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801: 10 Fitness Secrets Every Busy Parent Needs to Know

TMHS 761: 5 Weird Reasons You Need to Exercise Today

Keeping your body physically active is one of the most powerful things you can do for your overall health. By now, most folks have a basic understanding of how exercise can improve cardiovascular health and aid in weight management. But the benefits of exercise actually span across nearly every system and function in our bodies.

In fact, research shows that regular exercise can increase everything from our vision to our sexual function. On this episode of The Model Health Show, you’re going to hear five weird, little-known benefits of exercising. You’ll learn about how being physically active can impact cognitive function, body image, appetite, and so much more.

There’s no better time than today to reap these weird benefits of exercising. I hope this episode encourages you to take advantage of the immediate and long-term advantages of being physically active. So click play, and enjoy the show!

In this episode you’ll discover:


  • How walking has been proven to slow rates of vision loss.
  • Why our devices are making our eyes sedentary.
  • The connection between exercise and erectile function.
  • How exercise can improve sexual satisfaction.
  • The important role of muscle in the endocrine system.
  • How myokines released from your muscles can promote neurogenesis.
  • The connection between strength training and long-term memory.
  • Why walking can enhance creativity.
  • How to rewire your brain to want to eat more healthfully.
  • The research behind exercise and better appetite regulation.
  • How a morning workout influences ghrelin levels.
  • The relationship between exercise and body image.
  • Why engaging your muscles can sensitize your brain to pleasure.
  • The #1 form of exercise you should do.

Items mentioned in this episode include

This episode of The Model Health Show is sponsored by Onnit & HVMN.


Visit for an exclusive 10% discount on human performance supplements and fitness equipment.


Get 30% on your first subscription order of Ketone-IQ, high-performance energy in a bottle, at

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SHAWN STEVENSON: Exercise can have some remarkable benefits on our body composition and biometrics. But on this episode, we're going to be exploring some of the more unique, interesting and downright weird benefits that exercise can have on our bodies. Now, to kick things off on this list of five weird reasons that you need to exercise today, is that exercise can improve and protect your vision. Yes, exercising our bodies can actually help us to see better in a plethora of different ways. First and foremost, glaucoma is noted to be the most common cause of blindness worldwide. Well, a study conducted by researchers at the John Hopkins University investigated whether or not physical activity can influence vision loss in relationship to glaucoma. The scientists tracked the exercise habits and physical activity levels of 140 people with various stages of glaucoma, average age of 65, and compiled data on the health of their vision.

SHAWN STEVENSON: At the end of the study, they stated, "Increased walking, greater time spent doing moderate to vigorous physical activity and more time spent in non-sedentary activity were associated with slower rates of vision loss in this treated population of glaucoma patients." Specifically, the scientists noted that an additional 5000 daily steps or 2.6 hours of non-sedentary physical activity decreased the average rate of visual field loss by about 10%. And so, basically, every 5000 steps led to a reduction in risk of developing worse glaucoma or developing glaucoma at all. Each 5000 steps dropped your risk down by 10%. All right, so it's pretty remarkable that we can walk our way into better eyesight.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, it's difficult to look at the inner physiology of our eyes and measure the impact of exercise while we're still alive and using our eyes. So the mechanisms behind why exercise is protective is still unclear. You get that, unclear? You see that, what I did there? But a recent study is shedding some light on at least one aspect of this. Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine affirm that exercise can slow or prevent the development of macular degeneration and may benefit other common causes of vision loss. Using an animal model, the researchers found that exercise reduced the harmful overgrowth of blood vessels in the eyes in these mice that they studied by up to 45%, noting that this tangle of blood vessels is a key contributor to macular degeneration and several other eye diseases.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, not only that. According to a study published in PLOS Biology, Public Library of Science Biology, going for a walk, going for a simple walk increases how much and how quickly your brain processes visual input. So how your vision is interacting with your environment quickly improves when we go for a walk. Of course, there are specific exercises that we can do for our eyes. I'm talking about exercises for your eyes themselves. Working on eye movement, depth perception and things like that.

