Through your life you would have heard that exercise is important, but why? Yes, it can help you keep your body at a healthy weight but what other health benefits can regular exercise have? Many people love to exercise while others seem to dread it. It’s hot and sweaty yes, but it will make you feel better, have more energy and add years onto your lifespan. No matter your age, gender or physical ability, everyone can benefit from regular exercise.
In today's society of video games and mobile phones children and adults are not getting the amount of exercise they should be. Studies have shown that nearly a third of children aged from 2 – 15 are either overweight or obese. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can have a huge positive impact on the body and help to keep you healthy.
Exercise can be done anywhere, it doesn’t have to be confined only to a gym. So not having any money should never be used as an excuse not to exercise. You can exercise in your home, in your garden, at the park, at the gym or almost anywhere. Even just taking a stroll along the beach, walking to the local shop instead of taking the car, walking the dog or going for a bike ride counts as exercise. If you are thinking about starting to exercise or you are stuck on the fence about why here the top ten benefits of regular exercise:
Weight loss or control weight
One of the main benefits and reasons that people workout is to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight. When you do physical activities such as exercise, walking or running you burn calories. The more time you spend active, the more calories you will burn. Everything you eat and drink contains calories, different foods have different amounts of calories in them. The number of calories in a cooked chicken breast will be very different from the number of calories in a pizza from a takeaway store.
No matter if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain your current weight, a healthy diet should always be combined alongside with your exercise. Exercise can only do so much for your body if you are still eating bad and unhealthy foods. If your planning on losing weight, then you must burn more calories than you take into your body. If you are looking to maintain your currently healthy weight, then the calories you eat, and drink should be equal to what you burn from your exercise.
Helps fight certain health conditions
There are multiple health conditions that exercise can help reduce. Studies have shown that people who take part in regular exercise have a much lower risk of strokes, diabetes, colon and breast cancer, dementia and even early death. High blood pressure and heart disease are big worries for many people, but these can be easily helped and lowered the natural way.
During exercise increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels within your body. This can help lower your risk of heart disease. Exercise helps to strengthen your heart muscles and improves circulation. Evidence shows that regular exercise can reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. With all these health benefits there’s no reason why you should put off exercising.
Exercise improves brain power
Sometimes as people age, their memories start to become fuzzy and unable to remember as much as you once were able too. This doesn’t have to be the case. Exercise can actually help to keep your brain healthier for longer. Regular exercise can improve brain function and can even protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and different forms of dementia keeping your brain in better condition for a longer period of time. Small amounts of exercise every day such as walking, running and cycling can slow down the aging effect on a person’s brain.
If you're feeling down, sad or just need a bit of a release from everyday life, exercise if the key. Physical activity such as a gym session, a job or something as simple as a walk down the road will stimulate various chemicals within the brain. This in return will leave you feeling much happier and calmer. There is evidence to prove that regular exercise can help to treat different forms of depression as effectively as most antidepressants. Exercise triggers all kinds of changes within the brain such as reduced inflammation, neural growth and new brain activity that encourages the feeling of calm, happiness and well-being. During physical activities, strong chemicals called endorphins are released into your brain that strengthens your spirit and makes you feel better. If you are feeling depressed and have a lot of thoughts running through your head, exercise can act as a great distraction. It will allow you time and space to escape the negative thoughts you have and to focus completely on your and your body.
Boots your energy and promotes better sleep
Everyday activities such as shopping, cleaning and walking the dog can be very tiring, even more so if you are unfit. Regular exercise can boost your endurance and can dramatically improve your muscle strength. So, next time you have to carry the groceries into the house you’ll have no issues carrying all the bags! Exercise improves your energy by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, by doing this your cardiovascular system will work much more efficiently.
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night or suffer from insomnia? Many people do, lack of sleep has been linked with many different health issues such as depression and diabetes. Regular exercise can help treat these health problems and can make you fall asleep much faster then if you don’t exercise. This means you will get a better night’s sleep, fall asleep quicker and deepen your sleep. Don’t exercise too close to when you want to sleep as you will feel too energized and awake to sleep. Morning time is a very good time to exercise and makes you ready for the day ahead. A good nights sleep in vital to your health, exercise costs nothing and has many health benefits so why wouldn’t you give it a go.
