Many people hit the gym or pound the pavement to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, and of course, get a rockin’ bod, but working out has above-the-neck benefits, too. For the past decade or so, scientists have pondered how exercising can boost brain function. Regardless of age or fitness level (this includes everyone from mall-walkers to marathoners), studies show that making time for exercise provides some serious mental benefits. Get inspired to exercise by reading up on these unexpected ways that working out can benefit mental health, relationships, and lead to a healthier and happier life overall.
When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from glucose.
For short bursts of activity, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel.If you're doing moderate exercise for a longer time, your muscles take up glucose at up to 20 times the normal rate. This helps lower your blood sugar levels.
Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.
Amazing Exercise Program Benefit Tips
Pre-Workout Meal
If you find that you have more energy eating something before your workout, planning your pre-workout meal the night before can be helpful. Research has shown more calories tend to be burned with some fuel in your body before a workout (See: Should I Workout On An Empty Stomach?). However, each individual knows his own body best, so finding out what works best for you is essential.
Eating a small to medium sized meal may provide ample energy for your workout without the bloated feeling that comes with larger meals that can affect performance. A great way to kick start your daily meal plan is to make a shake the night before. A healthy pre-made smoothie is versatile and can provide ample fuel to power you through a workout.
Suggested ingredients:
Plain Greek yogurt
Berries
Chia seeds,
Whey protein
Almond Milk
Go To Bed Earlier
Human sleep cycles follow a daily cycle called circadian rhythms. Using an alarm clock, establishing meal times, and even routine workout times are all cues that reset our rhythms. People who consistently exercise in the morning teach their body to be most ready for exercise at that time of day.
Go to bed 30-45 minutes earlier so you can stay on your normal sleep schedule. This will ensure the 30-45 minutes it will take you to get your warmup and workout done in the morning won’t come at the expense of adequate rest.
Research also suggests that morning exercise improves sleep so getting into a good routine of an earlier bed time might not be an issue. 3 Exercise in the morning can help to set the body clock for a day of activity and a night of sleep, while exercise at night can potentially push back the sleep part of the sleep-wake cycle. In one recent experiment women who exercised in the morning averaged a 70% better nights sleep versus non exercisers.
Set Everything Up The Night Before
Whether its pushup blocks, a jump rope, bands, or your workout attire, make sure everything is laid out before you go to bed so you won’t be scrambling the next morning. This will save you crucial moments and give yourself the peace of mind that you don’t have to rush your workout. Knowing you have made sufficient preparations will ensure a worry free sleep and stress free morning.
Another great option is to create a new playlist the night before or start your workout with a new song you really enjoy and look forward to hearing. This will help you get out of bed in the morning and get those energy levels fired up early in the morning.
Perform A Longer Warm-Up
Your body temperature is naturally lower in the morning and the last thing you want to do is open yourself up for injury. When you begin to exercise, your body undergoes a number of changes such as an increased blood flow, increase respiration rate, and an increased amount of oxygen delivered to muscle cells. In order to ensure these bodily changes respond properly you should gradually prepare your body by performing an adequate warm-up.
Benefits of a solid warm-up:
Prepares your nervous system for the impending exertion of exercise
Heightens your mental acuity
Loosens up your joints and muscles for the prevention of injury
Allows your heart to gradually adjust to the increased activity, thereby increasing the blood flow and sending the proper amount of oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells.
Perform at least 5-10 minutes of muscle activation and dynamic flexibility movements to get your blood pumping and mentally prepared for you morning workout.
Start With Exercises You Enjoy And Recruit A Partner
You’ll be more likely to get out of bed and into your workout if you perform exercises you enjoy. Whether it’s a brisk run, yoga sessions, or a bike ride, perform a morning workout you appreciate to ensure you will stick to a routine and not come to dread that morning alarm. Recruiting a partner can also help with consistency. A pre-arranged workout time with a partner will force you out of bed and take the option of “going back to sleep” out of the equation completely.
Sample 30-Minute Early Morning Workout
The following workout should take you only 30 minutes and require no equipment. It’s a great option if you are on the road on a business trip, or don’t have time to run to the gym.
