You all know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From helping with weight loss to improving sleep quality, here are our top 10 benefits of exercise.
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. It produces changes in part of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones Serotonin and Norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression.
Additionally, exercise can increase the production of Endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
Furthermore, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms in people suffering from anxiety. It can help them be more aware of their mental state and practice distraction from their fear.
The effects of exercise on mood are so powerful that choosing to exercise (or not) even makes a difference over shorter periods.
Some studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity. To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure.
Your body spends energy in three ways: digesting food, exercising and maintaining body functions like your heartbeat and breathing.
While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which will delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which will burn more calories and help you lose weight.
Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistant training can maximise fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off.
Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. Physical activity like weight lifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake.
This is because exercise helps release hormones that promote the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. This helps them grow and reduce their breakdown.
As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss ad maintaining strength as you age.
Also, exercise helps build bone density when you’re younger, in addition to helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.
interestingly, high-impact exercise such as HIIT, gymnastics or running have been shown to promote a higher bone density than non-impact sports like swimming and cycling
Exercise can be a real energy booster for healthy people, as well as those suffering from various medical conditions. One study found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistant fatigue.
Furthermore, exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses.
Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness and body composition, yet decrease blood pressure and blood fat levels.
In contrast, a lack of regular exercise – even in the short term – can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and early death.
Therefore daily physical activity is recommended to reduce belly fat and decrease the risk of developing these diseases.
Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the damage that free radicals cause to cells. This can damage their internal structures and deteriorate your skin.
Even though intense and exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells.
In the same way, exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.
Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking cells. To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood to your brain. It can also stimulate the production¬† of hormones that can enhance the growth or brain cells.
Moreover, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these diseases.
Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging – combined with oxidative stress and inflammation – promotes changes in brain structure and function.
Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size. This serves to increase mental function in older adults.
Lastly, exercise has been shown to reduce changes in the brain that can cause alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.
Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better. In regards to sleep quality, the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep.
Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep.
One study found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week can provide up to a 65% improvement in sleep quality.
You can be flexible with the kind of exercise you choose. It appears that either aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can equally help sleep.
Chronic pain can be debilitating but exercise could help reduce it. In fact, for many years, the recommendation for treating chronic pain was rest and inactivity, however recent studies show that exercise helps relieve chronic pain.
A review of several studies indicates that exercise helps participants with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.
Several studies have shown that exercise can help control pain that’s associated with various health conditions including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, to name a few.
Additionally, physical activity can also raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception.
Exercise has been proven to boost sex drive. Engaging in regular exercise can strengthen the cardiovascular system, improve blood circulation tone muscles and enhance flexibility, all of which can improve your sex life.
Physical activity can improve sexual performance and sexual pleasure, as well as increase the frequency of sexual activity.
One study found that a simple routine of a six minute walk around the house helped 41 men reduce their erectile dysfunction symptoms by 71%
What’s more, a study demonstrated that women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, which can reduce sex drive, increased their sex drive with regular resistance training for 16 weeks.