What do Rocky Balboa, Jean Claude Van Damme and Batman have in common? Besides being manly men in movies that guys love, all three improve their moods by working out. If you want to know how to live an unboring life, just look at Batman…
The “Big Five” Benefits of Exercise
All three of these heroes train to defeat their foes, but their shared post-workout perkiness is no coincidence. Numerous studies show that working up a sweat delivers five major benefits:
Combats depression: Exercise causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals (endorphins) and reduce production of immune system chemicals that can worsen depression.
Boosts self-esteem: Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your confidence. Getting in shape will also make you feel better about your appearance. You may not look as buff as Rocky right away, but trust us, a bit of extra tone and firmness gets noticed.
Reduces stress: Exercise is a great way to release pent-up energy. In addition, an increase in body temperature has an overall calming effect.
Wards off anxiety: Working out is a healthy distraction that disrupts the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety.
Prevents erectile dysfunction: Research suggests that exercise reduces the risk of erectile dysfunction by about 50%!
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Adam Bisby is a Toronto-based freelance journalist and father of two who has been covering men’s health for more than 20 years. As well as researching and blogging for Don’t Change Much since 2015, Adam’s award-winning work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and National Post newspapers, in magazines such as Explore, Reader’s Digest and Canadian Family, and on websites including MSN and Toronto.com. Visit Adam’s website for more information on what he does.