You already know the physical reasons why you should exercise: better cardiovascular health, endorphins, more energy and improved mood. Here are some other reasons you should find some physical activity at least 30 minutes, three times per week:
- Type A personalities – can become more Type B
- Decreases depression and anxiety – can be as effective as antidepressants or psychotherapy
- Protects against anxiety and depression
- More resilient to stress
- Enhances learning and emotional control
- Autism – improves behavior and decreases internal noise
- Attention deficit disorder – activates the part of the brain that’s “sleepy” in ADD
- Better impulse control and aggressive behavior
- Improves cognition – keeps your mind sharp as you age and may enhance academic performance in youth
- Improves quality of life
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves sleep quality
Now that I’ve tripled the reasons for you to exercise, and said that it only takes 30 minutes, three times per week, will you do it? If I told you it doesn’t have to be the sweaty, stinky, boring treadmill at the gym, it can be a brisk walk in a beautiful park, ballroom dancing with your sweetheart, or climbing the stairs at work, would you do it? I thought so.
Sources: John Ratey, Spark; Mutrie, N., & Faulkner, G. (2004). Physical activity: Positive psychology in motion. In P. A. Linley & S. Joseph (Eds.), Positive psychology in practice (pp. 146-164). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.