It is clear to everyone that exercise is good for your body. Perhaps you work out on the regular for the simple enjoyment of it, or maybe your idea of exercise is pausing Netflix to raid the fridge. No matter where you stand on the subject, there is no denying its benefits. Regular exercise can extend your lifespan, lower your risk for certain cancers and diseases like type 2 diabetes, increase motivation, and just make you feel better all around!
While we know that exercise does change our bodies, what we may not know is why and how these changes take place. Understanding the ways regular exercise can affect you may just help give you that extra motivation you need to keep going (or get started)!
Here are 5 bizarre things that happen when you work out more:
1. Your Muscles Tear & It's Not Even A Bad Thing
You know that sore feeling you get when you exercise for the first time in ages or try a new routine? That soreness is actually your muscles working to repair the tiny rips you made in them during your workout. These tears, and the healing process, are what helps your muscles grow bigger and stronger.
2. Your Food Gets Digested Faster
Did you know that regular exercise can help regulate your bowels? The more you exercise, the more you'll poop. Exercise cuts down on the amount of time it takes for food to pass through your large intestine which limits the amount of water that is absorbed from your stool back into your body. The less water that leaves your stool, the easier it is for you to pass.
On top of this, exercise speeds up your breathing and heart rate which helps to rev up muscle contractions in your intestines. These contractions help your body move stool. So, if you are someone who has a difficult time with bowel regularity, hitting the gym is a natural solution.
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3. Your Brain Starts Functioning Differently
Exercises increases the blood flow to the brain which automatically causes it to function at a higher level. This is also why you will feel more alert and focused during and after your workouts. When you start to exercise regularly, your brain gets so used to this increased blood flow that it actually adapts by turning certain genes on and off. These changes actually help protect regular exercisers from diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's while reducing their risk of stroke.
4. You Burn More Calories, So You Get Hungry More Often
Exercise causes your body to burn calories. So, it stands to reason that the more you exercise, the more your appetite will grow. But don't let it become a concern for you. Having a healthy appetite is a perfectly natural side effect of exercise. Embrace it and get creative in that kitchen!
5. Your Sex Drive Gets A Major Boost
As mentioned before, exercise increases blood flow to your brain. But the increased flow doesn't stop there -- blood flow is increased through your entire body. Yup, all of it. This increased flow allows your erectile tissue to fill with blood which can lead to increased arousal. Actually, good circulation plays a major role in sexual arousal and can therefore increase sex drive. Can you think of a better reason to start working out?
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Have you noticed any of these changes in your body since you started exercising regularly? Share your story with us.