Improves your sex life
Exercising regularly can improve your sex life, Exercise can help to boost the circulation, lower the chance of erectile dysfunction and increase sexual arousal. By improving the circulation, blood flows easier to the genitals when a person is aroused. Exercise can also heighten your confidence and improve your mood, which is more likely to put you in the mood for sex. You can’t expect anyone else to love you until you love you. Self-love is very important, and exercise can make you feel sexy and give you that boost in self-esteem you needed.
Fun and social
Exercise shouldn’t be a dreaded task that you have to force yourself to do, it can be fun and a great way to meet new people! Join your local gym and take some classes. Join a Zumba class and dance your worries away, Zumba is a fun and lively way to workout. You will also be able to meet new people who have the same mindset as you, this will motivate you to keep going. Being sociable and meeting new people can have a great effect on your wellbeing and will make the class more enjoyable. It also can get you outside in nature more. Being outdoors enjoying nature can work miracles for your body and your soul.
If you don’t want to go to the gym or spend money exercising, work out from home. There are loads of exercise classes on YouTube that you can workout along within the comfort of your own home. There are also apps for your phone that you can download, they will have fitness plans ready for you to follow. Check out your local area, sometimes exercise classes are held in local parks or community centers. You could also join a running or cycling club in your local area. This is also a great way of meeting new people who have the same interests as you, as there is normally a club for every kind of sport. Do some research and you will find the club that’s perfect for you.
During exercise blood flow speeds up and oxygen and nutrients are moved to calls throughout your body and any waste products are excreted when you sweat. Your body and skin are cleansed from the inside out. Regular exercise also helps to reduce stress, and stress can cause skin inflammation. Not only will exercising help clear your skin from blemishes and rid bad toxins from your body, but it will also improve your mood.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Work, family and everyday life can be stressful. One of the best and easiest ways to relieve stress is to exercise. You could go to the gym for a quick workout or take a nice stroll in the park. Regular exercise can help reduce and control mental and physical stress. Exercise is also an excuse to have some time for yourself. Sometimes the best medicine is self-care and alone time. Working out and just focusing on you and your body is a great way to escape reality for a short while and help to calm you down.
People with anxiety disorders will also benefit from regular exercise. The chemicals that help people cope with their anxieties are released into the body during and after exercise. Exercise will also distract you from the anxiety and worries you are having in life and make you focus on the exercise in motion. If you need to clear your head, go for a jog.
Many people nowadays live a sedentary lifestyle, this has been described as the “silent killer”. Sedentary behavior such as sitting and lying down for long periods of time is bad for your health. A bad habit people fall into is sitting on the sofa watching the TV or using the computer, driving the car instead of walking. These are ok in short amounts, but long periods of time can be very damaging to your health. Lack of physical activity can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and strokes.
Try to hit your weekly activity levels and daily steps. Studies say that the average person should walk between 6,000 and 8,000 steps a day. Instead of sitting down to watch the TV you could listen to a podcast on your phone while taking a walk. Take a walk along the beach, in the park, hike up a mountain. People tend to spend less and less time outside in nature, being in the fresh air benefits your health in so many ways physically and naturally. There are many fun outdoor activities that you could do that count as exercises such as mountain biking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, rock climbing and many more. Get yourself outside and enjoy everything that nature has to offer. If you have not exercised for a while or have any health issues, always check with a doctor first before taking on a new fitness program or activity.
Regular exercise is a great way to improve your health, boost your self-confidence, feel better physically and mentally and to have fun. You don’t have to live at the gym, just small amounts of exercise every day will positively impact your life. Go for a run, walk to the shop instead of driving, or join a class at the local gym. You will see the many benefits in no time. They might be small changes to start with like being able to walk for long periods of time without tiring or carrying heavier shopping bags into your house. All these small changes add up to a healthier and improved you.