

In fact, in a study in 24 women diagnosed with depression, exercise of any intensity significantly decreased feelings of depression (4Trusted Source).

The effects of exercise on mood are so powerful that choosing to exercise (or not) even makes a difference over short periods of time.

One review of 19 studies found that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, even after only a few weeks (5Trusted Source).

2.Exercise can help with weight loss

Some studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure (spending).

Your body spends energy in three ways:

  • digesting food
  • exercising
  • maintaining body functions, like your heartbeat and breathing

While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which can temporarily delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which can burn more calories to help you lose weight (Trusted Source6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off and maintaining lean muscle mas