Exercise: 15 Most Important Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

Exercise is a physical activity that involves the movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. Exercise tends to raise the heart rate and also it is initiated with the aim of maintaining physical fitness.

There are many types of exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, dancing and jumping etc.

Exercise and physical activities have numerous benefits and importance such as mental benefits, emotional benefits, social benefits, physical benefits etc.

Exercise is good and Important for everyone, but do you know how good? Exercise boosts your mood and can improve your sex life. Exercise can also make you feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life.

Though exercise has disadvantages, the positive effect/advantages of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, gender or physical ability.

Read this benefits of regular exercise and physical activity and you will definitely start to undertake regular physical exercises.

1. Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. Engaging in physical activities helps to burn calories by increasing your metabolic rate. The amount of calories that are burnt away depends on the intensity of the exercise performed, isn’t it great? but there is no need to worry if you can’t find a large hump of time to exercise daily. To get the full benefits of exercise, try getting more involved than you used to be before- try using the stairs instead of the elevator.

Some recent studies have shown that the major factor contributing to obesity and weight gain is inactivity. It is important to understand how regular exercise affects weight reduction by comparing the relationship between energy expenditure and exercise.

Energy is spent by the body in three ways: exercising, digesting food and maintaining body functions like breathing and heartbeat.

More studies have shown that combining resistance training with aerobic exercise can maximize muscle mass maintenance and fat loss, which is important for watching body weight.

2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Failure to involve in regular physical activity is a basic cause of chronic disease.

Undertaking regular exercise has shown to improve cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, blood fat levels, decrease blood pressure, and body composition. If you are worried about heart diseases, hoping to prevent high blood pressure just take on exercises and it will help the smooth flow of your blood and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Some other diseases combated by regular exercise include stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis falls, and depression.

On the other hand, lack of regular exercise- even in the short term- can lead to increased belly fat which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and early death.

Therefore, it is recommended to undertake regular physical activity so as to reduce belly fat and also decrease the tendency of developing these diseases.

3. Exercise improves mood

Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and also decrease feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress.
When you need an emotional lift or want to easy yourself a bit after a stressful day, either a brisk 30-minute walk or a gym session can do. Involving in physical activities can stimulate various brain chemicals that may make you feel relaxed and happier.
In addition to that, exercise aids in the production of endorphins, a hormone responsible for the production of positive feelings, and the reduced perception of pain.
Furthermore, the practice of regular exercise reduces symptoms in people suffering from anxiety. This is achieved by helping them to become aware of their mental state and practice distraction rather than fears.

It is interesting to say that the level of intensity of your work out does not determine the improvement of your mood as your mood can benefit from exercise regardless of the intensity of physical activity.

Also, a study in 30 women that were diagnosed with depression showed that undertaking exercise of any intensity significantly reduced feelings of depression.

You may also feel much better about your self and your appearance when you exercise regularly, therefore, boosting your confidence and self-esteem. Taking part in daily exercise can improve your mood and also reduce any feeling of depression and anxiety.

4. Exercise boosts energy

step aerobics with dumbbells

 

Exercise helps to boost energy for healthy people and also those suffering from various medical conditions. If you have been winded by household chores or grocery shopping, regular physical activity is the sure way to boost your endurance and improve muscle strength.

A study showed that five weeks of regular exercise reduced the feeling of fatigue for 30 healthy persons who had reported a persistent feeling of fatigue.

Furthermore, regular exercise can help boost the energy levels for those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFC) and some other serious illnesses.

As a matter of fact, it is proven that exercise is more effective in combating CFS than other treatments such as passive therapies, stretching, and relaxation or no treatment at all.

Exercise is important as it delivers oxygen and some nutrients required by the body tissue and also helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently. With an improved lung and heart health, there is more energy to embark on and tackle daily chores.

Finally, engaging in regular physical activities can increase the energy levels in people that are suffering from progressive illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and cancer

5. Exercise promotes better sleep

Practicing regular exercise can help you get relaxed and also bring about better sleep quality.
With regards to sleep quality, the energy that is used up in the process of exercise stimulates recovery processes during sleep. Moreso, the body temperature increment that occurs during exercise helps to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep time.

