It’s starting to get warm outside, so the full-on glow of your sweat sessions are really starting to happen. But what really happens when you exercise, and why is it important that you get that sweat dripping and heart pumping?
From the moment you step into your favorite fitness class or clip into your bike, awesome things are happening in your body. Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown, sport psychologist and owner of Fly | A Fitness Revolution, lists the top 5 reasons you want to keep that sweat session going this spring.
- You’re smarter. With exercise, you have increased blood flow to the brain, which helps you think more clearly, feel more balanced and make better decisions. Ever have an amazing epiphany in the middle of a super strenuous workout? Guess what? That’s not just a coincidence. The clarity in your brain is for real. Jenni explains that this is due to increased activity in your hippocampus. “When you exercise and sweat, you increase blood flow to the brain and specifically your hippocampus, which is responsible for controlling emotion and memory,” she says.
- You’ll sleep like a baby. Tired all day? Regular sweat sessions have a positive effect on your sleep, making it easier to not only fall asleep but to stay asleep as well, according to research.
- You can lift your mood. You might have heard about the “endorphin high” during workouts, which is actually a very powerful hormone that has been studied for its psychological and physiological effects as they flood the body. After as little as 15 minutes of intense exercise, you can experience “the body’s natural opiods”. These endorphins lift a person’s mood for up to a full 24 hours after a workout. There is an abundance of research that shows endorphins help with a person’s quality of sleep, recovery time and overall mood long term.
- You decrease your stress and anxiety. Just as you increase your mood, you lower your stress. Sweating it out isn’t just a metaphor. Jenni says that there is ample research showing that the combination of the release of positive brain chemicals such as endorphins and the increase in body temperature can not only decrease stress but increase certain negative immune system chemicals as well to lower your anxiety.
- Your skin glows. Research has shown that a consistent exercise program and sweating it out in your favorite class can help you prevent against signs of signs of aging. Good news: that awesome glowy skin you have post-workout? It’s not just temporary.
Some days are harder than others to find the motivation to workout. Think about what you’re doing for your entire body beyond building physical strength every time you book your favorite class. Lift up your body and your mind with 45 minutes of workout wonder at Fly.