At Verily, we view exercise not as a means to drop jean sizes, but as part of a lifelong commitment to be strong, healthy, and happy women. And while exercise has plenty of awesome long-term benefits like boosting your immune system and maintaining a healthy heart, it has some great short-term benefits, too. Here are some of the immediate benefits of working out for that extra bit of motivation to get moving even when you don't feel like it. Because when you lose all of your excuses, you find all of your results.
01. You'll be on top of your productivity game.
Research found that participants who completed 15 minutes of moderate intensity stationary cycling led to faster reaction times on working memory tasks immediately after the exercise. Their findings suggest that acute bouts of cardiovascular exercise may make the distribution of attentional and memory resources more efficient, thereby benefiting executive functioning. Even cooler? Moderate exercise holds immediate benefits for cognitive performance regardless of age!
02. You'll be more confident.
Don't underestimate the role that exercise can play in your mental health? A study surveying almost 2,000 young people through 23 trials found that regular exercise significantly boosted their self-esteem. Exercise especially benefited those who showed signs of anxiety and depression.
03. You'll boost your metabolism.
Lifting weights or doing aerobic exercise boosts your metabolism—your body's ability to convert calories into energy—within minutes. Research shows that doing high-intensity interval workouts maximizes your metabolic profile by putting pressure on your metabolism to work harder, even well after you've finished your workout.
04. You'll walk out happy.
It only takes 20 minutes of moderate cardio to boost your mood (thanks, endorphins!). A study investigated college students jogging at three different intensities: low, medium, and high. Contrary to what was expected, there was no significant difference between exercise intensity and post-mood benefits. Regardless of the low- or moderate-intensity, participants reported that they felt better after exercising. There was, however, a significant difference in fatigue scores.
So if you're tired and feel like you can only give 50 percent on the elliptical today, know you'll hop off feeling great anyway! You can even increase the mood benefits of exercise by listening to your favorite jams. Another study found that enjoyable distractions during exercise adds to the intensity of positive mood after your workout.
05. You'll have glowing skin.
There's nothing like a good workout for rosy cheeks. A rise in your body's temperature increases skin blood flow. As your body works to regulate the heat emanating from your core, you'll benefit by having a healthy dewy glow.
06. You'll sleep really well tonight.
When participants in a study were found to meet the recommended amount of daily exercise (a little over 20 minutes a day), 65 percent reported having better sleep compared to those who did not meet the minimum requirement. Working out also leads to a deeper sleep as your muscles repair whilst you snooze.