You probably already know many of the physical benefits of exercise: keeping your heart strong, boosting your immune system, and preventing chronic diseases – just to name a few. Moving your body is imperative for living a long, healthy life, and isn’t that what we all want? But, exercise can also have a vast positive impact on your mental health and cognitive functions. 

If you’re stuck in a bad mood or routine rut, pick your favorite way to move and enjoy the endorphins. After all, they’re free. Here are five reasons to workout that aren’t physical:

😊 Endorphins = mood boosters 

According to Bronson Health,endorphins are hormones in the brain that reduce your perception of pain and trigger happiness.” When you dance, do yoga, or walk, endorphins are released, leaving you feeling brighter almost instantly. Taking time to exercise (even when it’s the last thing on earth you want to do), boosts your mood for a happier and healthier life.

🧠 Improved learning and memory 

Having trouble remembering that to-do list? Not only does exercise boost your mood, but it can also enhance your memory and thinking skills. Many studies have even suggested that people who exercise have larger control thinking and memory areas in their brain. Pretty cool, huh? Remember: be patient in seeing and feeling results both physical and mental. In time, your hard work will pay off.

❤️ Quality time spent with friends and family

Let’s be real: working out with a buddy is way more fun than doing it alone. A little healthy competition pushes you to perform your best and take on a new challenge. When you plan a workout date with a set time and place, it holds you accountable for showing up and fitting movement into your routine. Most importantly, doing something good for yourself with a loved one creates an invaluable shared experience. Set aside time to catch up on life, set goals, and reach them together.

🧘 Relieve stress and anxiety 

Breathe in…now breathe out. Feel better? Us too. There’s a reason why you walk out of a workout class feeling like a whole new person. “Moving your body decreases muscle tension, lowering the body’s contribution to feeling anxious” says Harvard MD John J. Ratey. Additionally, when you exercise, you keep both your body and mind busy to help deflect anxious thoughts and release stress. Like building muscles, the more you exercise, the stronger resilience your mind builds up against unwanted emotions. Use physical activity as a cathartic way to release anger, pain, or sadness and walk away feeling lighter (and sweatier). 

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🏆 Sense of accomplishment

Whether you take a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood or get your blood pumping with a HIIT class, moving your body is always something to be proud of (and we mean always). This sense of accomplishment improves your self-esteem to help you feel more confident from the inside out. Show up for yourself and see just how good it feels.

Feeling good starts at Gympass. Join today and discover something new to love. There’s a perfect membership waiting for you.