You have a couple hours to kill before your self-imposed bed time, what do you do? If your answer was turn on the TV (or anything media related for that matter), shame on you. Exercising is not only the best way to improve your mood, but your overall health and wellness level as well.

Think about it, while you are in school (or work) you have a lot of demands on your time, emotions and abilities. So, when you come home all you want to do is relax, right? I understand that sentiment, because I used to do that all the time. However, my life got tons better (and I felt a lot better too) when I started going to gym after school, instead of watching zombies explode. Why is that? Isn’t kicking back after a long day just what the doctor ordered? I’m going to have to say no on that one. Here’s why:

When you exercise, you release little hormones called endorphins. Endorphins are basically feel-good chemicals (that don’t require you to risk going to jail for) that are released into the brain when you are doing physical activity. That’s why, secretly, you actually kind of like doing physical labor. If you really want to feel good after a long day, you need to hit the gym.

Next, you maintain your weight (or in some cases, you lose some). America is getting fatter as the years go by, and the only way to REALLY get rid of all those pounds (without undergoing some psycho operation) is to have good diet and exercise habits! So if you feel that you are a little over your target weight, maybe you ought to think about modifying your diet and hitting the gym.

Also, did you know that if you do aerobic exercise every week, your risk of heart disease goes down drastically? It’s true. If you run on the treadmill, do some pull ups, ride your bike or any other exercise that gets your heart rate up, you will decrease your chance of heart disease. Isn’t that great news? It ought to be, because heart disease is becoming a more silent killer of Americans, as their love affair with the burger continues.

Lastly, the gym is a great place to meet people who have the same sort of circumstances that you do. Depending on the time you go in, there are tons of people just like you trying to start up a good regimen. That way, you make new friends and have people to help keep you motivated to exercise every day.

Exercising isn’t hard, nor is it miserable. You go, you work hard and you feel great when you come home. Plus, for those people that have a hard time sleeping at night, what better way to knock yourself out than having a great workout right after work? I’m telling you, there is no better feeling than that.

About the Author

Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them understand which colleges are the best online colleges for them and their specific situation.