Warmup (5-10 minutes)
Warmup 1: 2 set of 15 reps Windmills
Great Early Morning WorkoutsWarmup 2: 2 set of 15 reps back bridge
Early Morning WorkoutsWarmup 3: 2 set of 15 reps pushup planks
Warm up 4: 2- 3 minutes of jump rope
Full Body Bodyweight Circuit (16-24 minutes)
Perform 30 seconds of each exercise with no rest in between. Rest for 2-3 minutes after each round of the circuit. Complete 3-4 rounds, which should take around 16-24 minutes.
Exercise 1: Squat Jumps
Exercise 2: Push Up With One Leg Elevated
Exercise 3: Mountain Climbers
Carrot Cake Muffins Made Healthy! Exercise 4: Rotating Side Plank
Exercise Jumping Jacks
I hope these tips will help you create a morning workout that helps you stay fit, lean, and stress-free. Let us know which exercises work best for you and if you have any tips to share to improve your early morning workouts!

  • Reduce stress. Rough day at the office? Take a walk or head to the gym for a quick workout. One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Working up a sweat can help manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. So go ahead and get sweaty working out can reduce stress and boost the body’s ability to deal with existing mental tension. Win-win! 
  • Boost happy chemicals. Slogging through a few miles on the ‘mill can be tough, but it’s worth the effort! Exercise releases endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression. Don’t worry if you’re not exactly the gym rat type getting a happy buzz from working out for just 30 minutes a few times a week can instantly boost overall mood.   
  • Improve self-confidence. Hop on the treadmill to look (and more importantly, feel) like a million bucks. On a very basic level, physical fitness can boost self-esteem and improve positive self-image. Regardless of weight, size, gender, or age, exercise can quickly elevate a person's perception of his or her attractiveness, that is, self-worth. How’s that for feeling the (self) love?
  • Enjoy the great outdoors. For an extra boost of self-love, take that workout outside. Exercising in the great outdoors can increase self-esteem even more. Find an outdoor workout that fits your style, whether it’s rock-climbing, hiking, renting a canoe, or just taking a jog in the park. Plus, all that Vitamin D acquired from soaking up the sun (while wearing sunscreen, of course!) can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms. Why book a spa day when a little fresh air and sunshine (and exercise) can work wonders for self-confidence and happiness?
  • Prevent cognitive decline. It’s unpleasant, but it’s true as we get older, our brains get a little... hazy. As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45. Working out, especially between age 25 and 45, boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.
  • Alleviate anxiety.Which is better at relieving anxiety a warm bubble bath or a 20-minute jog? You might be surprised at the answer. The warm and fuzzy chemicals that are released during and after exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Hopping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity.And we thought intervals were just a good way to burn calories!  
  • Boost brainpower. Those buff lab rats might be smarter than we think. Various studies on mice and men have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performanc.Ready to apply for a Nobel Prize? Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning. Smarty (spandex) pants, indeed. 
  • Sharpen memory. Get ready to win big at Go Fish. Regular physical activity boosts memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learning. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness (take that, recess haters!). But exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids. Even if it’s not as fun as a game of Red Rover, working out can boost memory among grown-ups, too. A study showed that running sprints improved vocabulary retention among healthy adults.
  • Help control addiction. The brain releases dopamine, the “reward chemical” in response to any form of pleasure, be that exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol, or food. Unfortunately, some people become addicted to dopamine and dependent on the substances that produce it, like drugs or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex). On the bright side, exercise can help in addiction recovery.Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts, making them de-prioritize cravings (at least in the short term). Working out when on the wagon has other benefits, too. Alcohol abuse disrupts many body processes, including circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics find they can’t fall asleep (or stay asleep) without drinking. Exercise can help reboot the body clock, helping people hit the hay at the right time.
  • Increase relaxation. Ever hit the hay after a long run or weight session at the gym? For some, a moderate workout can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill, even for people with insomnia. Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep.
