Are Washboard Abs And Lean Muscle The Only Fitness Benefits?

It seems that most people I chat with tend to believe that the only focus of  fitness benefits is cutting some fat or building lean muscle. It’s hard for me to deny that this outcome is a big part of why we exercise, but have you taken a moment to consider how else you can benefit from consistent work outs and exercise?

There are several healthy benefits that you gain from exercising and I have captured five here, that largely go unnoticed, because of their sideline benefits. What I mean by this, is that when a lot of us engage in a fitness program we are thinking of only trimming down and toning-up for the most part. In fact, some of the benefits you gain from exercising have a larger impact on our overall wellbeing than the size of muscles we hope to build.

As you guessed, this category is related to exercise and here you will find fitness routines, sample workouts, and tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey. But, before we get too far ahead of things, let’s check out 5 awesome “somewhat unknown” fitness benefits.

Being Fit Can Make You Happier And Smarter

I don’t know about you, but I can use all the smarts and happiness I can get. Maybe you are working out to pack on muscle, build bigger biceps, or tone your butt. Perhaps you are working out to help scare off big ugly things like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.

The answer to all those things could be yes, but how about exercise to improve your mind? No, this does not mean you will sit silent in some isolated corner honing your Sudoku skills.

Harvard Med School Scientist, John Batey, says that “Exercise is the absolute single best activity that anyone can do to boost their memory, mood, and learning.” All it takes is about 10 minutes of exercise to have a positive effect on smarts and happiness.

Exercise Can Blast Away The Effects Of Stress

It’s said that exercising vigorously (think HIIT here) for 30 to 45 minutes can help ease tension by increasing brain friendly chemicals in your body like, norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. It is believed that this can also work at a targeted cellular level that can actually reverse (or at least slow down) the aging process.

A study performed at the University of California, San Francisco in 2010 reported that stressed-out participants who exercised with high intensity for a period of 45 minutes over three days showed fewer signs of aging over women who were stressed and inactive.

I know that when I hit the trail or get a good round of exercise in, I am always left feeling refreshed and stronger.

Good Fitness Can Lift Depression

There was a study in 2010 that found burning at least 350 calories three times per week through exercise, or sweat-inducing activity, can help reduce depression as well as some antidepressants. I am not suggesting that you scoff at your doctor’s orders, because depression is a serious condition a lot of people face.

However, adding exercise to your weekly life routines can help you feel better both physically and emotionally. This is a great complement to add to fighting depression.

Exercise Can Help Improve Learning

If I would have known this early on, I might have had better success in school. Exercising can help increase the level of awesome brain chemicals called: growth factors. These chemicals are known to build new brain cells and establish connections between cells. This growth process helps us to learn. It is thought that complicated activities provide a strong boost to this, so give something like basketball, high intensity interal training, or mountain biking a go.

How does this work exactly? You are basically challenging your brain to think about coordination and performing multiple, complex activities. Just like you have to stress muscles to make them grow, complex activities improve our capacity to learn by enhancing concentrations and attention skills.

Good Fitness Can Help Improve Self-esteem

This one is a big one. It’s hard for most of us to admit, but there are those of us out there that have some issues with self-esteem. It does not matter so much with regard to what is driving this, its more important to know that you can overcome the problem through exercise.

You don’t need to go through a huge body transformation to feel a boost in confidence from exercise. All you really need is to see some incremental improvement in your over-all fitness and you will have more confidence. This can be felt from achieving goals that previously eluded you such as running your first mile without stopping or improving your one rep max benchpress.

Whatever they achievement, is you will definitely feel a boost in confidence and walk taller with your head held high. Give it a shot. Set yourself a series of small goals and knock them off over a week or two or maybe a month. I am certain you will feel better.

Where Do You Go From Here?

These fitness benefits are just a drop in the bucket and represent just a few of the many rewards you can reap from staying consistent with exercise. The articles in the category should serve as inspiration and help you on your fitness journey.


I’ve assembled a fair amount of articles to get you on the way to looking better and feeling great. Check them out here and stay on the right patch to fintess success:

Fitness Articles: