Dr. Eudene Harry, author of “Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps,”says the benefits of exercise go far beyond fitting into those skinny jeans.

For example the doctor said exercise helps with younger looking clearer skin.

“The increase in circulation and perspiration that occurs with exercise delivers more nutrients to your skin while allowing impurities and waste to be removed,” Harry said, who combines years of emergency-room experience with holistic medicine in her private practice. “The result? A healthier complexion!”

According to the doctor here are four other unexpected benefits:

• Natural “feel-good” chemicals:  Exercise releases endorphins, the brain chemicals that boost your mood and  make you feel happy, as well as relieve stress, and enhance your self-esteem  and self-confidence. Exercise has also been shown to increase  neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which gives us a natural  high and allows us to sleep better.

• Constipation prevention: Exercise  increases the contractions of the wall of the intestine, helping to move  things along through the intestinal tract more easily, and decreasing the time  it takes to pass through the large intestine. But wait an hour or two after  eating before exerting yourself: Exercising too soon after a meal can divert  blood flow away from the gut and toward the muscles, weakening peristaltic  contractions (and slowing down the digestion process).  

• Prevents brittle bones: Walking,  jogging, dancing, weight training and yoga are all weight-bearing exercises  that help strengthen bones. Swimming and bicycling are exercises that are  considered non-weight bearing. During weight-bearing exercises, bones adapt to  the impact of the weight and the pull of muscles by building more bone cells, increasing strength and density and decreasing the risk of fractures,  osteopenia and osteoporosis.

• Enhanced immunity: Physical exertion increases the rate at which antibodies flow through the blood stream,  resulting in better immunity against sickness. The increased temperature  generated during moderate exercise makes it difficult for certain infectious  organisms to survive.

But the doctor warns overdoing exercise won’t deliver all the extra benefits.

“Check with a physician who can advise you on the right activities and intensity level for your individual needs,” she said. “For all the benefits of exercise, there are down sides if you go at it too vigorously for your physical condition. For instance, you can actually increase stress hormones, which can make you more vulnerable to illness, rather than building your immunity.”