  • Get more done. Feeling uninspired in the cubicle? The solution might be just a short walk or jog away. Research shows that workers who take time for exercise on a regular basis are more productive and have more energy than their more sedentary peers. While busy schedules can make it tough to squeeze in a gym session in the middle of the day, some experts believe that midday is the ideal time for a workout due to the body’s circadian rhythms.
  • Tap into creativity. Most people end a tough workout with a hot shower, but maybe we should be breaking out the colored pencils instead. A heart-pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to two hours afterwards. Supercharge post-workout inspiration by exercising outdoors and interacting with nature (see benefit. Next time you need a burst of creative thinking, hit the trails for a long walk or run to refresh the body and the brain at the same time.
  • Inspire others. Whether it’s a pick-up game of soccer, a group class at the gym, or just a run with a friend, exercise rarely happens in a bubble. And that’s good news for all of us. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy. Pin it to inspiration or good old-fashioned competition, nobody wants to let the other person down. In fact, being part of a team is so powerful that it can actually raise athletes’ tolerances for pain. Even fitness beginners can inspire each other to push harder during a sweat session, so find a workout buddy and get moving!

Minimize Cardio to Build
Low to moderate intensity cardio is best to build muscle while still promoting a healthy heart. Although cardio exercise is definitely beneficial for overall health, doing high intensity cardio 4-6 times per week is counter-productive to increasing muscle mass. If you do cardio while trying to build muscle, it should be done at a low intensity. Low intensity means walking, not running, keeping your heart rate around 60% of maximum range not 70 or 80%. Cardio burns excess calories, and if you're not careful, you will burn some muscle too.
Meal timing to build muscle
Building muscle means eating high quality calories in order to increase muscle mass. Eat plenty of high quality protein throughout the day as well as before and after your workouts.
Start your morning with a high protein meal supplement shake. It's important to get high quality protein and some carbohydrates into your body immediately upon waking. Then begin your morning workout. If you work out in the evening, eat quality calories including protein, complex carbs, and essential fats before you start. This is completely different than trying to burn fat where you would avoid eating before cardio.
Recent research by Tipton shows that getting 30 grams of whey protein (containing 15 grams of essential amino acids) before and after your workout can increase protein synthesis by 400%! Additional research shows that consuming a protein/carbohydrate beverage, like a meal supplement powder drink, immediately after exercise can increase muscle protein synthesis greater than one consumed several hours later. Subsequent post workout meals should contain a combination of high quality protein and complex carbohydrates like vegetables, yams, etc.
Building muscle is a combination of proper training, high quality, well thought-out nutrition plans, and adequate rest and recovery time. Failing to work on all of these areas can keep you from gaining the muscle you desire.
Muscle-building supplements 
I have created a short list of products that should help you along your way to a better body.
Use high quality protein powders and meal supplement formulas for a good, low fat source of nutrition.
Use a multi-vitamin and mineral formula every day. The more pills per day, the better. While under calorie restriction and the stress of dieting, you don't get all the vitamins and minerals you need from food alone.
Take at least 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil and/or take fish oil capsules every day to provide your body with the good omega-3 fats it needs.
Use a fat burner that contains citrus aurantium (bitter orange), caffeine, green tea (standardized for at least 270 mg of EGCG per day), and/or yerba mate, to help increase your metabolism, mobilize body fat, and increase your energy levels.
Practice insulin control in your diet. Choose low glycemic foods. If dieting, follow a low carb eating program. When you splurge, use a fat binder and starch blocker to help minimize the effects of a carb- or fat-laden meal.
For optimal muscle gains, take creatine or a creatine/carb/protein mix before and after your workouts.
If you are in a muscle-building phase, use a high calorie, weight-gain powder drink mix to get the calories you need.
And finally, be consistent in your diet and workout routine. Do your cardio regularly when trying to lose weight and practice proper meal composition and timing. Use supplements to support your fat loss or muscle building efforts and to provide you with an easy way to get high-quality, convenient nutrition. Before you know it, you'll see that your efforts are paying off, every time you look in the mirror.  
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can't do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein , or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
Exercise spark your sex life
Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise.
Exercise can be fun
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.
Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than exercise. The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing to exercise? Check out these seven ways exercise can improve your life.
