When you hear the word “gym,” you may think about building muscle, losing weight or boosting your cardiovascular system. These are all definitely benefits you can reap from hitting the weights or jumping on the treadmill. But did you know there are other advantages? Keep reading to learn about 5 other benefits of going to the gym.
1. It Reduces Your Dementia Risk
Degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s can be an unfortunate part of growing old. Although working out can’t cure an aging brain, it can help fortify it against cognitive decline. Working out, especially if you’re between age 25 and 45, boosts chemicals that protect the brain’s memory and learning centers.
In fact, regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing the disease by a whopping 50 percent.
2. It Helps You Quit Smoking
Working out is a secret weapon that hinders those nasty nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Even moderately exercising can immediately reduce nicotine cravings. Exercise’s feel-good sensations are akin to those from nicotine, and could replace your cigarette cravings. Exercising can also help you focus on forming a new, positive habit, rather than trying to resist an old, negative one.
3. It Improves Your Skin’s Health
Are you plagued by acne, eczema or an uneven complexion? Believe it or not, sweating purges grime and impurities, as well as expelling free radicals. It can even prevent harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and staphylococcus, from lingering and growing on your skin.
Anything that supports healthy circulation will help keep your skin radiant. Working out encourages blood flow, which nourishes skin cells and keeps wrinkles at bay. It carries oxygen and nutrients. There really is such a thing as a post-workout glow.
4. It Reduces Migraines and Headaches
Endorphins, “feel-good” chemicals, are also the body’s natural painkillers. When they’re released, they reduce stress and enhance sleep. This helps migraines and headaches because stress and insufficient sleep are two major triggers. As a matter of fact, exercise can be an effective alternative to prescription medication in decreasing migraine frequency.
5. It Amps Up Creativity
A workout is one of the best ways to combat a creative block. Exercise-related changes in the brain stimulate new ideas, stir the imagination and develop new brain cells. Aerobic workouts are particularly effective in boosting creativity.
Exercise is associated with the two components of creative thinking: the ability to devise multiple solutions for one problem and one solution for one problem.
The gym isn’t only a place to lift weights, improve your cardio or even get those abs in shape. It’s a place to keep your brain sharp, kick the smoking habit, rejuvenate your skin, soothe migraines and befriend your creative muse. And it doesn’t even require a prescription!