Working out increases your metabolism on any given day, which means the body’s functions “react and work more efficiently” for hours after your workout.
“This sends more oxygen to our brain for critical thinking,” says Walker. “If returning to work after exercising, you’ll feel more clear about your decision making and have longer lasting stamina.”
The body’s ability to burn energy at rest gives a better feeling of self-confidence and self-efficacy, adds Walker. Again, this helps you to make better and well thought decisions throughout the day.
Pettitt agrees. After exercise, “your concentration levels will improve, and you will be more productive in the rest of the day”.
Your sleep is likely to improve after exercise, so even if you feel tired during the day, remind yourself that a short burst of movement will increase the likelihood of sleeping better at night. This is because exercise increases blood flow and sends more oxygen to the brain, explains Walker.
Better sleep can help lower blood pressure, and decrease anxiety and stress. “Increased levels of sleep can also reduce the risk of heart related diseases or issues such as diabetes or tachycardia,” he adds.
Are you thinking about bailing because your body needs a rest? If you’re a bit of a seasoned exercise pro, taking days off is essential.
Our bodies need time to recover from high intensity training, says Walker. “Training every day affects the body’s ability to repair broken down muscle fibres. Every muscle group requires 24-48 hours rest between each weight training session. That needs to be considered with taking one or two days off a week.”
The body needs protein, rest, sleep and hydration to heal and grow, he adds. So if you’ve already trained four or five days in a row, it’s okay to bail on your workout.
Honestly, you really will. Get yourself in the post-workout headspace before you work out and you’ll be prancing around doing drop lunges before you can even entertain the idea of bailing. Here’s hoping, anyway.
“There are few better feelings than when you didn’t feel up to completing a workout or session, but you push through and have a really great session and feel amazing afterwards!” exclaims Pettitt. We couldn’t agree more.
Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features encouraging you to add movement into your day – because it’s not just good for the body, but the mind, too. We get it: workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can move more without dreading it. Whether you love hikes, bike rides, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.