SHAWN STEVENSON: But more than ever right now, we need to be aware of what's essentially putting our eyes into a fixed damaging position, basically making our eyes sedentary. And this is this new phenomenon that we have today of staring at our phones for hours a day. Looking at this relatively small screen at a fixed position is in many ways making our eyes sedentary. Now, yes, our eyes are moving around as we're staring at the screen and seeing movements on the screen but this is akin to us sitting in a chair all day and moving around. Sitting in a chair and then moving around, moving our arms around, our head around, that kind of stuff. We're still sedentary but there's movement happening. That's kind of what's happening when we're staring at our phones in these fixed positions. Kinda putting our vision into a cast, into a place where it's restricted and lacking the ability to move like they normally would if we're operating and living in a natural environment.

SHAWN STEVENSON: So yes, movements are happening when we're staring at our phones at a fixed position, but there are hundreds, literally hundreds of different movement inputs for our eyes, visual inputs for our eyes that we can become deficient in. So yes, we can take time away from our phone and stare off into the distance and work on our depth perception, move our eyes around and things like that but what this data is indicating is that exercising and moving our physical entire body in its fullness, moving our physical body around actually improves and protects our vision. So this act of exercise and movement is in fact protecting our vision. It's one of the weird things, this connection, but then again, it's not really that strange because our eyes are connected to our physical body.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And we're gonna have improvements in blood flow, we're gonna have improvements in cognitive function because our eyes and our vision are really an aspect of our brain and nervous system. And so it's really profound. And by the way, if you're interested in improving and protecting your vision from a nutrient perspective, then I highly recommend adding in krill oil. Now, krill is very rich in something called astaxanthin. And it's a really remarkable antioxidant that's been found in numerous studies to reduce hypertension, to improve our cognitive function, but also to improve the health of our vision. In fact, one particular study found that test subjects utilizing astaxanthin had improvements in visual acuity and depth perception.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, keep in mind, astaxanthin is just one of the remarkable compounds found in krill oil. We can't forget about these vital omega-3s. Now, these omega-3 fatty acids are some of the rare fatty acids that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier pretty readily and actually support and rebuild our brain cells. So we're talking about things like signal transduction, we're talking about supporting the actual structure of our neurons, which fats are very much required, in particular, these vital omega-3s.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, what's so special about krill oil is that that astaxanthin that's found in krill oil is even more protective of those omega-3 fatty acids. And so conventional fish oil supplements and things like that, unfortunately, they can become rancid more easily if they're not produced properly. And krill oil just happens to be much more bioavailable and in large part to its astaxanthin content. And so as with anything, the sourcing matters. It really, really matters today more than ever. You wanna make sure that you're getting your products from companies that are going above and beyond and making sure that they're sourcing from ethical sources, that their processing is done in an intentional fashion. And this is why I get my krill oil from Go to, and you're actually gonna get 10% off their krill oil and also everything else store-wide. That's for 10% off.

SHAWN STEVENSON: I highly recommend their krill oil, especially again, if you're thinking about cognitive health, if you're thinking about cardiovascular health, if you're thinking about improving and protecting your vision, this is one of the highest recommended supplements that you can find. And also right now, we're talking about exercise. We're talking about the benefits, even weird benefits of exercise. And Onnit, that's really what brought them to the forefront, is their development and bringing into the market these unique pieces of exercise equipment; steel clubs, steel maces, their primal kettlebells, sand bags. They've had partnerships with Marvel, with Star Wars. You know how hard it is to work with the people at Marvel, Star Wars? It's because Onnit really is about that life. I highly recommend checking out their fitness equipment as well. Again, pop over there,, get 10% off store-wide.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, moving on in our list of five weird reasons that you need to exercise today. Number two is that exercise improves the blood flow to your nether regions, aka, exercise improves your sexual health. A brand new meta-analysis of 11 randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that aerobic activities such as walking or cycling improved erectile function in all men with erectile dysfunction regardless of body weight, overall health or medication use. Men with the most severe erectile dysfunction saw the greatest benefit.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Again, this is a brand new analysis of multiple studies published just this last month as of this recording. And the study authors stated, "healthcare providers should consider recommending regular aerobic exercise as a low-risk non-pharmacologic therapies for men experiencing erectile difficulties." Wouldn't that be special? Wouldn't that be amazing if our healthcare practitioners were recommending or prescribing a certain amount of steps to their patient and not being so quick to pull out their prescription pad and writing a prescription when dealing with these types of issues? Yes, medication has its place, but unfortunately, the way that our system is constructed, it's put pharmacology above basic human function and basic human inputs. Our genes, our DNA requires us to move, to walk.

