• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Beyond fitness, here are health benefits of exercise

Beyond fitness, here are health benefits of exercise

Exercising is engaging in physical activity to sustain or improve health and fitness in one’s body. Physical activities such as walking, anaerobic exercise which involves movement that requires short outbursts of intense energy like weightlifting, jumping, sprinting, and biking, aerobic exercise which involves the use of your large body muscles such as swimming, cycling, and jogging.

We also have strength and balance exercises like small squats and wall push-ups.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), exercise is essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.

“It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer, breast cancer in women, early death, Osteoarthritis, hip fracture, falls (among older adults), depression, dementia,” says NHS.

Here are a few tips given by Healthline on why you should exercise regularly.

Exercise can make you feel happier

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Exercise may increase brain sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones relieve feelings of depression. It may also increase the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.

Exercise can help with weight management

Inactivity may play a major factor in weight gain and obesity, which may lead to health complications. Exercise can help you manage your weight by helping with energy expenditure, also known as spending. Your body spends energy in three ways; digesting food, exercising, and maintaining body functions, like your heartbeat and breathing

A reduced calorie intake may lower your metabolic rate, which can temporarily delay weight loss. However, regular exercise may increase your metabolic rate. This can burn more calories and help you manage your weight.

Combining aerobic exercise with resistance training may also maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance. This could help you manage weight, maintain lean muscle, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Exercise is good for your muscles and bones

Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass, strength, and function. This leads to an increased risk of injury. Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.

Exercise also helps build bone density. The authors of a 2022 review found that regular exercise significantly improved bone density in the lumbar spine, neck, and hip bones. This may help prevent osteoporosis later in life. Impact exercises like gymnastics, running, or soccer may help promote higher bone density than no-impact sports like swimming and cycling.

Exercise can increase your energy levels

Exercise can help boost your energy levels while helping to reduce fatigue. This may help as a treatment method if you have certain health conditions, such as cancer. Aerobic exercise boosts your cardiovascular system and improves lung health, which may help with energy levels.

Your heart pumps more blood as you move, delivering more oxygen to your working muscles. With regular exercise, your heart becomes more efficient at moving oxygen into your blood.

Over time, exercise results in less demand on your lungs. This is one of the reasons why you may find yourself getting less and less out of breath during exercise, according to the American Lung Association.

Exercise can help skin health

Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress occurs when your body’s antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the cell damage caused by compounds known as free radicals. This can damage the structure of the cells and negatively impact your skin.

Intense and exhaustive physical activity may contribute to oxidative damage. However, a 2018 review suggests that regular moderate exercise may help alleviate the stress caused by free radicals.

Exercise can help with relaxation and sleep quality

Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better. It may help improve your sleep quality because the energy loss that occurs during exercise stimulates restorative processes during sleep.

Also, the increase in your body temperature during exercise may help it drop during sleep, which could promote better sleep. A 2018 study conducted over 4 months in people with chronic insomnia found that both stretching and resistance exercise helped improve sleep quality and duration while decreasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

Exercise can help your brain health and memory

Exercise can improve brain function and protect your memory and thinking skills. To begin with, exercise increases your heart rate. This promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells.

For example, exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus to grow in size, which may help improve mental function. This is part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning.

Regular physical activity is important in older adults because it can help slow down the physiological effects of aging in your brain. It may also help reduce changes in the brain that can contribute to conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Exercise can reduce pain

Chronic pain can be debilitating. For many years, the recommendation for treating chronic pain was rest and inactivity.

However, the authors of a 2021 review suggest that aerobic exercise may serve as a natural treatment option to provide pain relief and improve quality of life. One way exercise may help prevent or reduce chronic pain is because it increases your pain tolerance over time.

Exercise may also help you control pain associated with various health conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder.