A new study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise yielded encouraging results – just 30 minutes of exercise can positively affect a woman’s body image. Following the 30-minute workout, women felt slimmer, stronger and more confident about their bodies than they did before the workout. So if you start to feel overly critical or unhappy about your body, throw on your running shoes and go for a jog or practice a quick yoga flow in your living room.
While the study size was small, the findings are in line with what we already know – exercise can boost your mood. Remember what you learned from biology class? (Okay, okay…what you learned from Legally Blonde...)
Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.
Endorphins aren’t the only chemicals your brain releases when you exercise. Post-workout, your brain is flooded with mood-boosting chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, all of which help keep you zen. So if you want to be the chillest, calmest version of yourself, you should squeeze in at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
TIP: High intensity interval training has proven to make people feel even happier post-workout than just doing cardio at a steady pace.
Have trouble focusing at work or in the classroom? Do you constantly feel like you’re zoning out or losing yourself in your daydreams? There’s an easy solution to this – and no, it’s not Adderall. It’s exercise!
Working out boosts the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, which means you will be more alert. So if you want to crush your office presentation or ace your calculus test, squeeze in a sweat session beforehand. (Although if you want to ace a calculus test, you should probably study, too.)
Are you one of the millions of Americans running on too little sleep? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than a third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep. This is largely due to stress and sleep disorders. And you know what helps with both of those things? Yep, working out.
According to sleep.org, as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. So even if you don’t have 30 minutes for a run, bike ride or even a brisk walk, you can certainly find 10 minutes each day to get your heart rate up. Do it. You’ll thank yourself come bedtime.
Have you been struggling to think outside the box lately? Well, maybe you just need to actually go outside and exercise. Psychologists have proven that aerobic exercise improves divergent thinking, the crucial component of creativity. So if you’re trying to write the next great American novel or just trying to find a creative solution to a work problem, go for a quick walk or run.
Nobody can beat time – eventually, it will take its toll on all of us. However, we can slow down the effects of time by making various lifestyle changes, like eating well, wearing sunscreen and, of course, exercising. Getting your heart rate up every day just might be the secret to staying young – physically and mentally – way longer than your peers.
Scientific evidence shows that staying physically fit will help keep both your body and brain healthy as you age. Even 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day can preserve your cognitive abilities and fend off dementia. So if you want to be sharp as a tack when you’re 90 years old, you better get used to exercising daily.
Sure, file this under “duh," but it’s true. Regular exercise will help you shed fat, even if you only have 30 minutes a day to sweat. Just make sure you’re not adding a ton of calories to your diet because you think you can afford it. Remember, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.
If you’re only exercising 30 minutes each day, you might assume that you need to pack those minutes with ass-kicking, sweat-inducing moves. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to bust your butt to lose weight. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, simply walking 30 minutes a day is sufficient for weight loss. (Again, this is assuming you don’t start indulging in a ton of junk food.)