SHAWN STEVENSON: What do you think is going to happen when we're living a more sedentary lifestyle? One of the most obvious aspects of this is that we're having improvements in blood flow, improvements in circulation when we're moving our bodies around. And if we're talking about the erection, if we're talking about the erection, we're talking about blood flow, all right? And so this should be captain obvious here. And again, these study authors having to say that health care providers should consider recommending exercise, that really speaks to the current state of affairs we're dealing with.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, another randomized controlled trial published in 2013 looked at the direct impact of exercise intervention of cardio and strength training on the quality of erections in test subjects with erectile dysfunction. The study participants were men with an average age of 62 who were split into an exercise intervention group or into the control group. The exercise group did interval training on a stationary bike three times a week, plus strength training two days a week for six months, while the control group made no changes to their baseline daily activity. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the exercise group had significant increases in erection quality, while the control group had no improvement. We're talking about quality. The quality of the erection, that's what we're talking about here. All right? And seeing no improvement when folks aren't adding in these exercise recommendations versus seeing notable improvements in quality when folks add in exercise that are already dealing with erectile dysfunction. You can get better quality. How's your quality, bro? How's your quality?

SHAWN STEVENSON: If we're not exercising, we're missing out on one of the most important inputs for that quality. Now, what about for women? Well, a meta-analysis published in 2018 titled "The Effects of Exercise on Sexual Function in Women" found that a single bout of exercise can improve physiological sexual arousal in women. The researchers found that consistent exercise on the other hand... Again, we looked at a single bout of exercise improving physiological sexual arousal, but consistent exercise appears to enhance sexual satisfaction. Some of the reasons why these benefits are seen were noted to be improvements in hormone function, mood and overall function of the autonomic nervous system.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, again, one of the most obvious ways that exercise improves sexual function is that it improves blood flow and delivers oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the outer and inner parts of our reproductive system. Now, keep in mind, what we see on the outside has a lot to do with what's happening inside. And so we wanna take care of ourselves from the inside out truly, because blood flow, circulation, blood isn't just this kind of strange superficial thing that we think about like, "Okay, I know I've got blood, and I know that it's important." No, no, no. It's often referred to as the river of life, all right? Our blood flow is delivering nutrients where it needs to be in our bodies. It is of the utmost importance to have healthy blood flow and circulation, but when we're stagnant, when we're sedentary, our blood flow is automatically instantly going to be reduced.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And it's just... It is what it is. That's just a part of life. Life is movement, and as we become more and more sedentary, everything begins to slow down and become more sluggish. And so keep this in mind as one of these weird reasons that you need to exercise today is that it's going to improve the health of your nether regions. All right, now moving on. We're at number three on our list of five weird reasons that you need to exercise today, and number three is that exercise instantly makes you smarter. Your muscles are an endocrine organ, your muscles are an endocrine organ. What that means is your muscles are an organ that produces hormones, and in particular, we found that contracting our muscles triggers the release of myokines and anabolic hormones when we actually use them.

SHAWN STEVENSON: When we use our muscles, our muscles secrete these really remarkable compounds. A recent study cited in the journal, "Brain Plasticity" details how myokines that are released from muscle contraction have the potential to stimulate neurogenesis. This means the creation of new neurons. All right? Just a couple of decades ago, it wasn't even considered something that the brain was able to do at later stages of life. It was all about decline degradation. Though today, we know that there are certain aspects of the human brain that can produce new neurons. And exercise, again, flexing our muscles, utilizing our muscles, our back muscles, our quad muscles, whatever the case might be, can actually stimulate the production of new brain cells. That's profound. But again, this speaks to how our bodies are connected, all right?

