The 8 Benefits of Exercise
Move - Article 03
We all know that exercise is good for us. We know it has countless benefits. So why don’t we all do it more? Often we feel too tired – perhaps after another bad night’s sleep. It may be that we feel a little unstable on our feet or our size may restrict us from moving comfortably. It could be that we’re just too stressed to even think about getting in some exercise. Ironically, all of these issues could be fixed with… you guessed it, regular exercise.
Let’s take some time now to look at the main benefits of exercise in a bit more detail.
1. Helps with maintaining a healthy weight
Exercising regularly fires up your metabolism – the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy – meaning your body is in a sufficient state of energy balance to achieve weight maintenance.
And have you ever noticed how after you exercise you find yourself reaching for healthier food to fuel your body? Well, the flood of endorphins you have after exercise play a huge role in this and likely lead to more virtuous choices in your day-to-day diet too. It’s a win-win.
2. Relieves stress and improves your mood
The benefits of endorphins don’t just stop there. These chemicals are produced by the body to relieve stress and pain. They’re the body’s natural opioids.
During exercise, your body releases more endorphins, which can make you feel less pain or discomfort and more happiness. So with all its mood-boosting qualities, exercise is not just important for physical health, it is essential for good mental health too.
3. Boosts your energy levels
Maintaining an active lifestyle and enjoying regular exercise increases your strength and endurance levels by improving the cardiovascular system.
Exercise strengthens the heart and boosts its ability to pump blood to your lungs and the rest of your body. Greater blood flow means higher levels of oxygen being delivered to the parts of your body that need it most.
All of this will leave you feeling more energised and able to take on any challenges you may be facing. If you’re feeling tired then, contrary to how you feel, exercise may actually be the cure!
4. Improves sleep
Not only will exercise improve your energy levels but it will also improve your quality of sleep.
Sleep is massively important for recovery and a bad night’s sleep can have a knock-on effect in terms of our health. Exercising, however, helps develop healthy sleeping patterns which in turn further help to improve our mood and mindset.
In fact, regular exercise has been proven to be a powerful antidote to sleeping disorders!
5. Encourages a healthy heart
We’ve already learned that exercise strengthens the heart but that’s not all. An active lifestyle will also lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Good, regular exercise reduces high blood pressure and balance your cholesterol levels, which can prove crucial in approaching surgery. The most effective method for improving blood pressure is a moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as walking, running, cycling or even dancing.
6. Helps control sugar levels in the blood
Getting our blood sugar levels under control is essential for approaching treatment and surgery. Through regular exercise you can both reduce your blood sugar levels and increase the efficiency of insulin in the body.
7. Improves coordination and agility
Regular, varied exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of falls or injury and remedy any existing aches and pains that may restrict movement.
Exercising also increases your agility meaning you’ll be able to move and change direction or position more quickly, effectively and in a controlled manner. The benefits of exercise extend to your reflexes, coordination and balance too.
8. Promotes healthier muscles and bones
We naturally lose as much as 5% of muscle mass every decade after the age of 30.
However, through strength-focused exercise, we can reverse this process and even increase our muscle mass.
Aerobic activities such as walking or swimming help to increase your ability to endure more strength training, whilst a good regimen of stretching will make sure our muscles stay flexible and maintain their complete range of motion.
There are a myriad of benefits associated with exercise and an active lifestyle. Exercise is the magic pill we’ve long overlooked and, regardless of age or experience, it’s essential we take it regularly in order to have a healthier, happier life.