Physical activity, or exercise, has many benefits for both the mind and the body. Not only does it promote health and prevent diseases, but reduces stress and boosts confidence.
There are many different ways to exercise, from walking to cleaning the house to dancing to weight lifting. The recommended dose of exercise is between 2-5 hours per week, but the more you exercise, the better!
Let’s take a look at 5 ways in which regular exercise can benefit your mind and your body:
1. Exercise Can Reduce Your Risk of Developing a Chronic Disease If you’re not exercising regularly, you’re putting yourself at risk for developing a number of serious health conditions. One of the primary causes of chronic disease is a lack of exercise so it’s important to not slip into a sedentary lifestyle. By exercising regularly, you will help to improve your insulin sensitivity, body composition, cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
2. Exercise Can Boost Your Energy Levels It might sound ironic, but if you are consistently tired then you should actually exercise. Research shows that exercise can reduce the feeling of fatigue quite substantially. This is because during exercise, your heart rate increases, which pushes more oxygen around your body, making you feel lighter and more energetic. Exercise can also help to increase energy levels for those living with illnesses like chronic fatigue, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
3. Exercise Can Improve Your Brain Health Exercise can improve your brain health including your memory, decision-making skills, focus and concentration. This is because when we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better.
4. Exercise Makes You Happier! It is a known fact that exercise can make you feel happier by improving your mood and reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as the happy hormones, which produce good feelings and reduce the feeling of pain. This also helps to fight off anxiety and depression as the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine are released.
5. Exercise Promotes Weight Loss It is well-documented that exercise promotes weight loss. It is inactivity and sedentariness that are the main causes of weight gain, so exercise is imperative for maintaining a normal and healthy weight. Exercise burns calories through using your body fat or the food you eat as energy. If you burn more calories than what you are consuming, then your body begins to use fat as energy and you lose weight. Exercise also increases the rate of your metabolism and promotes muscle growth.
From all the research above, it is pretty clear to see that exercise is an essential part of life and health. Exercise should not just be used to lose a certain amount of weight, but rather, exercise should become apart of your lifestyle!
This post was written by Claire Troy. Claire is a health coach and freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia. She has been working in the health and fitness industry for over 5 years, providing support and advice to those in need.