Exercise, some love it, some don’t. The reasons to pick it up right now are more than ever before. For all those who are not fond of working out, let us be its advocate and make a case for you by highlighting its benefits. In the process, we hope to give you at least one reason to love it and get started with it.
Before a few of you think it’s a typical fat-to-fit kind of article, let us make it clear that it’s not. Continue reading it and be amazed.
The top 7 benefits of exercise are:
1. Improves sleep
What happens is that the energy depletion and the temperature rise that occurs in the body during exercise make you sleep better. How? Without getting all scientific on you, let’s just put it this way that it stimulates your recuperative process during sleep, making you go into a deeper sleep, and the risen temperature drops down to give you better sleep quality.
A study published in 2017 also shows the positive effects of physical activity on sleep and well-being.
Regular exercise is also beneficial for the elderly, who are usually affected by sleep disorders.
2. Increases energy levels
Funny, you might think that we are countering our previous point on energy depletion. There is a bit more to it than that; regular physical activity makes your heart and cardiovascular system (heart, blood, and blood vessels combined) stronger and healthier. Even though you might be consuming energy during your exercise, for the complete day, you will feel way better than not doing it at all. This is also equally true for people with prolonged fatigue issues and severe progressive illnesses, such as cancer. As your cardiovascular system becomes healthier, it consumes less energy for your daily activities. Highly conditioned athletes can have a resting heart rate as low as 40bpm! This is because their heart has become really efficient in carrying out its functions at such a lower rate than normal.
3. Positive effect on brain and memory
Regular physical activity can positively and noticeably affect your brain health and memory. If you won’t take our word for it, here is a study for you published in 2019. This study shows how exercise can reverse some of the undesirable effects of brain aging and degenerative pathologies like Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, etc. It also improves cognitive processes and memory. As intense physical activity increases your heart rate, it also promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
4. Strengthens your bones and muscles
Whatever physical activity you do, it will always involve muscle strength, be it, movement of your body for workouts or even static holds. Our body efficiently works on figuring out ways to do it better the next time we perform a similar activity. Hormones released during workouts increase the absorption of amino acids and this reduces muscle breakdown/tear. It also increases muscle strength and size.
In fact, our body is so efficient, that if it feels the muscles are no longer being used, it will start eating them away and utilize those calories for other functions. Regular exercise will demand the body to maintain muscle mass and function. This also keeps us safe from injuries and disabilities.
Positive effects of intense physical activity on the bones are increase in bone mass and density. It also prevents issues related to bones and joints like osteoporosis, arthritis, etc. Usually, bone mass and density don’t increase after the age of 30, though, they can be maintained at any age. Interestingly, a study shows that swimming, cycling (non-impact sports) do not improve bone health. The same study shows that high and odd impact sports like basketball, football, gymnastics, racquet games, etc. are highly associated with improving bone health.
5. Prevents chronic diseases
Regular exercise keeps your weight under control, gives you a healthy cardiovascular system, and keeps you away from chronic diseases, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This also applies to those who might have developed any of these diseases. It’s never late to start, you and your body want to heal, regular workout is one of the ways, do it.
6. Reduces stress and makes you happy
Hormones and chemicals released in the body during and after a workout can relieve your stress and make you happy. Endorphins are released by your body when you exercise, they trigger a positive and happy feeling in the body. To give you a reference, endorphins are also released by your body during sex. Now, you get it. A few others like serotonin, oxytocin, other hormones, and chemicals are also released by your body during and after exercise. They keep you happy, increase your resistance to stress, depression, and anxiety, giving you a healthy mind as well.
7. Weight loss
We are sure you expected this point and know about it already, we still couldn’t resist writing about it.
By weight loss, we mean a loss of fat and muscle both. To maintain your muscle mass, you have got to keep your diet and nutrition in check too. Obesity combined with a low level of physical activity is associated with liver cancer, colon cancer, coronary artery disease, etc. There is no shortcut for weight loss, but there is definitely a fast and proven way, regular exercise.
8. Financial gains
No, we are not bad at counting, we just wanted to give you one more reason for it. Once you have a regular workout as a part of your lifestyle, a part of your money that was used for many things which you didn’t need will get saved. Money saved is money earned. A few of these not needed things are alcohol, cigarettes, doctor’s consultations, hospital bills, drugs, etc.
We would also like to mention cheaper and free ways to workout. This will save your money from expensive places you might be going to exercise. Some of these cheap and free workouts are calisthenics, yoga, running, bodyweight home workouts, cycling, etc.
Weren’t expecting that, were you?
Even a single one of the above-listed benefits is reason enough for you to add regular exercise to your lifestyle. You need to remember a few important points before you begin. Start slow, work up your way gradually. Consistency is the key. Your diet will decide how much of these benefits you can reap from the exercises you do. Diet and workout go hand in hand, one without the other will always delay or diminish your true potential.
If you are a beginner, we advise consulting a qualified expert before you take up any exercise program and diet.