Exercise is a great New Year’s resolution, but it can be tough to stick with. This is especially true because you don’t see results like weight loss or muscle tone right away. But, that’s not to say there aren’t any immediate benefits. In fact, there are several! Here are some immediate benefits of exercise to help you stay motivated.
One of the biggest benefits of almost every form of exercise is that it can help reduce feelings of depression. It can also boost your self-esteem. Though researchers have found this result in people who have been exercising for 12 weeks or longer, people also report boosts in confidence and motivation early in an exercise program.
Lower Blood Pressure
Okay, you probably aren’t going to take your blood pressure after every walk you go on. But studies show that after exercise, your resting blood pressure becomes a little lower. This is due to the hormones your body releases during exercise.
Regulate Blood Sugar
When you exercise, your body works harder, and your muscles use more glucose, which is the sugar in your bloodstream—aka fuel for your body. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar, which is why doctors recommend exercise as a form of diabetes management.
When your heart rate goes up and your blood is pumping harder, your brain produces more neurochemicals. This causes you to feel a mood boost, and it can also cause a temporary boost to your metabolism. Over time, you may experience these benefits more consistently.
Lessened Arthritis Pain
You might not feel better after one walk. However, in just a few weeks, you may experience less arthritis pain with exercise like swimming. Because arthritis affects the cartilage between joints and bones, strengthening the muscles around those joints and bones can ease the strain—and the pain.
As always, be sure to ask your doctor for specific recommendations before starting a new exercise routine. It’s also important not to go at your own pace, and to not overextend yourself.