If you were to believe the headlines on the average, body-shaming women’s magazine, you might think that working out is only good for two things: weight loss, and getting men to love you. But, just like you as a multi-faceted, sentient, intelligent human being, a work out is about a lot more than just looking hot and being skinnyÂ (as if those things are mutually exclusive). Regular exercise can improve your skin, your heart, your mood, and even your career.
Not that you’d know it from most of the media’s messages, but exercise isn’t just a last resort when dieting doesn’t work. In fact, picking up a kettlebell or heading to a yoga class can actually help a lot of the medical and psychological maladies that many Americans medicate for, like poor sleep, lack of concentration, and even menstrual pain.
Of course, exercise isn’t a cure-all for everyone, nor is it a substitute for seeing a doctor. But it’s also not just a method of weight loss. Flip through this gallery to see all the benefits of a good workout–some might even surprise you.
Image: The Career Capitalist. All others: Thinkstock