8 Amazing Things Exercise Does for Your Body
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by Anna Dickens

This is your body on Barry’s.

It’s a no-brainer that Barry’s Bootcamp helps you sculpt a killer body—a body that probably earns you many admiring looks when you’re flaunting that itty-bitty swimsuit at the pool. But for as much as we all covet leaner thighs or flatter abs, the benefits of Barry’s are more than skin deep. Exercise does a number of amazing things to the body. It’s been proven to ward off depression, boost self-esteem, improve cognition, and even enhance your performance in the bedroom. Below, we reveal eight scientifically-backed reasons to work out that have nothing to do with how you look (although let’s be real—that’s definitely a huge bonus).

1. It makes you happier.

Have you ever wondered why you’re unusually chipper after completing a tough workout? As the character Elle Woods famously said in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” And it’s true: Exercise has been touted as a wonder drug, more effective than antidepressants in warding off depression, anxiety and other negative feelings. Exercise triggers the brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain linked to happiness and pleasure—so that “Barry’s high” you’re experiencing is actually a thing.

2. It reduces stress.

Feeling frazzled? Feeling like you want to punch your boss in the face? Take a chill pill and go to Barry’s. According to researchers at Harvard, those feel-good endorphins that are emitted during a workout do wonders for combating stress. Plus, exercise distracts you from the stressor at hand, refocusing your negative energy elsewhere.

3. It builds self-esteem.

After finishing a Barry’s class, you probably feel like a total bad***. I mean, come on—you just sprinted at intensely high speeds on the treadmill, did 50 burpees in a row, ran on Dynamic Mode for a half mile, and did a bunch of other insane stuff while the rest of the world was sitting around on their butts. You’re dripping sweat, your heart’s pounding, and you’re high on endorphins. You are a total boss, and you know it. You won’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.

4. You’ll sleep better.

Study after study has shown that exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate chronic insomnia. Regular physical activity leads to deeper, higher quality sleep, the National Sleep Foundation reports. And who doesn’t love a good night’s sleep?!

5. It makes you smarter.

Hey, smarty pants. Yep, I’m looking at you. Not only did that workout just make your biceps stronger, but it also just strengthened your brain. Regular exercise has been shown to improve cognition and protect the brain against mental degeneration. Pretty clever, huh?

6. It makes you more productive.

Vying for that promotion? Go to Barry’s. Numerous studies have found that regular exercise gives workers an edge in the office by stimulating new ideas, boosting energy, and sharpening focus. It’s no wonder, then, that many powerful CEOs report exercising first thing every day.

7. It cuts your disease risk.

Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer. All of these diseases can be prevented by—you guessed it!—regular exercise. Even though cancer is probably the last thing on your mind when you’re pounding away on that Woodway, exercise is one of the most potent drugs for slashing disease risk—yet another compelling reason to get moving.

8. It makes sexy time better.

Looking to turn up the heat between the sheets? Hit the gym. Research shows that exercise can boost testosterone levels, increase blood flow “down there,” and even improve orgasms. Plus, you’ll look better naked. Need we say more?

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Anna Dickens is a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic, yogi, and writer based in Nashville, TN. She is the digital editor of SpryLiving.com, an online women’s health & fitness publication (follow Spry Living on Facebook and Twitter)