Exercise contributes greatly to a person’s happiness and success.

Just ask the world’s top celebrities and industry leaders, and they will tell you how much exercise has helped them reach their status. Sir Richard Branson, founder of more than 400 businesses credits exercise as his number one productivity booster. And it looks like most of the ultra-successful do their workout before the sun and most of us are up.

Workout your Way to Success and Happiness

Want to know more about the workout routines of the highly successful? Here’s a peek:

  • Former President Barack Obama exercises for 45 minutes a day, six days a week by alternating lifting weights and doing cardio exercise
  • Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg workout at least three times a week by taking his dog running
  • Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-In-Chief, wakes up at 5:45 AM and plays an hour of tennis every day
  • Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks takes kickboxing, basketball and other aerobic classes at the gym, almost every day of the week.

Just imagine that. The world’s most powerful men and women, with uber hectic schedules, still find the time to spend an hour or so every day to work out. So, what’s so great about exercise that makes these people want to prioritize it?

We all know that exercise is good for the body. But most of us do not take exercising seriously. So here are a few things to remind us why we need to have a regular workout routine in order to live the life we really want for ourselves.

1. Exercise helps improve your mood and alleviates depression and anxiety.

Exercise helps improve your mood and alleviates depression and anxiety.

A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2007 showed that light to moderate exercise helped alleviate many symptoms of major depression. While psychologists are still doing studies on the details, results have shown that exercise helps the body release feel-good brain chemicals.

Among these chemicals are endorphins, which help relieve pain and stress. Exercise also releases serotonin and norepinephrine, which is responsible for regulating moods and social behaviors.

When you workout regularly, your body constantly produces these hormones. This helps improve your

overall sense of well-being and also improves sleep and your appetite.

2. Sweating makes you healthier.

Sweating makes you healthier.

Admit it, nobody really likes sweat. But in reality, sweating does us more good, especially with all the toxins that get flushed out of our bodies. Sweating gets rid of alcohol, cholesterol, and salt. It also helps unclog our pores to avoid pimples and blemishes. Sweating through workout also helps us keep our kidneys healthy. It limits the salt and calcium that gets trapped in the kidneys that turn into stones.

Sweating also protects our bodies from illnesses.

According to Dr. Diane de Fiori, a dermatologist based in Australia, sweat contains antimicrobial peptides that are effective against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. This means sweating contains elements that help fight tuberculosis germs and other dangerous pathogens, keeping you away from colds and other illnesses.

Learn more about the benefits of sweating here.

3. Workout boosts brain power

Workout boosts brain power

Workouts are also good for your brain.

A study from the University of British Columbia found that regular moderately heavy exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for verbal memory and learning.

Research also show that people who regularly exercise have greater volume in the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex, which are parts of the brain that control thinking and memory.

4. Exercise boosts productivity.

Exercise boosts productivity.

Workouts also keep you productive and alert throughout the day.

Here’s how it works. Whenever you workout, blood flow increases. This means more nutrients, blood and oxygen get to your brain faster, sharpening your awareness and making you more ready to get on the tasks for your day.

Exercising burns fat and converts them to energy. This helps you be more awake at work and lets your brain function better. It also helps you increase your focus and clear your mind.

Harvard Psychology Professor Emily E. Bernstein, Ph.D., conducted a study published in Cognition and Emotion, which discussed exactly how our minds get clearer after workout.

The study involved 80 subjects, half of them ran and half of them stretched after watching an emotional clip. The results showed that those who ran got over negative emotions much quicker han those who stretched.

Exercising also creates new neurons, which are signal receptors of the brain. With more neurons, our brains are much more capable of learning new things and increasing our memory, thus making us smarter and faster learners.

Working out must be included in our schedules, no matter how hectic it gets. With all its benefits, waking up early in the morning will all be worth it. After all, health IS wealth. We also only have one body, so why not take care of it as much as you take care of your other needs?

So, are you ready to work it out?

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