Coach Keisha Howard Gaddis is a Certified Life Coach and Counselor for Girls. Keisha is a passionate communicator and self-esteem enthusiast who is making a positive impact in the lives of girls, young women, and the people who care about them. Here she gives us her take on how important exercise is for young women. Find out more about Keisha at www.CoachKeisha.com.
What if I told you that there was something super simple you could do that would boost your brain power and skyrocket your grades in school? Would you be interested?
What if I also told you that this same thing could help reduce your stress level which would be handy when you’ve got three tests, a ten-page paper due, babysitting duty, and a nagging parent saying you need to clean your room – ugh! Would you like to know what I was talking about?
This same magical thing that I am speaking of is really fun and helpful when trying to make new friends because it can improve your social skills.
Wanna know what it is now?
I hope so, because what I’m about to tell you is going to blow your mind… (it’s actually good for your mind).
This magical, super simple, fun thing is (drumroll, please)… Exercise!
Yup… good ol’ heart-beating, sweat-flowing, energy-boosting physical fitness! Oh, yeah! Exercise has so many glorious benefits. You are probably aware of the many benefits that exercise can have on your physical health, but did you know that exercise is beneficial to your mental health too?
If you really want to learn how to step up your game in 2017, check out how exercise can positively impact your body, and your mind.
1. Exercise Improves Self-esteem
The old saying is true “when you look good, you feel good” and exercise is one way to accomplish both. One thing that a lot of teenagers struggle with is their love of themselves, their belief in themselves, and their self-worth. This struggle has led many teens to battle having low self-esteem and poor decision making skills. Even 30 minutes per day of cardio will boost your confidence. Boom! You go girl!
2. Exercise Pumps Up Your Brain Muscles
Are you forgetting things or have you been having trouble concentrating? Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can improve mind power by increasing blood flow to your heart and brain; creating new brain cells which can improve your memory and further develop your learning potential. #Mind-Blown, huh? So, if you really want to ace that algebra test, start working out now; your brain will thank you for it, smarty pants.
3. Exercise Reduces Stress and Anxiety
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals in your brain that release feelings of happiness and excitement. The more you exercise, the more those feelings are set free. Releasing endorphins is also the way that your body naturally relieves stress, wards off feeling blue, and combats the symptoms of depression. Also, if you are feeling nervous or anxious about something, exercise is a great way to reduce your anxiety level, again, because of those amazing “happy chemicals” called endorphins. Try it out the next time that you are required to give a speech in front of your class. A little sweat the day before your presentation can help you get ready to rock it.
4. Exercise Improves Social Skills
Exercise is a great way to make new friends. There are many opportunities to join a team, participate in a club sport, or take a fitness class in your local community. Often, when you join these activities you are going to be surrounded by people who share the same interests as you, which makes it easier to build new friendships. Additionally, studies have shown that participating in a team sport can improve self-esteem, increase cognition, and improve your communication skills as you are working towards a common goal with your teammates. Check out your local YMCA, Recreation Center, Gym, or Jazzercise Fitness Center’s calendar to find some fun classes, or teams that you can join. Who knows? Your new BFF might be there waiting on you to arrive.
5. Exercise Helps You Sleep Better
Between homework assignments, part-time jobs, college applications, community service projects, and spending time with friends, many teens struggle with getting the recommended nine hours of sleep per night. However, exercise can help with that. When your body participates in physical activity, your body’s temperature rises. After your workout, when your body’s temperature starts to fall, this sends a signal to your body that it’s time to rest, alerting it of the need for sleep. So, if you want to get a better night’s rest, which will help your overall well-being, start exercising. You will go to sleep feeling good and wake up feeling even better.
And you thought exercise was just for creating that perfect booty didn’t you? Now you know that exercise is not only beneficial to your physical health, but it’s also essential to your mental health. Let me tell you this…your mental health is just as important as your physical health! If you’re ready to get your mind blown and see of these amazing mental benefits of exercise, be sure to pencil in at least 30 minutes per day of physical activity. Your body and your brain are ready for this to be your best. year. ever.
Editor’s Note: Are you 16-21? Find out about GirlForce™ here. As part of our corporate commitment to GirlForce™, we’re inviting leading teen experts to blog for us. These posts are geared toward both teens and their caregivers. Tell us what you think in the comments!