There are plenty of hidden health benefits of exercise. We often see write-ups about scientists being near to finishing developing a pill that simulates benefits from exercise. But the fact is, nothing can substitute a genuine workout. Not a drink, not food, and not a pill. Exercise not only strengthens muscles, protects bones, and generally improves your health, but there are a number of other benefits, some of which may not be obvious.
Here are 8 proven Hidden Health Benefits of Exercise that you may find surprising.
- Better Sex
Regular exercise works like a Viagra pill for men. Exercising regularly means you will be at a low risk for erectile dysfunction. Idle middle-aged men according to a study from Archives of Sexual Behavior were asked to participate in a rigorous exercise program for the duration of nine months and they reported more sexual activity, greater satisfaction, and sexual function. With Women, the study states women who were active reported better arousal, satisfaction, and sexual desire than those who remained regularly idle.
The best explanation for these finding is in the increased blood flow. It should be mentioned that a better self-image may also have something to do with it too, since men and women that exercise may happen to feel more sexually desirable, and that most likely leads to better sex. What also adds to this is better stamina, strength, and flexibility. At the same time, strength training increases testosterone which leads to better a sex drive for men and even women, although overtraining can do the opposite according to another recent study called Endurance Exercise Training and Male Sexual Libido, which stated: Men who do vigorous exercise on a regular basis tend to have a lower libido. The good thing is if you are not a professional athlete or similar it’s not something you will need to worry much about.
- Better Sleep
The correlation between exercise and sleep has been studied thoroughly. In 66 studies about the two, it has been concluded that exercising is akin to behavioral therapy or sleep medication. Increasing sleep duration and helping one fall asleep easier. The suspected reasons are that exercise affects metabolic rate, body temp, and helps with anxiety levels. It should also be mentioned that it has not been confirmed that exercising late in the evening can cause problems with your sleep. A small study found that vigorous aerobic exercise two hours before a person’s bedtime did not disrupt their ability to sleep and sleep well in the process.
- Better Immunity
Another of the hidden health benefits of exercise has scientific evidence to back it up. A number of studies have attributed a lower risk of colds to regular exercise. One study of 1,000 adults for 90 days saw that those who exercised at least 5 days or more a week were around half as likely to catch a cold as those who don’t exercise. Find out how simple body weight workouts can be done at home. It also found that when the active group did get sick they had less severe forms of their colds than the non-active sect. These studies have also been caveated by other randomized trials on colds and exercise. However just like strength training too much exercise can break down the system and allow you to be more liable to get sick.
- Better Eye Health
Don’t be mistaken and think this is about doing eye exercises. Research has shown that regular exercise helps a person be much less likely to get cataracts than their counterparts who don’t exercise. Nearly 50,000 runners and walkers were studied and it was found that the more vigorous participants were 42 percent less likely to develop cataracts than the lesser active participants. The same research uncovered a similar benefit for (AMD) age-related macular degeneration, a top cause of vision loss, after a study of almost 42,000 runners. This research showed the more people ran the more their risk of AMD dropped down.
- Better Protection Against Hearing Loss
More than 68,000 female nurses were followed for 20 years during a study that found after walking at least two hours a week they were less likely to suffer hearing loss. At the same time, better cardiovascular levels coincide with better hearing. Researchers haven’t figured out the precise reason for this but their thoughts are that physical activity improves blood flow to the cochlea, which is in your inner ear and converts sound waves into nerve signals to the brain.
- Better Urination Health
A study of middle-aged female nurses found that there were lower urinary incontinence rates of active women as opposed to those who were not active. Older nurses were also examined in a similar study and virtually the same results were found. Middle-aged men can often suffer from nocturia (the need to get up more than once a night to pee), which is mainly caused by an enlarged prostate. For men, a large study of men with BPH (Benign prostatic hyperplasia: A common, noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. The enlarged prostate may compress the urinary tube (urethra), which courses through the center of the prostate, impeding the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside.) concluded that men who were active for one or more hours a week reported less nocturia than those who were idle.
- Fighting Anxiety
You can go into a workout feeling extremely stressed and anxious but by the end, you will often feel mentally strong and positive. According to a recent Princeton University study exercise seems to change the chemistry of the brain by causing the release of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps quiet brain activity and minimizes anxiety. The study also found that people who ran regularly had a low reaction to stressful situations, even if they hadn’t run in more than 24 hours.
- Other Benefits
Exercise releases endorphin’s that offer all kinds of benefits and leave you feeling at the top of your game for any occasion. Feeling stronger physically translates to being stronger mentally, and in today’s world that’s nearly a necessity.
You’ve cut your cancer risk. In a study of more than 14,800 women, those who had the highest levels of aerobic fitness were 55 percent less likely to die from breast cancer than those who were sedentary. Women considered moderately fit had about a 33 percent lower risk of developing the disease. Exercise may also help protect against endometrial, lung, and ovarian cancer, researchers say.
The Hidden Health Benefits of Exercise is important for a satisfying life
Exercise also fights against both sedentary time spent sitting at a desk or driving to and from work in traffic and another form of “transit time” which is how long food takes to get through the digestive tract. Try a muscle building push-up routine I put together for you.