We’ve all heard of a runner’s high, which is a result of the endorphins that are triggered by physical activity. Some people crave it, but for many people, exercise is the last thing on their list of things to do.Exercise can certainly help you feel good and has numerous health benefits. However, its abilities to help in terms of weight loss aren’t as great as some people previously thought.Exercise certainly helps to shed pounds and can even lead to improved metabolism, but the latest research shows that the real way to lose weight and to keep it off is to eat less.But even if exercise isn’t necessarily the magic ticket to weight loss, it is certainly an important factor in your overall health. It can help to prevent serious conditions and diseases.There are many reasons to do your body – and your brain! – a favour and make exercise an important part of your regular regimen 🙂
1- Active Body, Active Mind
Exercise keeps the body in shape, as well as your mind and your mood. People who exercise report being happier and also tend to have sharper memories and can learn more quickly than those who are sedentary.Additionally, recent scientific studies have established that exercise significantly decreases the risk of dementia. Exercise can lead to changes in the brains of older adults that lead to reduced rates of dementia.Studies that have tracked adults over decades have established that exercise is the number one factor in keeping the mind active and sharp.Scientists are still conducting studies to determine the exact details, but one working hypothesis is that physical activity stimulates blood flow.That means that the brain has a greater blood supply, which keeps the blood vessels healthy and even leads to a new generation of cells.Researchers have found that active adults have higher levels of BDNF, which is a factor that helps with neuron growth and keeps brain cells from deteriorating. That leads to overall improved cognitive function.
2- Reduction in Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise helps to control Type 2 diabetes among individuals who have a high risk of the disease. Type 2 diabetes results when there is resistance to the hormone insulin.In response, the human organism compensates by producing insulin on its own, and blood sugar levels increase. That puts an individual at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes as well as other conditions.Regular physical activity helps to fight against this by developing a greater sensitivity to insulin. This way, your body can process insulin properly and doesn’t produce excess insulin.
3- Decreases Blood Pressure
Physical activity is a great way to combat high blood pressure, which can lead to several problems, such as heart attacks and strokes.High blood pressure is largely attributable to poor eating habits, genetics, and a lack of exercise. Individuals with high blood pressure can do something to improve their health by adopting a more active lifestyle.
4- Exercise Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Because exercise can strengthen your heart, it’s a great way to fight against cardiovascular disease.When your heart is healthier, it is better prepared to decrease levels of cholesterol levels and is also able to pump blood more efficiently.These two features combined ensure that your arteries remain clear and prevent blockages and clots from developing. Exercises that increase your heart rate is the best type for ensuring cardiovascular health.
5- Strong Muscles And Bones
As the human body ages, muscle mass and bone mass start to decrease. Exercises that involve weights or weight-bearing activities such as hiking, jogging, tennis, and dancing are the best for maintaining bone and muscle mass.That is especially important for those who are middle-aged since a loss of bone mass can lead to osteoporosis, a condition where bone density and quality decreases.
6- Exercise and Elevated Mood
People often feel better simply from exercising, and it’s even possible for these benefits in the mood to help with depression.Although exercise certainly has its benefits for physical and cognitive health, it also has positive effects on individuals’ emotions.When people exercise, the body releases several different chemicals such as endorphins, which even make some individuals feel euphoric. This boost in mood can lead to an overall more positive attitude with long-lasting psychological advantages.
7- Exercise for a Younger You!
Given all of its different benefits, it’s no surprise that exercise can increase life expectancy.A recent study shows that individuals who engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week live 3.4 years longer than sedentary individuals. That may be because moderate exercise can slow down the ageing process.Consistently active people tend to have greater immunity, strength, and cholesterol levels.
8- Exercise for Healthier Skin
Engaging in physical activity improves blood flow to the brain and muscles as well as to the skin. For this reason, it’s important to get as active as possible when you have an injury.With physical activity, the blood can help wounds heal faster by providing the skin with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to do its job.In the long term, exercise also builds up the number of capillaries and blood vessels leading to the skin, ensuring greater wound repair overall. On a day-to-day basis, this improved blood flow to the skin also helps it to replenish itself and stay healthy.
9- Feeling Active!
By paying attention to your body and treating it well, you’ll invariably feel better about how you look and feel in your skin.Regular physical activity will change the way your body looks, and as you develop greater pride in your appearance, you’ll gradually feel better about your physique and your overall attractiveness.Your clothes will fit better, and you’ll feel more in tune with your body. That leads to overall improved confidence, which is always awesome!
10- Conquering Addictions Through Exercise
Being active and having greater control over your body translates into an overall healthier lifestyle that can also help to work through addictions.The chemicals released during exercise are similar to those in many addictive substances. It also can produce what some call a “euphoric” effect.Learning how to get the “natural highs” that come with vigorous physical activity can help you to overcome addictions that deliver highs at much higher costs.
How to Make Sure You Exercise Regularly?
First, check with your doctor before setting up a new exercise routine. That is particularly important if you haven’t been very active for a long time or if you are over the age of 40.If you end up experiencing consistent pain in your muscles, joints, or chest following physical activity or if you are exhausted. It’s also important to discuss these matters with your physician.The most important thing is to have a consistent routine and stick to it. Whether you are jogging, hiking, or hitting the gym, choose an activity that you’ll be able to do regularly.It’s also important to set realistic goals for yourself. While it may be tempting to start to climb a mountain or run a marathon, it’s best to start small and then work your way up to more ambitious goals.If you aim too high at first, you may not succeed and then end up discouraged. You can make small changes to your routine like walking more when possible, taking the stairs, and doing exercises while watching television.A good rule of thumb is to exercise 4–7 times per week. These periods of activity should be at least 10 minutes, but being physically active for longer amounts of time will increase the health benefits.For more intense activity, be sure to stretch beforehand; and staying hydrated is also essential to maximize the health benefits and keep you energetic.Working out to music makes exercising more fun. Additionally, the combination of exercise and music may even have cognitive benefits.One recent study has shown that when people listen to music while engaged in physical activity. Their level of motivation increases and their thoughts move away from the negative bodily sensations that they are experiencing.They focus less on discomfort and are better able to get into the “zone,” which helps fight fatigue and increases the overall enjoyment of the activity.
Last but not least!
With all of the great benefits that exercise has to offer, from looking great to improved mood, it’s always a good idea to do yourself a favour by becoming more physically active. Your body and mind will thank you 🙂