From Instant Stress Relief to Better Focus: 7 Ways Exercise Benefits Your Mind

Even on those days when it feels particularly difficult to drag yourself to the gym, it's always worth it for that moment when you step out of class feeling calm, euphoric, and ready to tackle just about anything that comes your way. That's because, in a way, exercise really is a drug: It actually triggers responses in your brain that give way to a dramatic boost in mood and the release of stress. Oh, and did I mention it can actually make you smarter, too?

We might think of working out as a purely physical ritual, but the impact on our minds might be even more compelling. Below, learn about all the fascinating mental benefits of exercise.