The REAL Benefit of Exercise (it’s not what you think…)

When you think about the benefits of exercise, what is the first thing that pops into your head? 

  • Weight loss
  • Strength gain
  • Bone density
  • Increase energy

While all of these are important, there is one thing that I believe is the key benefit of working out:

Mental health!

As much as exercise is important for your physical health, it’s the mental benefits that have a day-to-day impact on every aspect of your life.

How Exercise Makes Everything Better


Just think about how important your mood and mindset are to your life. When you are in a good place mentally, you:

  • are more productive at work
  • have more confidence
  • think more clearly
  • make better decisions
  • have better relationships with your spouse and children
  • have more patience
  • feel happier
  • have less stress
  • see opportunities more easily

Your mindset is the #1 thing that will determine the quality of your life and yet we give such little attention to the things that provide us with the right mindset.

Exercise is one of those things.

When you exercise, hormones are released that leave you feeling better about yourself and the world.

It works off excess tension and leads to better sleep, which in turn also helps with mood and mental health.

And the best part about all of this is that it doesn’t take that much time to get these benefits. Just 30 minutes per day of moderate activity will do the trick!

And I know what you are going to say…”how am I going to find the time/money/energy/motivation to work out everyday?”

We all have these questions before starting something new, but it really just comes down to what you want out of life.

You Choose Your Sacrifice


Everything has a cost. Everything has a sacrifice.

If you DO exercise regularly, then your sacrifices will come in the form of time, money, and ego.

You will have to give up some time that you might have spent watching TV, reading, working, or with family.

You will have to give up money that might have gone toward ordering take out, or buying a new car, or upgrading your TV.

You will have to let go of some of your ego as well.

Why? Because the reason you are the way you are is that we all make decisions based on what will make us feel good about ourselves.

We overcommit to work so that we make more money.

We overcommit to family so that we can say that we are a good parent, sibling, son/daughter, etc.

We constantly do things that are in direct opposition to what we SAY we want (health, happiness, quality time with friends and family), and instead do things that serve our need to feel important.

So yes, you will have to sacrifice if you are going to exercise more.

But if you DON’T make a change, then your sacrifices may be much more severe:

  • Health issues
  • Money spent on health issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of energy

Lack of mental clarity The good news is that every day you get to choose the path you want to go down.

You get to choose your sacrifice.

Let's Review...


While most people think only of the physical benefits of exercise, I believe the most important benefit is what it does for your mental and emotional health.

When you exercise regularly (30 minutes per day) you will find that all areas of your life are positively impacted. These include:

  • Mood
  • Relationships
  • Energy
  • Productivity
  • Happiness
  • Mental Clarity

The challenge, however, is committing yourself to the time. 30 minutes is not a lot of time, but it can feel overwhelming when you are already so busy.

To help re-prioritize exercise, think through what sacrifices you want to make in your life.

When it comes to health, it’s “pay me now, or pay me later...with interest”. You get to choose when and what you sacrifice.

Mint Condition Fitness is the leading fitness coaching studio for men and women over 45 to lose weight, build strength, and stay active for life.