There are many types of physical exercise that all benefit the body in different ways. Whether it be swimming, dancing, running or even walking. Moving the body and working the muscles will have the body feeling energised and healthy within no time.
Exercise can be hard to do, however. After a long day of work, all we want is to lay in bed with a hot drink, right? This is the case for nearly 1.4 billion adults; who, like us, do not get enough exercise weekly.
But, knowing the real qualities exercising can bring, may make the task all the more appealing. It doesn’t matter the gender, age, or even physical ability, everyone benefits from any amount of exercise.
So, in order to get you on track, below will be just what you need to hear… the top benefits of regular exercise. Your muscles may ache, or body feels more tired than ever. But these issues can be quickly turned around, from knowing how great your body will work in the long run. Keep reading to discover the ten benefits of exercise.
1- Controlling Weight
One of the biggest reasons why people partake in exercise is to manage body weight. Getting to the gym just before the holiday season to get the long-awaited ‘beach-bod’. However, exercise should be used all year round to maintain a healthy functioning body; rather than just in the summer seasons.
When we engage in physical activities, our bodies begin to burn calories. The more intense the activity; for example, a cardio class, the more calories will be burnt due to the highly vigorous movements. This is how the weight is shaven off. By taking part in regular exercise, our body becomes used to the process of eating and working out.
In doing this, our bodies will maintain an increased metabolic rate. This aids burning more calories, therefore losing weight.
2- Reducing The Risk of Diseases
A primary cause of most chronic diseases occurring; is due to the body not getting the right amount of exercise that it needs. Issues from heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. This issue is labelled to be ‘just as deadly as smoking’ according to the collaboration of international academic researchers. All because we are not getting the blood circulated around the body.
Being active boosts our bodies cognitive functions, while increasing levels of good quality cholesterol and flushing out the bad. High cholesterol is one of the main reasons for chronic diseases developing. So, keeping it low and good quality is a sure set way to avoid anything life-risking being created.
3- Increased Energy Levels
Many of us will soon come to realise that the simplest of tasks such as running up the stairs, is leaving us rather…winded.
When exercising, we are promoting oxygen to transport its way around the body. This is to aid in the way our cardiovascular system works. This then works hand-in-hand to reduce the feeling of fatigue and quick loss of breath that the body can experience when not exercised properly. This is the feature that gives us the sluggish and tired feeling day-to-day.
Therefore, having proper blood flow around the body will promote healthier working components of the system. Therefore, increasing energy and finally ridding the feeling of fatigue.
4- It Can Make You Feel Happier
Exercise has been one of the major reasons why feelings of anxiety, depression and stress have been suppressed in many people.
Taking part in regular exercise produces changes in parts of the brain that cause and regulate the feelings of stress or anxiety. This is because the movement promotes the body to release a hormone called endorphins. These are more commonly known as the ‘happy hormone’ as it allows the mind to feel light, refreshed and ready for any challenge.
A study, recently conducted by the University of Wisconsin found that exercise drastically decreased the feeling of depression; in their 24 female subjects. Each of them simply taking part in a 30-minute routine seemed to begin diminishing their deeper feelings; allowing their minds to feel free and happier with each workout completed.
The best thing about these hormones is that it doesn’t take an intense amount of exercise to produce them. Even the lightest workout is said to make the body feel far better then it did before.
5- Benefiting Skin Health
One way exercise can benefit from skin health, is by alleviating the body of oxidative stress. This is caused when the body’s antioxidant defences do not have the power to repair the damage that free radicals cause to skin cells. This damage not being repaired quick enough can cause long term issues to the cells internal structures, leading to the deterioration of the skin.
The way in which exercise helps combat this issue is by increasing the production rate of the body’s natural antioxidants, which aid in the protection of cells, such as the skin.
As well as this, regular exercise promotes blood flow around the entire body, including the face. With intense blood flow comes the movement of cells’ and cell adaptation will begin to happen to reach the surface of the skin. This can drastically delay the look of ageing skin and leave the face looking plump, healthy and revitalised.
6- Reduce The Feeling Of Pain
Ironically, exercising can cause a feeling of muscle and body ache. But, it also works massively well in reducing the feeling of pain that the body is already feeling before exercise begins.
Completing simple exercises weekly have shown drastic recovery results for those who suffer from long term chronic pain, alleviating them of a lot of pain they would recently be feeling. A study completed by Cochrane shows that a group of people all with extremely varying pain issues, all developed a sense of pain-free feeling after simple exercises were completed.
They do not have to be drastic either. The simplest of activities such as swimming, yoga and walking are all prime examples, showing that they do release pain from their gentle body movements, on a regular basis.
7- Increasing Brain Health And Memory
When exercising, our heart rates are increased, which works to promote blood flow around the body and oxygen to the brain. These all aid in increasing the production of the hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells.
This is a particularly important trait for the older population that take up exercise. As, with age, our memories can begin to suffer and weaken, with Alzheimer’s being a huge problem in a huge amount of the elderly.
It has been seen across an array of studied adults, that when putting regular exercise into their weekly routines, it caused the Hippocampus to actually grow in size. This is a part of the brain that is vital in working hard to keep memory and learning features intact; yet can suffer harshly when growing older.
8- Preventing The Chances Of Falling
Falling over, for any age is a dangerous situation, with a fall being able to happen at any time for almost any reason. It is particularly dangerous in the younger and older generations, due to their bones and muscles being much more fragile.
However, exercise is suggested to help reduce the chances of falls happening drastically. When exercising, we are training our bodies and muscles constantly. For example, when lifting a weight, we are training our muscles but also our balance, in order to use the correct stance, to lift up the weight.
Strengthening these muscles will cause the body to be far more prepared in the event of a fall, as our muscles will work accordingly in creating a proactive stance to avoid hitting the ground.
9- Better Sleep Quality
Getting regular exercise is a game-changer when it comes to the quality of sleep we get each night. Being physically active requires us to use a lot of our conserved energy in order to complete each activity. Then, when resting our body simply goes into a relaxed state. And, with the lack of energy left, we can get extremely tired, rather than trying to sleep with all of our daily energy doses left.
It also works from the temperature levels our body reach when taking part in exercise, going from hot to cold. This drop-in body heat can stimulate a feeling of tiredness just like it does after using all of your conserved energy.
Trying to sleep after a day of doing nothing can be extremely difficult, causing us to wake up feeling terrible the next day, and not wanting to do anything. This is the beginning of the cycle we all know too well. Exercise is the best way to prevent this from ever happening.
10- Reduces Stress
One of the most common mental health benefits of exercise is stress relief. After a long, and terrible day, the best way to break of the bug is most definitely taking a light walk or jog. By building up a sweat it helps us manage our stress while increases levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that works to moderate our levels of stress.
Dealing with stress or existing mental tension can allow a person to feel much freer, with a clearer mindset ready to take on any challenge coming up next.
Working out can have positive effects that work far beyond the gym. From mental health benefits, health benefits and of course the physical benefits. With the simplest of exercises, the body can feel as young as possible again. With health being better than ever before.
The exercise doesn’t need to be intense or extensive, just regular. Taking part in a swim class, a gentle walk or joining the local park run community; are all great ways to keep fit and have company while doing it- if you don’t like to be alone.
The benefits are inevitable, you just need to get up and try it. It doesn’t even need to be in the gym either. There are many at-home exercises that are all over the internet. And, even the outdoors where you can take part in a relaxing jog while taking in the surroundings.