The immediate benefits of exercise
It's no secret that donning the Lycra and heading out to the gym to work up a sweat are excellent ways of to keep ourselves both physically and mentally in shape. Of course, the act of lifting ourselves from the settee and actually getting active is another matter, especially when we don't see or feel any visual benefits immediately.
Because the human mind is programmed from birth to get excited about gratification in the short-term, rather than looking at the bigger picture, it can be tough to remain motivated to pump the iron or swim a few lengths. The truth of the matter, though, is that there are several short-term benefits to exercising that you may not even realise.
By embarking on a fitness course at the Australian College of Fitness & Bodywork, you'll learn about the vast range of exercise benefits on one of our dedicated programs, so take a look and see what we can do for you.
Fit body, fit mind
You don't have to run a marathon or do countless lengths of the pool in order to spend the rest of the day with a smile on your face. Half-an-hour's jog should be plenty in order to give your mood a nice little boost, and what's more, you don't even have to go all out to release those all-important endorphins. Furthermore, pushing yourself beyond your fabled red zone (that is, going too hard) can even mean your happy feeling is delayed, or my never arrive at all.
"The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong," states Professor Michael Otto of Boston University.
"Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect."
If you aren't sleeping too well, one of the causes could lie in the fact that you aren't getting enough exercise. The good news is that both cardio and strength training work well in sending you to Dreamland. Cardio is the more effective, however, especially if undertaken in the morning. A study found that those that run or swim in the hours of the AM fall asleep faster, for longer, and were uninterrupted. What's more, that morning's exercise's sleep benefits often run into the following night.
Those endorphins released that make us feel so great after a workout can also help us during a workout – they can give confidence a timely boost if you're feeling low. Imagine that you have set yourself a target before embarking on an exercise regime, such as managing 15 uninterrupted press-ups. You may barely be able to manage three when you first start out, but with perseverance, those repetitions will become easy. And how good will feel once you've achieved that? Next step: 25 press-ups!