by Sara Rice
Have you ever caught yourself thinking – I only have time to workout once this week… so what’s the point? Well, it turns out that although we always recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, there are some immediate benefits to one bout of exercise that you will feel during and after. Becoming aware of these motivates and encourages you to keep going, or to make exercise a habit.
Below are a few of the benefits that exercise can immediately provide!
- Within the first 10 minutes of exercising you will increase the amount of blood flowing to your brain, helping you become more focused, alert, and blocking pain signals. More blood flowing to the brain can help you problem-solve better, making a quick 10 – 15 minute exercise session the perfect solution to the midday slump.
- Exercise triggers a surge of chemical messengers in the brain called neurotransmitters and includes endorphins, also known as the “happiness hormones” The more effort exerted during exercise, the more endorphins are released. The sense of accomplishment after finishing a workout will also leave you feeling happier and more productive.
- Increases your body temperature. Your body produces more heat during exercise and can remain elevated for some time afterward. As we transition into the cooler months, exercising can help keep us warm!
- Getting active can help reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and fatigue. About 5 – 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate an elevated mood.
- Exercise allows static muscles to warm up and function the way they were intended to. Our bodies were made to move and be active. If we have a job that requires a lot of sitting our muscles can become stagnant and sore, moving can help relieve soreness/tightness and help lengthen the muscles so they can return to more optimal function.
- It might just encourage and motivate you to find time for another workout that week as well! If you end up feeling better after you exercise it can encourage you to find time to exercise again, even if you thought it wasn’t possible before.
Although long-term, consistent exercising will lead to the most benefits, the little victories that we feel immediately following will keep us striving and wanting more. When just beginning an exercise program, it can feel daunting to schedule time to exercise every day. If 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week just isn’t doable for you right now, dedicate 1 day, then 2, feel the immediate rewards, and go from there. Something is always better than nothing when it comes to moving your body and putting your health first.