Probably the most significant thing to do to promote health is to use your body. The body is made to function optimally when it has much higher levels of activity than what we find in the sedentary modern life. The lack of physical activity is the leading cause of many physical and mental diseases. Exercise is beneficial for all, regardless of their age or physical ability. By simply incorporating more exercise into your life, you can see a striking improvement in your overall physical and mental health. The benefits that you can obtain range from immediate, like an improved mood and energy, to longterm, like ensuring healthier aging. By introducing some mild and regular physical activity, you will have made one of the most critical steps towards improving your health and reclaiming wellness in your life!
So, what are the health benefits of exercise?
Exercise improves your overall mood and boosts your motivation.
When you are engaged in exercise, your body releases chemicals, and changes start to happen inside your brain. On one side, endorphins are produced to inhibit the communication of pain signals. Endorphins are the “feel-good” hormones that can make you feel happier and can help with mild depression. Another change you can expect is related to dopamine. During exercise, there is increased oxygen flow to the brain, and dopamine is produced. Dopamine increases motivation and is very beneficial for people that are stuck and suffer from a lack of motivation.
Exercise can help you control your weight
Engaging in physical activity makes you burn calories. Moreover, regular exercise leads to muscle gain. As muscles use more energy than fat, even at rest, your metabolism is increased. In combination with balanced nutrition, it can help you obtain and maintain a healthy weight.
Exercise improves blood circulation and lower risk of heart disease
Physical activity boosts HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and also decreases unhealthy triglycerides. These two combined make your blood flowing more smoothly. The improved blood circulation lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Exercise strengthens your bones and muscles.
Regular physical activity can slow the process of losing bone density that comes with aging. Furthermore, it can increase your muscle mass and, therefore, strengthen the muscles to support your weight and reduce strain to your bones and joints. Strengthening the body the right way can also help you obtain a good posture. Having good posture is essential to avoid a number of problems, ranging from back and joint pain to stress and insomnia. In the long run, having strong bones and muscles can help you prepare for healthy aging.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Regular physical activity can assist you in falling asleep faster and get more and better quality sleep. Good sleep is essential to your overall wellbeing as it affects your psychological and mental health.
Exercise improves cognitive function
Physical activity leads to increased blood flow to the brain. The increased blood supply results in better brain function, improved focus, learning ability and memory function.
Exercise can be fun
Physical activity can be fun. You can find a sport that you enjoy, makes you unwind and feel happy. There is also a positive social element in some physical activities, as you can plan them with friends and family. You can enjoy a nice walk or go dancing with a friend!
So start simple
If you practice little or no physical activity, you should be careful about how you engage in sports. In particular, you should be cautious with high injury risk sports like basketball or even running. The simplest thing you can do is start by adding more walk to your everyday life. Go to work or groceries by walking, if this is an option, and gradually plan longer walks.
Walking is an excellent form of exercise. It has low injury risk, it is free and easy to adopt for most. The repetitive movement of the steps and the opposite swinging of the arms also has a soothing effect. Alongside with the excursion of endorphins during the walk, walking can help to reduce stress levels. Walking in a park, or even a beautiful city street allows the beauty of the environment to take control of your thoughts. Without judgment, you can appreciate the beauty and let the thoughts of your mind come unbiassed like in a state of meditation.
What about aerobic?
The intensity and frequency of your exercise can also play an important role. Maintaining an aerobic activity of about thirty minutes, five days a week, or more, can ensure the maximum health benefits for your cardiovascular system. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, it is best that you gradually build up towards that goal.
Other things to keep in mind
- Find a physical activity you enjoy. You will feel better and also be more prone to sticking with it.
- Consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time or have any health issues.
- You can include as much exercise as it feels pleasant for you. You should, however, be mindful of how your body responds to any physical activity and careful not to strain your body. For example, running is an excellent form of exercise but may cause strain to your joints and injury if you have extra weight or an imbalanced body.
- Try to vary your exercise and activities. It will better develop the different muscles of your body. Also, doing only one kind of discipline has the risk, if doing something wrong and repeatedly like a false movement, of causing injury or imbalance to your body.