Exercise refers to any physical activity that involves the movement of body muscles, and your body burns calories during it. Any physical activity that gets your body moving is exercise. It does not only refer to lifting weights. Brisk walking, jogging, biking, running, and swimming are all exercises.
There are too many benefits of exercising to count. Several studies prove how beneficial exercising can be for your health. Even though we limit our perception of health to physical, exercising goes beyond physical benefits. It is also beneficial for our mental health.
People who exercise regularly have a better quality of life and are less prone to diseases. Exercising improves brain functioning and also alleviates mood, and gives you confidence. Thus, it’s good for your emotional and mental well-being.
If you are starting your health journey to become more physically active or are lucky enough to have an exercise regime already in place, here are eight benefits of exercising to motivate you further.
- Helps in Breaking Bad Habits:
If you have an addiction or smoking problem, regular exercise can help you break those bad habits. Exercising reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings, so it becomes easy for you to quit smoking. Also, when you give up smoking, there are chances for you to gain weight which exercising can curb.
Exercising increases your resilience. So when you face a challenge in life, physical or emotional, you are resilient enough to fight and win instead of moving to drugs, drinking, smoking, or other harmful coping mechanisms; it is a healthy way of fighting these things. You can take the help of services of a rehabilitation center in your area to fight addiction. If you live in Palm Beach, Florida, the Palm Beach Institute can help you out.
- Makes You Happy:
Exercising has the capability of lifting your mood. It increases brain sensitivity to norepinephrine and serotonin, the hormones that help in relieving feelings of depression. Studies report that it lowers feelings of stress and anxiety by increasing the production of endorphins. Endorphins help in reducing the perception of pain and increasing the production of positive feelings; thus, more endorphins mean more benefit.
The most interesting part is that this benefit is not dependent on the intensity of the activity. You do not have to do high-intensity workouts to lift your mood; any activity of any intensity, low to high, will do the job.
- Makes Bones and Muscles Strong:
Exercising is significant for gaining, maintaining, and strengthening your muscles and bones. Weight lifting activities, along with an adequate protein intake, help build muscle greatly. During physical activities, the body releases hormones that increase the ability of muscles to absorb amino acids. Amino acid helps muscles grow and prevents muscle breakdown.
It is essential to keep building your muscle mass because as we age, we start losing muscle mass, which makes us prone to injuries. Also, regular exercise can prevent serious bone-related diseases like osteoporosis, as exercising helps build bone density. Studies state that high-impact activities or sports like running, gymnastics, soccer, basketball, etc. build bone density at higher rates as compared to low-impact exercises.
- Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases:
Research shows that a major reason for chronic illnesses is lack of activity. Regular exercising aids in improving body composition, insulin sensitivity, and heart health. So, its absence makes it easy for you to catch diseases. It especially helps reduce the risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels.
Aerobics help prevents type 2 diabetes. Resistance training improves lean body mass, fat mass, insulin resistance, glycemic control, and blood pressure. Exercising also prevents cardiovascular disorders and serves as a treatment for people with heart-related diseases. It helps prevent many cancers such as colorectal, breast, thyroid, ovarian, gastric, endometrial, liver, lung, kidney, pancreatic, gallbladder, and esophageal cancer. Moderate intensity workouts lower bad cholesterols in the body and increase good cholesterols. It also helps people immensely with hypertension.
- Promotes Good Sleep:
Exercising helps you sleep better. Regular physical activities reduce stress and anxiety levels. This means you are more relaxed and stable to slip right into sleep mode. When you work out, your body temperature rises, and you feel more active and alert throughout the day. So as the night approaches, your internal temperature starts to dip down, and thus you will get a better night’s sleep.
Moreover, if you work out outside, under the sun, the vitamin D from sunlight gets absorbed in your body, which is beneficial for regulating your wake-sleep cycle.
- Improves Brain Health:
Exercising regularly is very beneficial for improving brain functioning. Even though it helps everyone improve brain health, exercising helps those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia by preventing these. When we move around more and engage in physical exercise, it increases the blood flow to the brain, improves cardiovascular health, and reduces inflammation.
Moreover, it helps the brain in development since it stimulates the production of hormones that improve the growth of brain cells. A study also stated that exercising affects the hippocampus in adults, the part of the brain that is crucial for learning and memory. Exercising helps it grow, thus improving brain function.
- Improves Your Skin:
While you work out, you probably sweat too, and that might lead you not to believe that exercising can benefit your skin, but it does. Moderate, regular exercise increases the number of antioxidants in your body. These antioxidants fight off free radicals that damage the skin and protect cells from oxidative stress.
Also, the blood flow that increases as a result of exercising has anti-aging effects. Thus, you will not only gain internal benefits but also look fresh and younger with regular exercise.
- Helps in Maintaining and Losing Weight:
This is a no-brainer that exercising helps you lose weight or, if you are at your ideal weight, it helps you maintain that weight. Our bodies store excess calories as fat, and when we exercise, we burn calories by using that stored fat, thus leading to fat loss, which helps reduce weight.
Similarly, the muscle mass we gain while working out also helps reduce weight. Moreover, as stated earlier, when you work out, you sleep better. This means waking up fresh and being able to make healthy food choices.
Exercise benefits everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or religion. Plus, any physical activity is better than none at all. To get you into the habit of regular exercising, these eight health benefits of regular exercising will motivate you.