11 Amazing Reasons To Work Out That Have Nothing To Do With Weight Loss

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Even when you have the best intentions, sometimes, it can be really, really hard to drag yourself to the gym. Whether your bed or brunch plans are calling your name, sidestepping workout plans is all too easy when you’re feeling tired, stressed, and your willpower is running dangerously low. Finding the motivation to work out doesn’t have to be about getting stronger or leaner. Sometimes those are goals, and sometimes they aren’t, and there are a 1,001 other amazing reasons to lace up your sneakers or unroll your yoga mat that have absolutely nothing to do with losing weight. Here are 11 of our favorites.

Related: 14 Motivational Fitness Quotes To Inspire You Every Time You Work Out

1. Here’s something to smile about: Exercise is a happiness booster!


Justin Case, Getty Images

Endorphins, amiright? The link between exercise and happiness has been well-studied, and the results are very positive (just like you’ll be after some gym time). One study from the University of Vermont found that just 20 minutes of exercise can boost your mood for 12 hours. Cardio and strength training can both give you a lift, and 30-60 minutes of exercise three to five days a week is optimal for mood benefits, according to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

2. Feeling fit can help you be your most confident self. 

Completing a tough workout, especially the ones you do when you’d much rather stay in bed, can give you a serious confidence boost. Sticking to your plan and hitting the gym (even when you’re not feeling it) can make you feel like you can take on the world.

3. And, it’s an excuse to buy a cute new gym outfit or colorful sneaks!

I mean, you could wear your favorite kicks or workout pants just to run errands, but where’s the fun in that? When you’ve actually, y’know, exercised in them, you can work them with a sense of accomplishment.

4. Exercise can energize you.

If you struggle with a touch of fatigue, exercise might be just what the doctor ordered. According to a study from the University of Georgia, the blood flow benefits from exercise help carry oxygen and nutrients to muscles, which helps them produce more energy. They found that even low-to-moderate intensity exercise for just 20 minutes a day, three days a week for six weeks can help with that can’t-keep-my-eyes-open feeling.

5. Working out reduces day-to-day stress.

Sweating it out in the gym is a known de-stressor. Harvard Medical School has shown that aerobic exercise helps curb stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline (as long as you’re not overdoing it), while also flooding your system with feel-good endorphins. It also ups the calming, good-mood brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine. So while exercise itself is actually putting low-level physical stress on the body, it can be pretty mentally relaxing.

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Jasmine Bryant

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