10 Mind-Body Benefits You Can Get from Daily Exercise
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In our looks-obsessed society, you can’t scroll through Instagram for more than 5 seconds without seeing a scantily-clad influencer touting a diet or gym routine that will get you that super-toned look that’s in right now. And while, yeah, exercise is great for aesthetics, that shouldn’t be the point. There are many more benefits of a good exercise routine, all happening inside the body. And not just the body – the mind, too. 


Here are 10 scientifically-backed benefits of exercise:


1. Better Heart Health

Studies show that strengthening your body literally strengthens your heart. Because your heart has to adapt to the stress of exercise (increased oxygen uptake, respiratory rate, work load, etc.), it’s getting exercise, too. Exercise helps the heart build thicker ventricular walls, preserves and improves contractive function, increases mitochondrial biogenesis, and improves systolic and diastolic function. 


2. Less Distress

Chronic distress and unease are often related to dysfunction in the HPA axis of the brain. Clinical evidence demonstrates that exercise induces changes in the HPA axis, which is the body’s main stress-response system. These changes modulate stress responses, biological and perceived. Studies also support psychological changes induced by exercise, including reduced reactivity and increased feelings of self-efficacy.


3. More Energy

Spending energy to create more energy? Science says that’s how it works. In a recent meta-analysis of the literature on exercise’s effects on fatigue and vitality, researchers found that participants in moderate intensity exercise programs, compared to control groups, experienced decreased feelings of fatigue, increased energy levels, and increased feelings of vitality.


4. Better Mood

It’s known that exercise supports healthy, even moods long-term; physical activity is a standard non-pharmacological intervention for clinical mood and affect difficulties. But a new study suggests exercise is also an immediate mood-booster. Participants rated their moods before and after walking 1 mile on a treadmill. The results showed a single episode of exercise reduced sadness, tension and irritability, while raising energy levels in adults with chronic low mood.


5. Improved Muscle Health

Okay, so this one’s pretty obvious – strength and aerobic training strengthens your muscles. But what does that mean? It means improved bone mineral density, metabolic function, mobility, heart health, and functional independence well into late age. An exercise routine is essentially an anti-aging routine for your musculoskeletal system.


6. More Endurance

Endurance isn’t just important for long-distance running. You need endurance every day, whether it’s to get through juggling work, kids, after-school activities, and chores; completing outdoor projects or home renovations; work a double shift to cover an absent coworker – you name it. Exercise increases base-level endurance by improving heart and lung capacity, circulation, and time to exhaustion.


7. Better Sleep

It seems that there is a symbiotic relationship between sleep quality and exercise. On one hand, if your sleep is poor, you’re less likely to exercise regularly, and inactivity is a known contributor to sleep difficulties. Exercise supports your sleep/wake cycle, and also gives your mind and body things to recover from at night, and reviews of the literature have shown that episodes of moderate physical activity throughout the week can improve sleep latency, quality and duration.


8. Increased Immunity

The medical community agrees that chronic exercise strengthens the immune system, and has recently begun to understand the mechanisms behind it. Exercise modulates the immune system in a few ways: (1) pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines are released, (2) lymphocyte activity – responsible for adaptive immune response – increases, and (3) immunocompetent cell recruitment increases. This results in lower incidence, symptom severity and mortality associated with viral infections, especially.


9. Better Quality of Life

You can’t throw a stone without hitting a study that demonstrates the positive effects of exercise on quality of life. It’s intuitive, really: improved heart health, muscle health, mental health, immune response, energy levels, sleep, and mood all result in a better life experience. Not being sick and tired, combined with not feeling sick and tired either, puts you in a better place in the short and long-term.


10. Increased Lifespan

Does exercise help you live longer? Kind of! You can’t isolate variables and say exercise is solely responsible for increased lifespan, but you can look at the secondary benefits and conclude that it’s a significant factor. A recent review of the clinical studies showed regular physical activity may increase life expectancy by .4 to 6.9 years, and included the finding that – to some extent – more exercise = more lifespan. 


Does it Matter How Much I Exercise?

Exercise seems to be dose-dependent in more than one way. In 2023, the AMA released the results of a 30-year longitudinal population-based study on 116,221 adults. Participants self-reported leisure-time physical activity 15 times over the course of the 30 years, and health factors were recorded an analyzed. Results were according to the 2018 guidelines that adults should exercise 150-300 minutes of moderate activity, 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of the two per week. The study had several important findings:


  • Adults who worked out 2-4x more than the minimum recommendations had lower risks of cardiovascular disease, with adults who worked out 2-4x more than the recommended moderate activity minutes seeing the biggest benefit.
  • Compared to baseline population, participants had 26%-31% lower all-cause mortality, 28%-38% lower cardiovascular mortality and 25%-27% lower non-cardiovascular mortality.
  • Adults who worked out 2-4x the recommended range of vigorous activity minutes experienced 21%-23% lower all-cause mortality, 27%-33% lower cardiovascular mortality and 19% lower non-cardiovascular mortality.


But it takes less than you might think to start an exercise routine that benefits your health; an early 2000’s review of the clinical literature on physical activity and all-cause mortality showed that expending just 1000 calories/week doing occupational or leisure time activity may be enough to reduce all-cause mortality risk by 20-30%. For a 200-pound person, that’s, like, 30 minutes of moderately vigorous activity 2x per week. 


Similar results were seen for people who walked 2 miles per week or worked out only a few times a month. The review also states there is a linear and inverse relationship between expenditure and mortality risk, meaning if you do more than the minimum, you reap more than the base-level benefits.


It is important to note, though, that CDC Control and Prevention currently recommends at least 30 minutes of vigorous activity 5x per week to maximize the mental and physical health benefits associated with exercise, and the AMA expands that to the 150-300 moderate/75-100 vigorous minutes we discussed above.


So you can start as small as you need to and work your way up. Seems pretty doable, right?


Optimize Your Exercise; Optimize Your Health

Given all the benefits, the relatively-low time commitment, and the fact that anyone can exercise anywhere, at least in some form – it’s no wonder doctors and health enthusiasts alike swear by a solid exercise routine – and our people do, too. 


MTE® is the perfect complement to a healthy lifestyle; it can give you the energy boost you need before a workout, the sleep support you want to get that morning workout in, the muscle recovery required to keep improving your endurance, and way more. 


Great as an alternative to your morning coffee, a preworkout drink, a post-workout recovery drink, help with focus to really zone in on your workout, and just overall support for performing at your best, MTE’s® unique blend of 13 adaptogens, nootropics and superfoods can help you do it all.


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