1. Exercise gives you energy. Since I started exercising more I’ve noticed that I have more energy to spend. It’s like the old saying “you’ve gotta spend money to make money.” It’s the same with your energy. If you want more energy, you’ve got to spend more of it.
2. It keeps your appetite in check. Regular exercise affects 3 hormones that determine how much you hungry. It regulates leptin, ghrelin, and cortisol. Leptin regulates how hungry we are in the long term. Too little of it and we are hungry more often, while too much of it can lead to leptin resistance. Ghrelin regulates our hunger from hour to hour. When it is high we become very hungry. Exercise can help keep it low. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is raised with short intense exercises, but those same exercises also lower ghrelin. Low impact exercises such as walking are shown to lower cortisol.
Aside from that, when you exercise regularly you’ll feel less inclined to mess up your hard work by eating junk food.
3. It normalizes your melatonin and sleep pattern. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. It is suppressed by light and stimulated by darkness. Melatonin not only helps us sleep better but also helps repair muscle as well.
4. Allows more tryptophan to the brain. Serotonin is derived from tryptophan when it reaches the brain. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and therefore delivers more tryptophan. Tryptophan comes mainly from meat, dairy, eggs, and can also be found in pretzels and popcorn.
5. Makes you feel better. Exercise is a great way to take your mind off of stressful things. It distracts you from negative thoughts. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment when you’re finished your workout. To me nothing feels better than finishing the set of lifting weights. Nothing can take away all the hard work you’ve put into yourself. It’s also a great way to meet people that have similar goals and experiences as you. Also doesn’t have to be a solitary work out you can meet people by joining teams or classes.
The most important thing, however, is to find an exercise that you enjoy doing by yourself or in a group. This is the best way to make sure that you will keep at it in the long run. People who don’t do exercise they enjoy, at best don’t make gains, or more commonly just give up. So whether to lifting weights, playing basketball or doing tai chi, keep at it.