If we had to choose one habit that offers the biggest bang for your beauty buck, exercise would be it. Seriously, it works wonders.When most of us think about why we exercise, we probably think of nudging that scale just a few pounds lower or squeezing into skinny jeans. Sure, exercise is essential for any weight-loss program. But most of the benefits of exercise are actually internal. You might not see them, but you’ll definitely feel them.

Are you active enough?

For a fit, healthy body, the American Heart Association recommends at least thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days per week (try a brisk walk) or twenty minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three days per week (try swimming for full-body fitness), plus thirty minutes of strength training.

From better mood and energy to a strong heart and fewer headaches, exercise helps to keep your insides happy and healthy (and steams up your sex life too!). Exercise is key for a long, pain-free life. It even prevents all sorts of diseases, from breast cancer and osteoporosis to diabetes and heart disease.And—you know the mantra—a healthy body is a beautiful body. Here is what you can expect when you make exercise a regular habit:More confidence: Say goodbye to complaining about the tiny little imperfections no one else can see. Regular physical activity improves your self-esteem so you feel like the beautiful woman you are.Happiness: Exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and make you feel happier. It’s even more effective than antidepressants!Strong heart: Getting your ticker up to speed lowers your risk of heart attack or stroke, and helps prevent blood clots. It keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol low, and your arteries healthy. In some cases, regular exercise can even replace cholesterol medications. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your treatment plan.Restful sleep: Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better, so you can get your beauty rest. It also helps you avoid weight-related sleep-disrupters like sleep apnea and heartburn.Better memory: Can’t remember where you put the keys? Not anymore! Exercise helps improve memory and brain function. It even lowers your risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.Lower stress: Feeling stressed? Exercise is a great way to burn off all that pent-up energy. (Psst: Sex is a great stress-buster!)Fewer headaches: Endorphins are your new best friend. Not only do they improve your mood, they help soothe an ache-y body, which relieves headaches, menstrual cramps, or back pain. Exercise also helps relieve tension headaches, leaving you blissfully pain-free.Fewer colds: When flu season hits, avoid that runny, red nose (no one can pull off that look). Regular activity boosts your immune system to protect you from nasty bugs.Lower blood sugar: Obesity and low physical activity are major risk factors for Type II diabetes. Regular exercise lowers blood sugar levels and decreases insulin production, so you’ll be much less likely to develop Type II diabetes.High energy: Your body produces as much energy as it needs, so exercising tells your body to boost your energy level. An energetic person looks beautiful and confident, ready to take on the world!Better sex life: Aerobic activities, like running or dancing, are great for cardiovascular health—the key to steamier sex and I’ll-have-what-she’s-having orgasms. Mentally, you’ll feel sexier too, as you gain more confidence in your body.Fewer cravings: Ever find yourself making late-night donut runs? Exercise can keep those diet-crashing food cravings at bay, so your appetite stays under control. For anyone trying to quit smoking, exercise also helps suppress nicotine cravings.