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Five reasons exercise is food for your soul

Posted in Fitness Research

If there was a new drug that reduced anxiety, suppressed urges to overeat, and gave you more self-confidence, would you take it? What if it also helped you be more productive and made it easier to relax? Exercise is that drug. It’s free, and while you’re getting physical results you’re also freeing your mind.

Five reasons exercise is food for your soul:

  1. Exercise reduces stress and alleviates anxiety

Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria, and studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms in people who are clinically depressed. A brisk walk, a group fitness class or yoga all help your body and your sense of wellbeing. And remember, you don’t need to slog it out at the gym for hours, 20 minutes a day is ideal.

  1. Exercise improves self-confidence

We know that as soon as people start exercising, they feel better about themselves. Regardless of weight, size, gender or age, exercise immediately increases our self-esteem and gives us a more positive self-image. Moving matters.

  1. Exercise helps to control food cravings

Physical activity prompts our bodies to release dopamine, the “reward chemical” associated with pleasure – meaning we are less likely to crave sugary foods. Exercise is the ultimate solution to help manage food addictions. You’ll do your body the world of good, and the psychological benefits enable you to better manage the longings for a sugar hit, so you win twice.

  1. Exercise increases our ability to relax

For some people, a moderate workout can provide the same effect as a sleeping pill – even for those with insomnia. Being active enables our bodies to operate on a cycle of work, rest, recover and can lead to improved sleep.

  1. Exercise helps us get more done

Research shows that employees who undertake regular exercise are more productive and have more energy than those who sit at their desks all day long. It’s counterintuitive that taking time away from your desk will help you achieve more at your desk, but it’s true! Being physically fit also helps us stay mentally sharp.

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