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If you need some motivation to exercise, these benefits should do the trick.

Whether you love a good sweat session or you reluctantly get in a workout because you know you should, there’s no denying that exercise is good for your health. Countless studies back up claims that regular physical activity can help improve almost every aspect of your physical health. From strengthening your heart to making it less likely you’ll develop serious diseases, you already have loads of good reasons to get moving.

Women may be happy to find out that there are advantages of exercising that go beyond the obvious well-touted health benefits. Sure, it may be enough to know that getting your sweat on may help you live longer and stay trimmer. But adding these other unexpected benefits to the list may just be the icing on the cake.

6 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise
  1. Healthier-looking skin – You may think all that sweat might do a number on your complexion, but it turns out that exercise may be one of the strongest weapons in your skincare arsenal. Working out increases blood flow to your skin, which helps skin regenerate collagen. This keeps your skin looking younger and firmer as you age.
  2. Improved memory – As more blood flows to the brain, it helps your brain perform better. This may give your brain the boost it needs to remember things more easily – and what woman couldn’t benefit from a sharper memory? Regular exercise may also lower your risk of developing dementia.
  3. Better sleep – Being physically active during the day may help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep longer. It may also improve your sleep quality. For maximum effectiveness, however, don’t work out too close to bedtime or it may make it harder for you to get some shut-eye.
  4. Happier mood – Ever notice how good you feel after you get finished with a workout? That’s thanks to chemicals triggered in the brain like serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These help improve your mood and relieve stress. They also may dull pain and help you overcome anxiety.
  5. Stronger immunity – It’s not known exactly why exercise makes your immune system stronger but one theory is that exercise improves circulation, which allows immune cells to move more freely so they can do their job more efficiently. Getting regular exercise may help you ward off pesky viruses like the cold and flu.
  6. Slowed-down aging process – You may assume that exercise only makes you look younger, but it may actually slow down the aging process. One study looked at the length of telomeres (markers of aging at the ends of chromosomes) and found that people who exercised vigorously for more than 30 minutes 5 days a week had significantly longer telomeres than those who were moderately active or not active at all.

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Date Last Reviewed: July 19, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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