Most of us focus on the physical benefits of exercise. Increased muscle strength, decreased body fat, more endurance, and even better blood pressure. Anyone who exercises regularly also knows that there are also many mental benefits to exercise, we generally feel less stressed and are in a better mood after a workout. Exercise can make you feel better about your body and boost your self-confidence, which can also help increase your mood.
There are studies showing that just 30 minutes of physical activity can be as effective as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications in some people. However, what many people are not aware of is the that exercise has recently been linked to increased cognitive function (brain power). There have been several studies showing that exercise is essential to protect memory and cognitive processes in older people, but a new study shows that exercise can actually improve brain function in younger adults. In the study, women aged 18 to 30 showed increased oxygen availability in their brains with regular exercise. Increased oxygen is associated with optimal brain function.
I don't know about you, but I certainly have a greater respect for my mental game over the past few years. I know I'm nowhere near "old" but I certainly don't remember things like I used to. Bringing my mental A game seems to be getting harder despite the fact that I don't really feel any older. So unless you plan on retiring when you're 30, investing a little time each day in some physical activity will help keep your brain (and your body) young. It's definitely time to think twice about skipping your daily sweat session.