Daily exercise is important to keep you healthy. I am sure you already know that. I thought I would quickly ‘run’ through why exercise is so important. I will also give you a few tips on what constitutes good exercise.
Theoretically, we are all aware of the role of exercise in losing or maintaining our current weight. However, you may need a reminder that the advantages of exercise go beyond weight loss. Besides, we all need some motivation to prioritise our health in today’s chaotic world! So, keep a handful of these motivational nuggets in your pocket so that the next time you’re tempted to skip your workout, you’ll have reason not to!
Here are some cool benefits of regular exercise -
1. Uplifts your mood
The sudden rush of endorphins after a morning jog is enough to lift your spirits. Endorphins are chemical messengers that promote optimism and well-being by relieving pain and boosting pleasure. Endorphins, being a natural painkiller, can heal long-term pains. Additionally, regular exercise helps to strengthen muscles, reducing chronic aches and injury risk. So, keep in mind the perks of maintaining a steady level of endorphins before rolling your eyes at your fitness trainer.
2. Charges up your energy level
Regular exercise takes your heart rate up and improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscles, ensuring a higher energy level throughout the day. And, while it may seem strange that spending energy results in higher energy, evidence backs up this notion. According to a study, 90% of those who followed a regular exercise routine experienced less tiredness than those who did not. So, try a walk instead of an additional cup of coffee the next time you need to recharge your energy levels.
3. Promotes good sleep
A daily workout can help relieve tension and worry, making you feel more relaxed and stable, which is ideal for peaceful sleep. Physical exercise increases basal body temperature, helping to stay awake and alert throughout the day and also help you doze off faster when your internal temperature begins to drop. Basically, if you exercise regularly, you will sleep better.
4. Helps overcome depression
Studies have proved the role of regular exercise as an effective treatment option for mild to moderate cases of depression. Workouts improve serotonin and norepinephrine sensitivity in the brain, which effectively eliminates depression.
Yoga also has tremendous health benefits. According to one study, just six weeks of yoga (together with prescribed treatment) was enough to improve psychological distress. In addition, breathing techniques, emphasised in yoga and pilates, can effectively help to relieve tension and improve mood.
5. Boosts muscle growth and bone strength
Our bodies release hormones during exercise that aid in absorbing amino acids and promote muscular building, decreasing muscle loss and preserving strength as we age. According to a study, physical exercise at a young age improves bone density, minimising the risk of osteoporosis later in life.
6. Minimises the risk of chronic lifestyle disease
Regular exercise can help prevent chronic lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Exercising also keeps your heart fit and regulates your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
So, next time, before ditching your workout session, think about how a lack of activity can affect your health, causing high cholesterol, inflammation, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and belly fat (which we all know is difficult to reduce).
7. Reduces pain
Exercising has been demonstrated to help relieve persistent lower back pain, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain problems. In addition, a regular fitness regime significantly improves physical functioning.
8. Improves the health of your brain
Everyone, especially those at risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, can benefit from exercise to keep their brains healthy. Exercising gets the blood flowing to the brain, reduces inflammation and improves cardiovascular health. It also encourages the secretion of hormones that promote brain cell proliferation.
According to one study, exercise affects the hippocampus in older adults. Memory and learning are crucial functions of this portion of the brain, and exercising can assist in its development, which may boost mental performance.
9. Makes your skin healthy and supple
With all of the sweat that comes with working out, you probably wouldn’t believe that exercise might help your skin. However, it helps your body produce more antioxidants. These antioxidants have anti-ageing properties as they shield cells from oxidative stress and free radicals.
10. Enhances productivity
Physical exercise raises the endorphin levels causing a surge of positivity. It’s no surprise that many people seem to be more productive when they exercise. Even individuals who are depressed appear to do better when they engage in slight movement. The sense of satisfaction that comes with completing a workout is always exhilarating and inspiring. Furthermore, exercise can make you feel less drowsy and grumpy, allowing you to be more productive throughout the day.
11. Maintains a healthy weight
Working out helps maintain muscle mass, strengthen muscles and burn calories that would otherwise be deposited as fat. It also allows you to sleep better and reduces stress, leading to better eating choices ultimately maintaining optimum weight.
12. Guarantees quality of life
Healthcare practitioners recommend a regular workout routine to avoid diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer types, and obesity. It also safeguards your mental health, keeps your bones, muscles and joints healthy, drops your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. A study has even found that exercise enhances quality of life in patients with cancer.
All of these add several happy years to your life.
How frequently should you exercise?
Adults should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. But we all agree that getting to the gym and exercising is easier said than done. That’s okay. You can always find your own way around it from the following activities I have listed in the infographic below.
Making exercise a habit
It can be quite hard to remain committed to the exercise you wish to take up. Good news is there are simple ways you could make sure you hit your daily exercise goals.
1. Define your goals - To most people, exercising is solely to shed a few pounds. However, others are concerned with a healthy lifestyle and just moving the body can also be therapeutic for some individuals. Find your own purpose and use it as motivation to get up and sweat it out on a rough day.
2. Find yourself a workout partner - Exercising with your friend will help you push your limits and increase accountability. You will be less likely to skip your workout thus moving a step closer to your fitness goal.
3. Keep a timetable - Most people need two to six weeks to get into a regular workout routine. And, while the first few weeks may be the most difficult, the longer you stick with it, the more it becomes a part of a regular routine. It will eventually become second nature to you, just like brushing your teeth.
4. Plan it out - It’s really not a smart idea to leave your workout to chance. Instead, you should deliberately set aside a couple of days each week for exercise and make a realistic plan to attain your fitness goals.
Exercise would be the best-selling medication in the world if we could bottle it. Until then, we should own our fitness and choose a healthy lifestyle for ourselves.