5 Surprising Benefits Of Exercise
Exercise isn't just for health and weight loss; discover 5 unexpected reasons to incorporate more activity into your daily routine.
1 August, 2021 by
David Nelson

It's not always easy to get off the couch. Your knees are whining . . . or maybe your back aches . . . or it's just been a long day, and you have zero energy left. With that comfy spot beckoning, putting your exercise off until tomorrow is tempting.

But before you give in, consider this bit of advice . . .

Just do something. It doesn't have to be a lot. But something is better than nothing. All those things can add up to a lot over time.

As New York Times fitness columnist Gretchen Reynolds reports in her book, The First 20 Minutes, exercise's most important health benefits come from the first 20 minutes of activity. If you're sitting all day, exercising for 20 minutes can dramatically affect your life expectancy and risk for disease.

After that first 20 minutes, explains Reynolds, "The rest is gravy!"[1]

There is simply nothing better for your body than exercise. No medical miracle . . . no special healing technique can replace the benefits of good ole activity!

But of course, you probably know exercise is good for your health. And can help you slim down. You may not know these 5 additional - and somewhat surprising - reasons to fit more activity into your daily routine.

Get Moving Reason #1: Exercise Energizes

Exercise gives you energy. It may sound counterintuitive that spending energy moving can help you gain energy. But it's true.

Woman holding a dumbbell behind her head

Researchers reviewed nearly 70 studies involving 6800 people. And 90% of the studies show exercise energized people - even people struggling with health conditions marked by chronic fatigue. Going further, the researchers reported regular exercise energized even better than stimulants.[2]

Get Moving Reason #2: Boost Brain Power

Want to sharpen up your brain power? Get active. For children and adults of all ages, when it comes to improving your capacity to learn, remember things, and problem-solve, nothing beats exercise.

Exercise's role in brain health is particularly noteworthy regarding the problems that crop up with age. While medicine has provided no answers for diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia, exercise has come through like a champion. Several studies demonstrate exercise can effectively stave off age-related memory loss. Or even rebuild your capacity to remember things when your memory starts slipping.[3,4]

Exercise improves cognitive performance simply by increasing blood flow to the brain. But its benefits may also be rooted in how it challenges and stimulates the brain, encouraging neural growth.

Get Moving Reason #3: It Keeps You Feeling Happy

Feeling a little blue? Zap the cloud of depression with activity. Research has demonstrated exercise works better than any antidepressant. Exercising 3 times a week can yield results in as little as 4 weeks.[5]

Woman happily laying amongst flowers

While scientists aren't exactly clear on how exercise helps, one theory points to neural growth. Scientists have discovered even when we get older, our brains grow new neurons. People suffering from depression often have a deficit of these new nerve cells in the hippocampus part of the brain. However, exercise has been shown to overcome this problem by stimulating the brain to grow new neurons.[6] It seems triggering this new neural growth is key to exercise's role in fighting the blues.

Get Moving Reason #4: It Works Pain Out Of You

If your reason for not exercising is pain, you may be making things worse. Arthritis and bad back sufferers alike have found movement is a better antidote for pain and discomfort than sitting still.[7]

First, exercise can take a load off your achy joints simply by building muscle strength and helping you lose weight.

But it seems the pain-relieving benefits of exercise go even further. All kinds of exercise produce endorphins, special chemicals that increase your feeling of well-being and reduce your sensation of pain. And if you focus on strength training, you'll also get additional inflammation and pain relief from the production of special immune molecules called cytokines.[8]

Get Moving Reason #5: It Helps You Sleep Well at Night

Want to pass out when you hit the pillow? Work your muscles and get your lungs pumping!

Woman sleeping in bed

Exercise offers the best sleeping pill for a nation troubled by insomnia. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, people who exercise more report sleeping better at night. The most vigorous exercisers report getting the best rest. But sleep researcher Dr. Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., explains it doesn't take much to drift off more easily. Just by walking 10 minutes a day, you can improve your shuteye.[9]

No More Excuses: Get Moving

With these 5 reasons - besides the general health benefits you already know about - you have no more excuses for pushing activity to the back burner.

However, if you still need a little extra push, there's nothing better than chlorella and eleuthero to make exercise easier and more rewarding.

Chlorella's rich nutrition fuels your body to help it perform at its best. Its chlorella growth factor (CGF) helps your body repair tissue quickly, making it easier to build new muscles and fix minor injuries. And how chlorella helps your body remove toxins and ups your energy even more.

Eleuthero has long been a favorite of Olympic athletes, known for its ability to boost your endurance and performance, even when you're pushed to your limits. And while it energizes you, eleuthero does not work like other stimulants like caffeine. People who take Eleuthero regularly report feeling calm and revitalized at the same time.

With the right nutrition and some added help from chlorella and eleuthero, you have every reason to make activity a regular part of your day. And as these studies demonstrate, you might be surprised . . . as dreadful as it may seem, exercise can make you feel better than ever.


[1] Parker-Pope T. The Surprising Shortcut To Better Health. The New York Times blog. May 4, 2012. 
[2] Warner, J. Exercise Fights Fatigue. Boosts Energy. Web MD. Nov 3, 2006. 
[3] Guiney, H et al. Benefits of regular aerobic exercise for executive functioning in healthy populations. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 2012; 
[4] Emling, S. Exercise prevents dementia: Study shows link between fitness and cognitive ability. Huffington Post. February 5, 2013. 
[5] Pederson, T. New guidelines for using exercise as an antidepressant. Psych Central. May 11, 2013. 
[6] Ernst, C. Antidepressant effects of exercise: Evidence for an adult neurogenesis hypothesis? J Psychiatry Neurosci. Mar 2006; 31(2): 84-92. 
[7] Rheumatoid arthritis and exercise. Web MD. Rheumatoid arthritis center. 
[8] Petersen, AM. The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise. Journal of Applied Psychology. 1 April 2005 Vol. 98no. 1154-1162 
[9] National Sleep Foundation. ""Exercise key to good sleep."" ScienceDaily, 4 March 2013.

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