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What happens to my body, and mind, when I exercise?

Posted by John Cawley on

What happens to my body, and mind, when I exercise?

There are numerous health and wellbeing benefits of regular exercise and the main one is that you produce more ATP, but what is ATP? All of the  cells in the human body use ATP, (adenosine triphosphate) to power almost all activities. These activities include muscle contraction, protein construction, transportation of substrates, communication with other cells, activating heat control mechanisms as well as many other important physiological functions. The more ATP your body creates will boost energy levels and support heart function, the digestive system, and joint health.

Each time you exercise you need to breathe more and take in extra oxygen in your lungs to distribute to other parts of your body including your brain. This makes you feel better and as you do exercise more often you can function better and do more in your day to day activities, due to an increase in energy. Exercise helps people lose weight and lower the risk of some diseases,  including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Regular exercise helps you sleep better, it has been scientifically proven that regular exercise will help you have more effective sleep on a regular basis. Exercise also increases levels of the protein brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps your brain change by nourishing your neurons and helping new ones grow. Have you ever felt like your mind is super clear and sharp after a workout? That's the BDNF working its magic.

Exercise can have a huge impact on relieving stress when done correctly and include a lot of good movement and not over-do it on the high intensity cardio. Good exercise reduces levels of your body's stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol and it stimulates the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers and mood elevators. Not only do we feel less stressed out and sometimes euphoric when we exercise, but studies show that these aren't just short-term chemical effects in the brain. Regular exercise has a long-term effect on anxiety and overall happiness.

Regular exercise will help you improve your confidence and also enhance your creativity and problem solving skills.  Exercise improves divergent thinking, meaning it encourages new ideas to be generated, this is due to the fact that studies have proved that regular movement and exercise help us overcome mental blocks and a lack of inspiration. There are so many benefits of regular exercise but the most important part is to do exercise with intention and mindfulness, don’t expect the benefits described above overnight and it’s not just about building muscle or losing weight.


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