SHAWN STEVENSON: Our brain isn't just off. We do have this blood-brain barrier, but our brain isn't off living in another body. It's not like Krang. Shout out to the Ninja Turtles. It's not off doing its own thing. Everything is connected in this one amazing entity. And so utilizing your muscles that are from the neck down, are becoming the catalyst for producing new brain cells, even as we move on in age. Now, what does this look like as far as outcomes? Well, a randomized controlled trial published in "The Archives of Internal Medicine" found that resistance training in particular has been found to improve cognitive function and brain plasticity. Now, another study, and this was published in 2014, conducted by researchers at Georgia Tech, and it revealed that strength training for as little as 20 minutes can improve our long-term memory.

SHAWN STEVENSON: The researchers had study participants train legs for 20 minutes versus the controls who did nothing. Two days later, they had them do an image recall test and the strength training test subjects outperformed the non-lifters by 10%. All right. What are our lessons here? Number one, don't skip leg day. Number two, do you even lift? Do you even lift or missing out on these vital rewards, these vital inputs by not exposing our body to some resistance training. And one of my favorite reports on exercise and cognitive function is from researchers at Stanford University. And their analysis found that the simple act of taking a short walk increased creative inspiration for study participants by an average of 60% versus sitting. The effect was evident while and even after walking anywhere from between just five and 16 minutes. This enhancement of creativity was a specific flavor of creativity known as divergent thinking. This is the ability to think creatively, to think outside of the box.

SHAWN STEVENSON: That's what was most notably improved by going for a walk. And philosophers, great teachers throughout the centuries have been noting the power of simply going for a walk. Just getting outside of our environment where we're typically, if we're working on a problem or a project or whatever the case might be, maybe just working on the daily task or maybe we're struggling with something, we're trying to figure out, simply unplugging from that problem and going for a walk opens up so many creative faculties. And a big part of that, if we're talking about the biomechanics of this, again, increased blood flow, triggering the release of anabolic hormones.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Also we get a bump in things like endorphins and epinephrine and all these different things just by moving our bodies and getting physically active. Now, on the other side what happens when we're not doing this, what happens to our cognitive function? What happens to the health of our brains when we're not moving our bodies on a consistent basis? Well, a study conducted by researchers at UCLA and published in PLOS One, the Public Library of Science One, found that long stretches of sedentary behavior like spending all day at your desk in a chair each day was linked to a loss of brain thickness in the part of the brain that's critical for our memories. Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again there's certain types of thickness that you don't want to lose, all right?

SHAWN STEVENSON: For example, to quote the great 20th century poet, he said that “you can do side bends and sit-ups but please don't lose that butt”. Now, this is a wonderful work of art that's speaking to exercise. Do your thing girl but don't lose those cakes. All right? You don't want to lose certain types of thickness. Now, with all of this being said just keeping in mind that this benefit is instantaneous. When we become active, when we start moving our bodies, when we start exercising, it immediately improves our cognitive function. It immediately improves our visual acuity. It immediately improves the blood flow to our nether regions. All right. So many benefits are seen here. Some of these things might seem strange but the cool thing is again this is why you need to exercise today. Do some exercise today and get these benefits.

SHAWN STEVENSON: The question might be, well, how do I get started if I've been living a sedentary lifestyle, how do I get started? Well, a couple of things. Number one, again, we don't have to make this complicated. We don't have to create a challenging on-ramp. Most often, again, just putting on our shoes and going outside, walking down the block and there's this principle in physics. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Just get going. Just get going. Start moving. Put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you find yourself at an entirely different location or destination.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And so don't overcomplicate things especially if you're of the experience like I don't have the energy to get going. And the interesting thing about exercise is that we don't get energy in many ways. We create energy, we make energy. We are a vessel that our bodies create energy when the requirement is placed on our bodies to do so. All right. We can actually produce more of the mechanisms of the machinery that produces the energy currency of the body, ATP, we can actually make more of those power plants when we're utilizing our muscles and we're talking about our mitochondria and mitochondrial genesis. Now, some of the ways that we've seen in multiple studies that are able to trigger this phenomenon is contracting our muscles, exercising yes, other stress inputs, hormetic stressors like cold exposure, heat exposure, things like that.

