The definition of exercise is any activity that engages the muscles in your body and burns calories during the process. Many people engage in various physical activities, including walking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing, and many more (Our friends from Experience Gifts have a range of healthy experiences to choose from, including yoga, SUP, hiking and many more. Check them out!)
Most people are aware that exercise is beneficial to their health. It has been said that it is “good for the heart.” However, that is not sufficient incentive to motivate you to perform physical activity regularly.
But there’s no time like the present to get started. The most effective way to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine is to start slowly. Exercise should be performed according to age-specific recommendations to reap maximum benefits. Your reward will be better health, preventing or controlling various diseases, and possibly living longer due to your efforts.
The following are some ways in which exercising regularly can benefit your body and mind:
Aids in getting rid of bad habits
Bad habits such as drinking and smoking are one of the many reasons your health does not always remain optimal. There are many effective ways to eliminate bad habits, like regular exercise.
It has grown in popularity as a highly effective method of recovery and getting rid of bad habits. This is because physical activity and drugs affect the same areas of your brain, releasing serotonin and dopamine and stimulating the reward pathway.
However, if you have difficulty getting rid of bad habits, you should seek help from a rehabilitation facility such as Delphi Behavioral Health Group. You can learn more about their services at www.delphihealthgroup.com.
Helps with weight loss
It has been demonstrated in several studies that inadequate physical activity is one of the leading causes of obesity and weight gain. Understanding the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure is essential to know how exercise affects weight loss. There are three ways in which the body uses energy:
- Food digestion
- Maintaining the function of the body, such as your heartbeat and breathing
Dieting can cause your metabolic rate to decrease, resulting in a temporary delay in weight loss. On the other hand, exercise has been found to increase metabolism, increasing the number of calories you burn to lose weight.
Moreover, research has shown that resistance training in conjunction with aerobic exercise can enhance fat loss and muscle mass retention, which is crucial to maintaining a healthy weight.
Enhances your mood
Taking a brisk walk or participating in a spin class releases endorphins in the body.
Endorphin is a hormone that reduces pain and enhances pleasure, creating a sense of positivity and well-being. Consider the benefits that your body receives from a steady flow of endorphins before rolling your eyes at your trainer’s enthusiasm.
Additionally, endorphins can aid in the relief of long-term pain. Exercise strengthens muscles, reducing the pain associated with chronic conditions and the likelihood of injury.
Improves the quality of sleep
Stress levels can be reduced through exercise, which leaves you feeling relaxed, which makes sleeping more comfortable.
While exercising increases your internal body temperature and enhances your alertness throughout the day, you may also fall asleep more easily at night when your body temperature decreases.
A healthy dose of vitamin D can also help maintain a healthy waking and sleeping cycle when you exercise outdoors. Make sure you exercise appropriately and avoid working out close to bedtime.
Enhances your brain health
Every individual can benefit from exercise. However, those at high risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia will benefit even more.
Exercise improves heart health, increases brain circulation, and decreases inflammation in the body. Furthermore, it triggers the release of hormones that facilitate cell growth in the brain.
According to a study, exercise has also been found to positively impact the hippocampus in older adults. This region of the brain plays a crucial role in learning and memory. Exercise can stimulate its growth, which may have a positive impact on mental performance.
Strengthens bone and muscle health
Keeping your bones and muscles healthy requires regular exercise. The combination of weightlifting and protein intake can facilitate muscle growth. This occurs as a result of exercise releasing hormones that promote amino acid absorption in the muscles. As a result, they grow, and the breakdown of their cells is reduced.
An individual’s muscular strength and functionality tend to decrease with age, which can increase the likelihood of injury. Strengthening your body and preventing muscle loss can be achieved by exercising regularly.
Furthermore, exercise will help you reduce the risk of osteoporosis and build a strong bone mass while you are still young.
Several studies have shown that high-impact exercises (such as running or gymnastics) and low-impact exercises (such as basketball and soccer) have the potential to increase bone density in comparison to non-impact exercises (such as walking and cycling).
Reduces the risk of chronic disease
Physical inactivity is one of the leading causes of chronic diseases. Studies have shown that exercising regularly improves metabolic health, body composition, and cardiovascular health. Furthermore, it can lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Exercise is specifically beneficial for reducing or preventing some chronic health conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases: Physical activity decreases risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease and provides therapeutic benefits to those who suffer from coronary heart disease.
- Type 2 diabetes: It has been suggested that regular aerobic exercise may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it has significant positive effects on the health of those who have type 1 diabetes. The use of resistance training is shown to improve glycemic control, body composition, hypertension, muscle mass, insulin sensitivity, and blood sugar control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- Blood pressure: People suffering from hypertension can lower their systolic blood pressure by up to 5-7 mmHg through regular participation in physical activities.
- High cholesterol: By regularly engaging in moderately intense exercise, one can boost HDL levels (good cholesterol) without increasing LDL levels (bad cholesterol). It has been demonstrated in research that moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise is necessary for the reduction of LDL cholesterol.
- Multiple cancers: Exercise has been shown to lower the risk of various cancers, such as breast, endometrial, colorectal, liver, lungs, kidneys, ovaries, prostate, esophageal, gastric, and stomach cancer.
However, not exercising regularly – even for a short period of time – is associated with significant increases in abdominal fat, which is a risk factor for the development of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This is why it is recommended that you exercise regularly to lose abdominal fat and reduce your risk of developing these diseases.
There are numerous health benefits associated with exercise, which can contribute to the improvement of nearly all aspects of your life. The good news is that it doesn’t take a lot of movement to improve your health.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ activity guidelines for adults require you to exercise between 150 and 300 minutes per week of moderately intense aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Among the activities considered moderate aerobic exercise are brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and lawn mowing. While running, yard work, and aerobic dancing constitute vigorous aerobic exercise.
Whether it is enhancing cardiovascular health, cognitive functioning, or mood, exercise has a wide range of benefits. Hence, it is about time you get moving, as doing so will have long-term benefits for your mind and body.