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can't do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein, or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
Exercise can be fun
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from glucose.
For short bursts of activity, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel.
If you're doing moderate exercise for a longer time, your muscles take up glucose at up to 20 times the normal rate. This helps lower your blood sugar levels.
Carry carbs. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low.
Ease into it. If you're not active now, start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time, and gradually work up to 30 minutes a day.
Strength train at least twice a week. Strength training can improve blood sugar control.
Make it a habit. Exercise, eat, and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent hypoglycemia.
Go public. If possible, exercise with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Plus, it's more fun to work out with someone else; it can help you stick with it. Also, wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that states that you have diabetes, just in case.
Be good to your feet. Wear good shoes, and practice proper foot care.
Hydrate. Drink water before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
Stop if you have any unexpected pain. Mild muscle soreness is normal. Sudden pain isn't.
 exercise are possible with limited mobility?
It’s important to remember that any type of exercise will offer health benefits. Mobility issues inevitably make some types of exercise easier than others, but no matter your physical situation, you should aim to incorporate three different types of exercise into your routines:
Cardiovascular exercises that raise your heart rate and increase your endurance. These can include walking, running, cycling, dancing, tennis, swimming, water aerobics, or “aquajogging”. Many people with mobility issues find exercising in water especially beneficial as it supports the body and reduces the risk of muscle or joint discomfort. Even if you’re confined to a chair or wheelchair, it’s still possible to perform cardiovascular exercise.
Strength training exercises involve using weights or other resistance to build muscle and bone mass, improve balance, and prevent falls. If you have limited mobility in your legs, your focus will be on upper body strength training. Similarly, if you have a shoulder injury, for example, your focus will be more on strength training your legs and abs.
Flexibility exercises help enhance your range of motion, prevent injury, and reduce pain and stiffness. These may include stretching exercises and yoga. Even if you have limited mobility in your legs, for example, you may still benefit from stretches and flexibility exercises to prevent or delay further muscle atrophy.
Setting yourself up for exercise success
Talking to your doctor about exercise
Your doctor or physical therapist can help you find a suitable exercise routine. Ask:
How much exercise can I do each day and each week?
What type of exercise should I do?
What exercises or activities should I avoid?
Should I take medication at a certain time around my exercise routine?
To exercise successfully with limited mobility, illness, or weight problems, start by getting medical clearance. Talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or other health care provider about activities suitable for your medical condition or mobility issue.
Your doctor may even be able to recommend services aimed at helping people with limited mobility become more active, including specially designed exercise plans.
 Starting an exercise routine
Start slow and gradually increase your activity level. Start with an activity you enjoy, go at your own pace, and keep your goals manageable. Accomplishing even the smallest fitness goals will help you gain body confidence and keep you motivated.
Make exercise part of your daily life. Plan to exercise at the same time every day and combine a variety of exercises to keep you from getting bored.
Stick with it. It takes about a month for a new activity to become a habit. Write down your reasons for exercising and a list of goals and post them somewhere visible to keep you motivated. Focus on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve. It’s easier to stay motivated if you enjoy what you’re doing, so find ways to make exercise fun. Listen to music or watch a TV show while you workout, or exercise with friends.
Expect ups and downs. Don’t be discouraged if you skip a few days or even a few weeks. It happens. Just get started again and slowly build up to your old momentum.
 Staying safe when exercising
Stop exercising if you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or clammy hands. Listening to your body is the best way to avoid injury.
Avoid activity involving an injured body part. If you have an upper body injury, exercise your lower body while the injury heals, and vice versa. When exercising after an injury has healed, start back slowly, using lighter weights and less resistance
Warm up, stretch, and cool down. Warm up with a few minutes of light activity such as walking, arm swinging, and shoulder rolls, followed by some light stretching (avoid deep stretches when your muscles are cold). After your exercise routine, whether it’s cardiovascular, strength training, or flexibility exercise, cool down with a few more minutes of light activity and deeper stretching.
Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated.
Wear appropriate clothing, such as supportive footwear and comfortable clothing that won’t restrict your movement.
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