It is no secret that exercise has numerous benefits for our body and our mind. Going beyond the idea of losing weight and getting into shape, physical activity helps with depression, decreases heart disease and cancer risks, helps with osteoporosis and just overall makes us feel better.
Exercise is one of the critical aspects highlighted in the Women’s Health Week Initiative from the Office of Women’s Health, along with nutrition, being safe, following up with our health through doctor visits, and taking care of our mental health.
The 5 additional benefits of exercise that should get us moving:
1.- Dance like there is no tomorrow! According to the Alzheimer’s Association, physical activity “improves cognitive function in healthy elderly persons, and potentially reduces the risk of developing cognitive impairment”. For those of us who have danced to Salsa (even if we dance with our two left feet) know that being graceful is great exercise!
2.- Move over, Miss America! Working out, --whether dancing, walking or lifting weights makes one feel energized. The increase of self-esteem and feeling good also brings our beauty within, regardless of our weight, physical condition or appearance. Exercise enhances the blood flow to your skin and makes it glow because sweating helps unclog our pores. Feeling beautiful is also about being happy with ourselves. Tips on how to manage our happiness can be found here.
3.- Enjoying the sunset and that trip to the bathroom. Studies show that exercise improves our digestion by strengthening our abdominal muscles. Regular exercise can help us keep ‘things’ regular. You’ll be amazed what a short, 20 minute walk after dinner can do for you!
4.- Getting in the groove and being productive. Exercise decreases stress by reducing cortisol and increasing endorphins, the body’s “feel good” hormone-like substance. These endorphins also help ease depression. As far as anxiety, exercise raises your body temperature, which has been shown to calm nerves. Additional information on how to reduce stress can be found here.
5.- Clearing that ‘London-like’ mind fog. With stress and anxiety out of the way, clarity tends to kick in. According to a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, employees who exercise regularly not only increased their productivity, but increased their ability to manage time. Nothing better than a crisp mind to get into the flow, focus and complete the task at hand! To learn more on increasing flow and mindfulness click here.
From the Office of Women's Health, the benefits of moving summarized!
About the Doris A. Howell Foundation:
The Doris A. Howell Foundation for Women’s Health Research is committed to keeping the women we love healthy, advancing women’s health through research and educating women to be catalysts for improving family health in the community.
The organization does so by funding scholarships to students researching issues affecting women’s health; providing a forum for medical experts, scientists, doctors, and researchers to convey timely information on topics relevant to women’s health and the health of their families through its Lecture and Evening Series, and by funding research initiatives that improve the health of under-served women and increase awareness and advocacy in the community.