Whether it's at home with a guided DVD, jogging, swimming or in a class, the benefits of exercise just seem to go on and on. After researching the benefits of exercise, I know I won't be missing any workouts! Image courtesy of tuelekza from freedigitalphotos.net
We’ve been told it countless times – whether it be our doctors or other health care professsionals, advertisements on television, and from well-meaning family – exercise is a worthwhile activity that should be performed regularly.
It’s kind of intuitive – when we exercise, we know very well we have burned calories, and that it’s good for the ‘old ticker’.
However, upon researching, I was surprised at just how many benefits exercising regularly can incur. If you’re not convinced at the moment, good chances you will be wanting to be on those running shoes by the end of this article!
1. Exercise helps you to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. This is because of the increased metabolic rate that occurs not only during exercise, but for hours afterwards. In addition, weight loss is encouraged by the development of lean muscle mass that occurs as a result of exercise. This is because lean muscle requires more energy to sustain it than does fat or floppy tissue.
2. Exercise encourages a range of cardiovascular benefits to take place. It lowers the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, improves the ratio of good:bad cholesterol, and decreases production of unhealthy triglycerides. As a result, regular exercise lowers the risk of heart attacks, strokes, clots, and atherosclerosis.
3. Regular exercise also improves other health conditions. It decreases the risk of certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes and can improve mobility and flexibility in those suffering arthritis.
4. Regular exercise rewards us by having profoundly beneficial effects upon our mental health. It boosts mood, lowers anxiety, promotes relaxation and a good night’s sleep. In addition, it can improve addictive behaviours whether they be to alcohol, smoking or harder drugs. The weight loss can also have a secondary effect of improving our self-esteem.
5. According to research done by the Mayo Clinic, exercise may also improve sex life. This is not just because of the weight loss and improved energy but it can also improve actual sexual function in both men and women.
6. Exercise can also improve our social lives. Whether it’s enjoying a tennis game with a buddy, or going to a gym class with a mate, when we have company at the same time as exercising we are also rewarded with the pleasures of social connection.
7.Exercise is great for cognitive function. For example, in individuals between the ages of 25 to 45 it reduces degeneration of cells in the hippocampus which is important for memory and learning. According to scientists, exercise can help encourage formation of new brain cells, improve its overall performance and specifically, can assist with decision making, higher thinking and learning. See LINK: http://greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-heal...
In summary, it would seem apparent that if we are to feel better, have our bodies function better, think smarter, live longer and enjoy a greater quality of life, exercise seems like a compulsory ingredient.
And it doesn’t have to be every day, for hours, either! Just twenty minutes three to four times per week should suffice to gain the benefits listed above.