Editor's Note: This post is authored by Matilda Davies. Matilda lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she writes about great homes, health, and wellness. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and walking her dogs.
When that alarm goes off first thing in the morning or when we finally leave the office at the end of a workday, there are plenty of reasons why we could decide to skip the gym and hit the bar or the couch instead. But what about the other option? Here are six reasons not to skip your next workout.
1. Get better sleep
“We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, MD, medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital. Some studies even suggest that working out can benefit those with chronic insomnia. So the next time you think about skipping the gym, consider the great sleep benefits you could be missing out on.
2. Reap the mental and physical health rewards
The benefits of a great workout for your mental and physical health are endless. Exercise can help prevent and fight heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression, even if you may be genetically predisposed to these problems.
3. Bust stress after a tough day
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Even a 20-minute walk can make a difference in your stress level—now that’s really a reason to stop procrastinating.
4. Improve your performance at work
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America notes that exercise is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. So if you’re coming up against a big project or a tight deadline, hit the gym and boost that brain power.
5. Enjoy the social rewards
Sometimes it’s tough to bring yourself to the gym if you just got an invitation to go out with friends. Combine both and enlist a friend or two complete the workout with you. Once you’ve worked up a healthy sweat, join the crowd for a cocktail.
6. Never regret a workout
Lastly, no one ever regretted going for a workout. We all know that feeling of regret when we skip a workout and then later wish we hadn’t, but who doesn’t love that intensely satisfying feeling of accomplishment when we log another great workout in the books.