3 Unexpected Benefits of Regular Exercise

We all know that exercise is essential to having good health and living a happy and long life. There is no doubt that there are a whole slew of benefits to exercising regularly. A few that everyone seems to know are: increased metabolism, feeling happy, lower blood pressure, good heart health, more energy, improved sleep, weight management and many more.

There are three additional benefits of exercise that this article is going to address. All three are commonly acknowledged by medical professionals, but not often recognized by the general public.

Basal Metabolic Rate

First, you can eat more! Our bodies require a minimum number of calories in order to carry out its basic daily functions such as digestion and pumping blood throughout the body. This is known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and is calculated according to how many calories you burn if you were stayed in bed all day.

Most adults have an average BMR between 1200 and 1800 calories. However, exact calculations are based on your age, weight, and gender. Now, in order to find out how many calories you need a day to maintain your weight, you must factor in lifestyle (sedentary, moderately active, or very active).

If you are very active, you will burn even more calories on top of those burned based on your BMR. For every extra calorie you burn, you need to eat a calorie to replace it. Say you have a BMR of 1300 and you live a moderately active lifestyle and burn an extra 600 calories a day as you go about your regular duties such as getting ready for the day, cleaning, shopping, and of course exercise.

You would therefore need to eat 1900 calories a day to maintain your weight. If you removed the exercise from that, you may only be able to eat between 1600 and 1700 calories a day, which would make it very easy to gain weight.

Meditation

Meditation is a skill that has to be developed, but has many incredible benefits to our minds and bodies.  Meditation in any form is the act of clearing your mind of outside influences and seeing things as they are, in the moment (or mindfulness). When we are exercising, especially for intense exercise, our minds become consumed with the analysis of our body movements.

Pay attention the next time you decide to go for a long jog. After about the first minute you have trouble thinking about anything outside of the movements of your feet, legs and arms. Therefore, exercise not only is not only great for our physical well-being, but for our mental well-being as well.

By letting your physical reactions take over, your brain is able to be free to think of only what is the most immediate problem, the exercise, and forget all about outside troubles. It’s like giving yourself a brain massage. It’s pretty clear to see how exercise can improve your self-confidence.

Endorphins

There are both scientific and abstract reasons as to why this is so. Scientifically speaking, exercise releases endorphins (the happiness hormone), into your body. Therefore, we feel happy and have more confidence in ourselves. But exercise also gives us a huge feeling of accomplishment. Most people feel pleased when they have been proactive at taking care of their own bodies. This self-confidence about one aspect of our lives will seep into other aspects.

[box type=”note”]Next time you are sitting down, contemplating doing some exercise, think about all the benefits you will receive from it. And remember that there are many benefits that you haven’t even begun to recognize yet.[/box]

About the Author

Natalie Clive writes for My Colleges and Careers, an online education hub with tools that help prospective students find online colleges, is a one-stop resource for all your education questions. Tools on the site allow potential students to search for online courses and learn about different online degree programs.

Contributing Author

This post was written by contributing author at Hive Health Media. If you would like to write for us about health, fitness, or blogging topics, click here.

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