SHAWN STEVENSON: But again just moving our bodies, we start to become a vessel that's creating more energy. And with that being said there are different nutritional energy inputs that can support our exercise and exercise habits but without weird side effects. Right now we're living in a time where there are so many different products out there. It is crazy. All right? It's straight up nuts. And we want to make sure that we are paying attention to the science and also making sure that we're not doing something that is nefarious for our bodies and our nervous system and our endocrine system that have long tail problems or side effects instead sticking to something and for me I'm a big proponent of not being dependent on increased glucose sources to try to fuel our workouts because our bodies will inherently grab those glucose sources first and if our goal is fat loss for example, instead of using our body fat stores.

SHAWN STEVENSON: All right. So this is why I'm a big fan. If you're really wanting to improve your workout, your performance in this category of a pre-workout, one of my favorite things that I've been utilizing on a pretty consistent basis is Ketone-IQ. Numerous studies including a study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that exogenous ketones can be up to 28% more efficient in generating energy than glucose alone. This can be a much higher quality energy source. This can be a cleaner energy source. PLOS studies found that there's up to a 15% increased mean output. Meaning we're able to literally have more output, to do more, to perform better, to keep challenging ourselves and pressing forward. They noted that 15% increased mean output after recovery when utilizing ketones. I highly recommend checking out Ketone-IQ from HVMN.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Go to for 30% off. 30% off your first subscription order. I keep these on hand now. At first, again, I was skeptical in just testing things and looking at some of the results, testing them, seeing what's happening in the community, looking at the data and it's just undeniable. For most people they notice a difference on day one. And this is... Again, this is a clean natural energy source. You don't get some weird spike in jitteriness or anything like that. It just feels good, feels nice but you'll just notice. It's kind of one of those things you just notice like, oh I'm not tired after doing, fill in the blank as I usually am or I feel like I can keep going. It's just this really remarkable feeling that you get.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And again just pop over to and they're gonna hook you up with 30% off your first subscription order. So again, if you're looking at something to help support your exercise habits, definitely check out Ketone-IQ. And also listen to the name Ketone-IQ. Highly noted to improve our cognitive function as well. Now, moving on in our list of five weird reasons that you need to exercise today. Number four is that exercise helps you make better food choices. A study cited in the International Journal of Obesity recruited more than 2500 college students who said that they didn't eat healthy and currently exercise for less than 30 minutes a week. The students were put on a 15-week aerobic exercise plan that involved doing guided cardio for 30 to 60 minutes three times a week.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Each person was asked to fill out a diet questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study and they were told not to change their eating habits. They were explicitly told not to change their eating habits. Now, about 2000 of these participants stuck around and completed the study with doing the exercise plan, showing up each and every week and doing the exercise plan. Now, even though they were told not to make changes to their diet, many of them did anyway. The researchers found that the students began eating healthier without being instructed to do so. They found that on average participants started eating more nutritious fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and nuts and fewer fried foods, soda and ultra processed snack foods.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Also the scientists noted that the more consistently and more vigorously a person exercised, the more their diet tended to improve. One of the authors of the study, Molly Bray, who's the chair of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin doesn't think conscious effort can explain the whole phenomenon. She stated, "Exercise is altering neural processing in your brain. The stimulation of your brain that occurs with high intensity exercise is what changes lots of things about your body including what it wants to eat." This is so profound because again she noted that this isn't a conscious thing that's happening from her perspective as a scientist. It's just something that was happening unconsciously.

SHAWN STEVENSON: The people who started exercising, these students in this study just started to be driven to make healthier choices. Now, plenty of research suggests that exercise can change brain function. And again, Molly Bray who's one of the researchers in this study says that this rewiring of our brains may be behind the urge to eat more healthfully. Now, there's also substantial data demonstrating that exercise also helps us to better regulate our appetite. Recent research out of Brigham Young University shows that 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning actually reduces a person's motivation for food throughout the day. The scientists measured the neural activity of 35 women while they viewed food images. So they're actually looking at their brain activity both following a morning of exercise and a morning without exercise.

