It’s no secret– exercise is good for you. Sure exercise builds strong muscles and helps with weight loss but there are plenty of other benefits to exercising regularly that deserve some recognition. Regardless of age or fitness level just a little exercise each day can boost brain function and provide some serious mental health benefits.

Here are 5 benefits to working out regularly:

  1. Reduce Stress: One of the best ways to combat stress is through exercise. Even just a quick walk around the block can leave you feeling so much better. Exercise increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress.
  2. Improve Memory: Many studies have shown that exercise can help boost your memory. When you increase the blood flow throughout your body you are also increasing the blood flow in your brain. Therefore, when you exercise your brain gets more energy and oxygen. You can literally think clearer after exercising.
  3. Improve Self-Confidence: A bit of confidence can go a long way. Exercising regularly can help you feel more accomplished. Even if you’re not getting the results that you expect, working out will leave you feeling like a million bucks.
  4. You’ll Sleep Better: If you have trouble sleeping, studies have shown that exercising regularly can help you sleep better. Who doesn’t feel exhausted after a hard workout? The best time to workout is in the morning or afternoon rather than before bed. This may seem counter-intuitive since working out leaves you feeling exhausted but studies show that regularly exercising can leave you feeling more energized throughout the day.
  5. Boost Happy Chemicals: Exercise releases endorphins which create feelings of happiness. For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety set some time aside for exercise. The link between depression, anxiety, and exercise aren’t quite known yet but studies show that exercise eases symptoms.

The next time you find it hard to find the motivation to exercise remember the big picture that exercising is much more then loosing weight and gaining muscle– it’s good for your brain too!