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Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus

Why You Should Make Time for That Workout

Elle Woods famously said in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands!” 

But the benefits of exercise toward mental health and overall well-being are far more significant than just making you “happy.” 

It’s a long-known fact that exercise prompts the release of endorphins – the body’s natural feel-good hormones. As such, working out has an immediate mood-boosting effect. A common example is the “runner’s high,” which is a deeply euphoric state resulting from a continuous, intensive run.  

Exercise can do more than just offer a quick mood boost, though; it can have long-term positive impacts as well. On top of all the physical benefits of working out – such as lowering risk of disease, building muscle, and improving bone strength – here are a few reasons why you should commit to consistent workouts.

Consistent workouts help you form a schedule

Planning your day around a workout helps you form a schedule and become more organized. Even better, if you regularly exercise at the same time, you ultimately create a daily routine, which can help you become more productive. As an added benefit, sticking to a routine also helps many people sustain positive mental health!

Exercise can help relieve stress

If you’re exercising vigorously, you can relieve intense levels of stress. Activities such as kickboxing are especially effective in this regard as they channel stress into aggression, which can be appropriately and productively dispersed during the workout.

Exercise can help you manage anxiety

Exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. Often, it can distract you from causes of worry or anxiety, acting as an escape from real life…at least temporarily. 

Working out improves energy levels

Exercising regularly can help boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. It can help develop endurance to handle daily tasks, and it gives you an overall boost of energy. 

Regular exercise helps you form better sleep patterns

Exercise helps you fall asleep more easily and improves sleep quality as long as your workout isn’t taking place too close to bedtime. In order to improve sleep, you only need to engage in about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise five times a week. 

Working out has cognitive benefits

A study by the Harvard Business Review shows that regular exercise results in improved concentration, sharper memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina, and enhanced creativity. Your brain needs a workout just as much as your body does!

Additionally, exercising can help alleviate symptoms of cognitive illnesses like ADHD and narcolepsy

Exercise can actually be fun!

If the type of exercise you choose is something you don’t completely hate doing, it ultimately could become a source of great fun for you. Whether it’s a yoga class, a nostalgic sport, or any form of exercise that brings you joy, working out can be an activity that you genuinely find fun!

If you’re looking to reap the benefits of exercise, make sure to start off slow; working out every day isn’t healthy for beginners. The body needs rest just as much as it needs exercise! While working out has been scientifically proven to have these benefits, intensive exercise doesn’t work for everyone. Make sure to check in with your doctor before starting any exercise program, and, most importantly, don’t do anything that doesn’t feel right for you!

Rachel is a first year student at UPenn. She is planning to double major in Communications and Health & Societies. She is from Long Island, New York. She loves celebrity gossip, everything health and fitness related, and a great book.
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