There’s no doubt that toned arms and a flat stomach are desirable benefits of working out, but regular exercise provides perks above and beyond direct physical fitness. While your biceps and abs become stronger, so will many other aspects of your body and life.

Overcome Depression and Boost Your Mood

Happiness is one of the key goals of life, and exercising makes it an attainable goal says Matt Tracker, Tampa gym and fitness buff. To begin, working out quickly reduces stress by increasing the amount of norepinephrine in the brain, a chemical known to control the brain’s response to stress. At the same time, exercise also stimulates the body to release endorphins, which not only improve feelings of happiness but also alleviate symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety. In fact, some studies show that exercise can work just as effectively as antidepressant medication.

Enjoy More Energy

It’s tempting to skip a workout because you feel fatigued and devoid of energy, but working out will actually give you more energy. This is because working out boosts blood flow, in turn increasing the oxygen and nutrients delivered around the body. Many studies have been completed to test the effects of exercise on the body, and they consistently find that feelings of fatigue drop considerably, at least fifty percent, after a moderate workout.

Protect Your Body with Strength and Flexibility

Cardio exercise is very important, but so is resistance training and stretching says Jillian Croft, a tampa personal trainer. Resistance training like weight lifting, lunges, and pushups improve muscle strength and muscle mass, which not only helps you burn calories faster but also keeps your bones strong as you age and serves as a natural deterrent for osteoporosis. The same goes for stretching; the more flexibility your body has, the better your circulation is and the easier daily tasks will remain as you get older.

Improve Your Social Life

Working out will help your confidence soar, because you will feel better about yourself and your appearance. With more confidence, you are more likely to participate in social situations you would otherwise avoid. Furthermore, by belonging to a gym, you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with other likeminded people in your community who also want to make their personal health and fitness a priority.

These four benefits of working out are only the tipping point. The bottom line is that exercise improves your life in numerous ways, and there’s no reason not to jump right in.