SHAWN STEVENSON: The researchers found that the attentional response in the brain to the images of food that the test subjects were shown actually decreased significantly after the brisk workout. The 45-minute exercise session not only produced lower brain responses to the food images but also resulted in an increase in total physical activity that day I.e., the participants ended up being more active during the day after exercising. The researchers also noted that exercise had a notable supportive effect on the hunger hormone, ghrelin. So strange because we think maybe there's a subconscious belief that maybe if we start exercising maybe we'll have this effect of trying to make up for it with eating more but that's simply not seen in the data.

SHAWN STEVENSON: As a matter of fact what is seen in the data is that we tend to make better food choices and we tend to have a more well-regulated appetite when we are exercising consistently. Now, there's a spectrum here because there's certain forms of exercise and there's certain durations and intensities that are going to affect our bodies differently. So keep that in mind. But just in general some strength training sessions, a session or two of high intensity interval training and walking each week, all of these things are well established to actually support healthier food choices and also to support having a more balanced and well-regulated appetite. Now, I want to make one more point because the researchers also acknowledged that this probably doesn't go the other way where you change your diet and suddenly that drives you to want to exercise more.

SHAWN STEVENSON: There's something about movement. There's something about this physical activity that leads to changes in the diet. Now, not to say that when we're eating healthier and we're feeling better that this is not going to work in the opposite direction but there's just this more notable thing because... And again life is movement. Our genes really expect us to be moving and to be active creatures. And so it's turning on all kinds of higher order faculties when we're moving our bodies. All right, we're at our final one of our five weird reasons that you need to exercise today.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And number five is that exercise improves your body image. Our self-image, our self-confidence is a huge aspect of how we're showing up in the world. And I know many people have experienced this. They work out, maybe they haven't been working out for a couple of weeks and they go and do one workout or maybe they haven't worked out, period, like in months or years and they go to the gym or they do a workout and they suddenly feel like, damn, I feel more attractive. Damn, I'm tightening up. So many people have had this experience and my question was is this actually validated in the science?

SHAWN STEVENSON: Is there something going on here with doing a single bout of exercise, for example a single workout or again just starting to get going with exercise and having an improvement and feeling more attractive. Well, a recent study published in the journal, "Psychology of Sport and Exercise" found that in just one session of exercise, women had a positive improvement in their body image. The study recruited 75 college-age women who were dissatisfied with their physical appearance as measured by several previously validated questionnaires. The questionnaires measured how these women felt about their appearance, body weight, body fat percentage, level of fitness, endurance, strength, confidence and their ability to exercise, energy levels and stress. They were also asked how much they enjoyed exercise.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Then half of the women were instructed to exercise and they did exercise vigorously for 30 minutes on a stationary bike while the other half sat in a room and read magazines. But not fashion magazines, not Elle, not anything like that. National Geographics. Because again the magazines could lead to some influence in their self-perception. Now, they all repeated the questionnaires right away and again 20 minutes thereafter. What the researchers found was that women who exercised felt significantly thinner and stronger immediately and still felt that way 20 minutes after exercising. The author suggests that these positive changes may last longer than 20 minutes and thus may help explain why people who exercise regularly have better self images regardless of any actual change in their appearance.

