When people hear the words “exercise” and “health” used together in a sentence, they usually have one of two responses. The first response comes from the person who is active and regularly moving, and it is one of peaked interest in what is about to be said. The second response is a sort of knee-jerk reaction that comes from the person who does not regularly exercise, and does not want to hear about more reasons he or she should start. The truth is, as we learn more and more about the body and how it responds to exercise, we are finding more and more reasons why we should be exercising regularly, and fewer and fewer excuses to not be exercising. With all of this in mind, here are a few more benefits of exercise you might not have heard of before to help motivate you to exercise, whether you are already or not. 

Exercise Increases Neuroplasticity, Decreases Cognitive Decline.

Exercise, specifically high intensity training has been shown to significantly increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).1 BDNF is a protein that supports the survival of neurons, as well as encouraging the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses. Subsequently, increased levels of BDNF in the brain has been shown to be associated with slower rates of cognitive decline in older adults.2

Muscle Contraction Associated With Exercise Promotes Flushing of Toxins (Lymph Flow).

Muscle contractions during physical activity have been shown to aid in the flow of lymph, which, unlike blood, does not have a pump system, and moves only when we do.3 The takeaway? The more you move, the more your body is exercising its capacity to flush toxins. 

Exercise Relieves Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety.

Through a number of means, including the release of neurotransmitters, endorphins and cannabinoids, and reducing immune system chemicals, exercise has shown to decrease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.4

For many people, the hardest part in beginning to exercise is finding a community that makes exercising easier. It is extremely hard to follow a consistent exercise regiment on your own, which is why we place such an emphasis on creating and fostering a community of people at The Health Factory that, together, encourage and motivate one another to strive in every state of health. With knowledge of the numerous health benefits of exercise as well as the opportunities to join a community of people motivated to improving their health and wellness, we hope that you will find a way to start moving in a way that enhances your health!

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26472862
2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26819457
3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26283382
4 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495