5 Benefits of Exercise (that have nothing to do with weight loss)

5 benefits of exercise

While weight loss is the reason most people start working out, many stick with the habit long after they’ve met their goal weight. Of course, exercise is helpful for maintaining that healthy weight, but there are many other benefits of exercise than just watching the number on the scale drop.

Here of the top five reasons to work out that have nothing to do with weight loss.

1. Exercise wards off the common cold.

Since we’re entering cold and flu season, this is one benefit of exercise that shouldn’t be ignored. Research has shown that moderate amounts of aerobic exercise can boost the body’s natural defenses against viruses and bacteria. In fact, a recent study showed that people who worked out for 40 minutes four days a week were 25-50 percent less likely to catch a cold.

2. A good workout improves your mood.

You probably already know about endorphins, the feel-good hormones you feel after a good workout. But did you know that working out helps your mood at all times, not just immediately after exercise? One study even found that brisk walking can be as effective as prescription antidepressants for those suffering from mild to moderate depression.

3. Regular exercise promotes better sleep.

Being active regularly helps your body fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Just be sure not to exercise right before bedtime — you’ll be extra-energized instead of ready to hit the hay.

4. Exercise can increase your self-confidence. 

The confidence that comes from losing weight is something Dr. Dirk hears about time and time again from his satisfied patients. But even before people reach the major milestones of losing 50 or 100 pounds, they can still gain a sense of accomplishment from smaller milestones, like working out five days in a row or running a mile without stopping for the first time. Creating workout plans and sticking with them gives you lots of achievable goals to meet, even before you start shedding pounds.

5. Working out can improve your memory, creativity and more.

By increasing blood flow to the brain, exercise also promotes brain health. Many people report feeling more creative and thinking more clearly after a workout, and Scientific American agrees that the effects of a workout can help the brain by boosting memory and even reversing hippocampal shrinkage.

So the next time you’re thinking of skipping a workout, remember that it’s not just the calorie burn you’ll be missing out on. For more information on your weight loss surgery options, contact us today.

 


Can your diet affect the quality of your sleep?

quality of sleep

If the two biggest pillars of health are nutrition and exercise, the the third most important is sleep. Both the quantity and quality of sleep counts when it comes to boosting your overall health, and a new study shows that sleep may have more of an influence on your diet than you realize.

Researchers at Purdue University studied the effect that diet has on sleep patterns. Many studies have already shown that lack of sleep can affect your diet — being tired can easily lead to junk food cravings. This new study turned the question around and asked whether good nutrition can improve sleep, and the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Of the 44 participants in the study, those who stuck to a high-protein, low-calorie nutrition plan slept better than those who weren’t on the plan. Many other participants lost weight, but those who were on the low-carb diet saw sleep improvements the other dieters did not.

Dr. Dirk isn’t surprised by these results.

“This current study is just one of many that show that when a person wants to lose a meaningful amount of weight and improve their health, high-protein, low-carb is the way to go,” Dr. Dirk says.

He adds that increasing aerobic exercise and vitamin intake can greatly improve your chances of losing weight.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight with a traditional diet or with the help of weight loss surgery, a high-protein, low-carb diet is your best best for a healthier lifestyle.