The 6 Benefits of Regular Exercise
Although it is well known that regular exercise is crucial for optimal health, not everyone realises all the benefits physical activity has to offer. If you need a little motivation to make exercise a priority in your life, read on to learn six benefits that it has to offer.
1. Exercise Helps Keep Your Weight Under Control
Exercise is an excellent way to help prevent unwanted weight gain or to help you maintain any weight you have already lost. Performing physical activities burns calories. The higher the intensity, the more calories your body will burn.
Even if you can’t find a huge portion of time to commit to exercising every day, you can still reap the benefits by making simple choices throughout the day such as taking the stairs instead of using an elevator or using part of your lunch break to take a walk. Being consistent is crucial. If you are just starting out, aim to do at least 10 minutes of exercise for at least five days a week. Once you reach your goal, set it a bit higher every time until you work up to the recommended amount of exercise.
2. Exercise Boosts Your Mood
If you are in need of an emotional boost or need to cheer up after a hard day at work, consider a 30-minute walk or a quick session in the gym. Exercise stimulates brain chemicals that help you feel more relaxed and happier.
Since it boosts your confidence and helps raise your self-esteem, regular exercise can also improve the way you see yourself. Although putting in the effort can be tough at times, it is worth it. Physical activity releases endorphins, special chemicals that trigger feelings of euphoria and happiness. You don’t need to be a gym rat to benefit – just 30 minutes of activity a few times a week can be enough to have a positive impact on your mood.
3. Exercise Raises Energy Levels
If life is leaving you winded and fatigued, the good news is that regular exercise can help boost your endurance and increase your muscle strength.
Exercise brings nutrients and oxygen to muscles and tissues and also helps the cardiovascular system function more efficiently. When your lung and heart health improve, you are rewarded with more energy to take on your daily tasks.
4. Exercise Helps Improve the Quality of Sleep
If you find yourself struggling to get a good night of sleep, regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. However, you may want to avoid working out right before you go to bed as this may leave you too energized to fall asleep.
5. Exercise Helps Preserve Mental Capacity
Although it is unfortunate, our brains begin to lose function as we age. The aging process kills brain cells and causes the brain to shrink. This results in a loss of crucial brain functions. While physical activity and a nutritious diet are unable to prevent memory decline completely, they can help the brain combat cognitive decline. Committing to regular exercise, especially between the ages of 25 and 45, raises levels of chemicals in the brain that help protect the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory.
6. Exercise Can Be Enjoyable and Fun
Staying active can be enjoyable. Physical activity offers you the chance to relax and unwind, enjoy time outdoors, or partake in whatever activities you enjoy. It can also help you connect with friends and family in a fun, social setting.
Consider trying a new class, getting together with friends for a hike, playing social sports, or taking a dance class with a friend. Finding an activity you enjoy will help keep you committed and consistent. If you are bored with your current routine, try a new activity or try working out with friends to keep your workouts exciting.
Try to aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. A great strategy is mixing various forms of physical activity such as swimming, walking, biking, or lifting weights in order to challenge a variety of muscles. Staying active is an excellent way to have fun, feel better, improve the quality of your life, and boost your overall health.
*As with any changes to your lifestyle, it is important to check with your physician before beginning a new exercise program if you haven’t been active for a long time or suffer from any health conditions.