Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

Everyone knows that regular exercise improves the length and quality of our lives. But how exactly does this occur? What are the benefits of continuous exercise, and what kinds of exercise provide the best outcomes?

Regular exercise…

MAINTAINS A HEALTHY WEIGHT – This is probably the most obvious health benefit, and many people exercise solely to lose the 10 or 100 extra pounds they are carrying on their frame. Losing this weight has numerous benefits on your body – less stress on your joints and organs, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and lower chances for diseases linked to obesity like heart disease and diabetes. Regular exercise burns calories during the activity and increases the number of calories your body uses while recovering from your routine. The best exercises for losing fat are ones that put your heart rate at 60-65% of your maximum. To maximize the calories you burn, you can also try high intensity interval training (HIIT). In these programs, you alternate short periods of high intensity exercise with periods of ‘recovery’ exercise. Keep your workouts short – between 20 to 30 minutes – to maximize the benefits.

TREATS CHRONIC HEALTH ISSUES – Often this occurs because of the weight loss, but exercise can also have a direct effect on conditions that plague an unhealthy body. Exercise reduces the risks for heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and even some cancers. If done correctly, working out can help reduce chronic pain in joints and muscles. In addition, regular workouts lower other risk factors that can cause serious disease, including high LDL cholesterol and blood pressure. Best of all, you don’t need to run marathons to see the benefits: even 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking a day can drastically improve your health.

PREVENTS DISEASE – Regular exercise can provide a ‘shot in the arm’ to your immune system. With your body’s defenses bolstered, you will come down with fewer sicknesses like colds and flus. And if you do get sick, your health body will fight harder, allowing you to recover quicker with fewer symptoms.

INCREASES YOUR ENERGY – Sure, if you work out regularly, you can run farther, lift heavier, and sustain your activity longer. These benefits are obvious on the sports field, but they are no less effective on the field of life! Being in better shape increases your overall energy level, increasing your efficiency at work and play and improving your daily performance: you will get more done in your day without added stress or fatigue. In addition, you will feel better psychologically, as the day will no longer feel like a horrible drag.

IMPROVES YOUR SLEEP – As long as you don’t work out right before bedtime, regular exercise can help you fall and stay asleep. The benefits of quality sleep are many; they include increased energy, relief from chronic health issues, improved concentration and performance, and many others. These benefits should sound familiar, because they are the benefits of exercise in general! Thus, exercise gives you double duty, offering you health benefits while you are awake and asleep.

IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL HEALTH – Exercising regularly is fun. You get out to nature, or the gym, or the sports field, and enjoy a nice workout with yourself or your buds. This expenditure of energy lowers your stress and decreases your risks for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Exercise, at any intensity, dumps chemicals and hormones into your blood that improve your mood, increase your mental acuity, and shift your outlook from negative to positive. Best of all, when you lower your risks of these conditions, you decrease your chances of developing other health conditions (like heart disease) that are connected with these problems!

REDUCES YOUR RISKS OF DYING – Ultimately, we want to stay alive as long as possible and with the highest quality of life. Regular exercise improves so many facets of our lives simultaneously that they feed and reinforce one another, leading to an overall improvement in your life expectancy.