You might not believe it (or, maybe you might) but one of the most common answers I get when I ask people why they exercise is…

…”I want to look better naked!”

Setting aside the fact that what “looks better naked” is subjective, as someone who firmly believes that diet and exercise can help improve so much more than just our physical appearance (such as our mental and physical lives), I always want to educate them on the other benefits of regularly working out.

So, while looking better naked is great, below are an additional five benefits of exercising.

1. Give Your Brain a Boost

Exercise increases oxygen and energy to the brain, which can — obviously — help brain function.

In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas determined regular aerobic exercise can help improve your memory and other brain functions.

2. Build Your Confidence

So, regularly working out can help your physical appearance, which can in turn help your confidence; however, exercise also can boost your confidence by giving you a sense of accomplishment (as well as making you more social if you have a workout buddy or exercise at the gym).

3. Keep Stress, Anxiety, and Depression at Bay

It’s common knowledge that exercise boosts endorphins — those happy little brain chemicals that can help reduce your perception of pain and help give you a more positive outlook on life.

4. Gain More Energy

Initially, exercise might exhaust you, but overall it — especially when done regularly — it can boost your energy throughout the day.

A body in motion stays in motion, after all!

5. Have Better Sex

OK, so you want to look better naked (which may improve your confidence which, in turn, can improve your sex life), but exercising also increases blood flow which can both increase your arousal and help with erectile dysfunction in men. Oh, and hey! The “gaining more energy” thing doesn’t hurt with this, either 😉

This is by far NOT an all-encompassing list of exercise benefits, so… Your turn! Why do YOU exercise?

4th-world-mental-health-day

This Psych Central post is part of the Carter Center’s World Mental Health Day 4th Annual Blog Party. World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health issues.

See more World Mental Health Day posts from around the ‘Net at our Psych Central blog, World Mental Health Day.

Also, be sure to use the hashtag #mhday if you plan to share any of our posts!