SHAWN STEVENSON: All right but the question is how? Now, this isn't going to be true across the board. We can get into a place where we might exercise for a certain extent and not see the results and get frustrated but usually that's over a certain amount of time if anybody isn't paying attention to the micro changes that their body is experiencing. But initially, again, a single bout of exercise, people start to perceive themselves as more attractive. They start to feel a little bit more sexy. The question again is how? Now, remember that your muscles are an endocrine organ. Your muscles are a hormone producing and sensing organ. Again, myokines, anabolic hormones and more.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Now, exercise also reduces stress and triggers the release of endorphins, serotonin, these feel-good molecules and more. Exercise also increases our resilience to stress in our lives. It's crazy how stress can pull us away from our sense of feeling good about ourselves, our self-image, our feeling of attractiveness in some ways. So exercise increases resilience against those day-to-day stressors. Exercise also... And this is really cool. We talked about this on a powerful episode with Kelly McGonigal, health psychologist and we'll put that for you in the show notes. Exercise actually sensitizes our brains to more pleasure. All right. So our brains become even more sensitive to the good stuff, the little micro things in our lives. It makes us more sensitive to goodness which is really fascinating.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And even referring back to the study on exercise improving sexual health and desire for women that we referenced a little bit earlier that was published in 2018, the researchers also noted that the improvement in body image exhibited by women in that study even after a single bout of exercise is also one of the reasons that sexual health was improved. Now, keep in mind all of these benefits that we're covering, if you were able to see these kind of results from a pill that was bottled up, that was created, research funded, tested by a pharmaceutical company to improve our self-image, to improve our sexual function, to help regulate our appetite, the list goes on and on, these will be billion dollar products for drug companies and we have access to this by simply moving our bodies.

SHAWN STEVENSON: It is a sacred vital responsibility that we've all been blessed with. We have these amazing bodies, we've been gifted with the opportunity to move them and it's up to us whether or not we do it. And also I want to reiterate that point that I said earlier, objects in motion tend to stay in motion, objects at rest tend to stay at rest. Just getting going. If this has been a struggle for you just telling yourself let me just go do something for five minutes or even two minutes. Let me just go outside and walk for two minutes. I promise you, you're probably going to find a very very high likelihood that that begins to create a domino effect where that two minutes becomes five minutes or 10 minutes. Just the act of getting going and moving our bodies has this really remarkable snowball effect.

SHAWN STEVENSON: I always like to mention this as well is that the best form of exercise is the form of exercise that you actually do. We've got all these great studies on resistance training and on mobility training and functional training. The list goes on and on. But none of that matters if you don't have an attraction to doing those things and it's a constant struggle. So my encouragement is to do what you love. If you love roller skating, if you love playing basketball, if you love... There's a pickleball movement taking over the world right now. If you love playing pickleball, if you like going on hikes, if you like romantic walks by the lake, whatever, if you love rowing whether it's in an actual boat or on a stationary machine, whatever it is that you feel attracted to, give yourself permission to do those things and do them more frequently.

SHAWN STEVENSON: Sometimes because we enjoy doing a thing we don't give ourselves the credit and acknowledgement that that thing is exercise and I'm being able to extract massive benefits by being active doing that thing. So give yourself permission this year to do the exercise that you really enjoy and do it more often. Now, before you go I want to make sure... This is very very important. Make sure that you're subscribed to The Model Health Show on whatever platform that you're listening on. This is very very important. A recent update with Apple, I just found this out recently led to some folks missing some fire episodes of The Model Health Show the past couple of months.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And so to make sure that you're not missing out, make sure that you subscribe to The Model Health Show whether it's on Apple Podcast, Spotify, whatever platform that you're listening on, make sure that you're subscribed, put on notifications, make sure that you don't miss a single thing. And also if you happened to miss some of those incredible episodes, I'm telling you right now, you want to go back and listen because they are packed, they're power packed with incredible insights. Now, we've got even more epicness, world-class guests, phenomenal masterclasses to help to provide you with a wealth of knowledge, support and motivation. So make sure to stay tuned. We've got so much good stuff in store. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.

SHAWN STEVENSON: And for more after the show make sure to head over to That's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.


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The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Family is Health

When you gather your family around the table to share nutritious food, you’re not only spending quality time with them - you’re setting them up for success in all areas of their lives.

The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes, plus the latest science to support the mental, physical and social health of your loved ones.

Eat Smarter Family Cookbook


The Eat Smarter Family Cookbook is filled with 100 delicious recipes + the latest science to support your family’s mental, physical, and social health all in one place.

A family that eats together, thrives together.

Order the cookbook and get an amazing bonus today!