There have been several studies on the effects of exercise on sleep, all have been found to reach similar conclusions.

A study on 50 men showed that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week improved their sleep quality.

Another Study on 17 people with insomnia showed that after 16 weeks of physical activity there was an improvement in sleep quality as they slept longer and more deeply than the control group. It also went a long way to help them feel more energized during the day.

Also, taking part in regular exercise have shown to be beneficial for the elderly ones affected by sleep disorders.

Try to be flexible with the type of exercise you indulge in. It seems aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise with a little bit of resistance training can equally improve sleep quality.

Struggling to take a nap? Regular physical activity can help send you to sleep faster and even deepen your sleep. Try not to exercise too close to bedtime, or you will get too energized to go to bed.

6. Exercise can promote a better sex life

If you are miles away from getting a better sex life, exercise is key to put you right back in track.

As already stated, engaging in regular exercise can intensify the cardiovascular system, tone muscles, improve blood circulation and enhance flexibility, all of which can as well improve sex life.

Undertaking physical activity can improve sexual performance and pleasure, as well as increased frequency of sexual activity.

A study has shown that among a group of 150 healthy men, the men reported that took part in more exercise per week had higher sexual function scores.

Another study on 40 men with erectile dysfunction symptom shows that a simple routine of six-minute walk around the house helped to reduce the symptom by 70%.

Also, a study on women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that can reduce women’s sex drive, had increased sex drive after regular resistance training for 14 weeks.

If you are feeling too tired or out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy, begin to undertake physical exercise so as to improve energy levels and physical appearance thereby boosting your sex life.

Children Exercising

7. It can help your brain health and Memory

One of the most important functions of exercise is that it protects memory and thinking skills.
To start with, regular exercise increases the heart rate, which promotes the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
Exercise can also quicken the production of hormones that aid brain cell growth.
As already stated in this article, Exercise prevents chronic diseases. This can turn to be of real benefit to the brain since its function can be hampered by these diseases.

 

The hippocampus, a part of the brain vital for memory and learning has been shown to grow in size due to regular exercise. This serves to increase mental functions in older adults.

Lastly, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia which are caused by certain changes in the brain are reduced drastically during exercise.

8. Exercise Can Reduce Pain

Chronic pain can tend to make one feel really weak, but exercise can help reduce such pains.

In past times, it was recommended that rest and inactivity were best for chronic pains. However, recently, studies have shown that partaking in daily exercise helps relieve chronic pains.

Studies review have shown that exercise helps participants feeling chronic pains get relieved with improved quality of life.

Several studies related to chronic pains have shown that exercise has helped control pain with various health conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, and chronic low back pain e.t.c.

To add to that, physical activity can help to increase pain tolerance and decreased pain perception.

9. It can help Skin health

The amount of oxidative stress in the body can affect the skin

Oxidative stress occurs when there is excessive production of oxygen radicals in cells, which could overwhelm the normal antioxidant capacity. It can also occur when the body’s antioxidant defenses cannot authenticate the complete repairs of damage caused by free radicals to the cell.

Even though intense physical activity can contribute to oxidative burn, regular and moderate exercise can increase the body’s production of other natural antioxidants that helps protect cells.

In the same vein, regular exercise can help to stimulate the flow of blood and also bring about skin cell adaptation that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.

10. Exercise is good for Muscles and Bones

Exercise has a role in the building and maintenance of a stronger muscle and bone.

Undertaking physical activity like weight lifting can help in muscle building when combined with adequate protein intake.

This is because partaking in exercise helps to release the hormones responsible for promoting the ability of the muscle to absorb amino acids thereby helping them grow and reducing their breakdown.

Loss of muscle mass and function come in as people age. This could lead to injuries and some fatal disabilities. Practicing regular physical activity is necessary for reducing muscle loss and also maintaining ones strength during old age.

During exercise, the bone build density when younger and in addition to that helps to prevent osteoporosis later in life.

It is also interesting to note that high impact exercise such as running or gymnastics or odd impact sports such as basketball and soccer, has been shown to promote a higher bone density than non-impact sports like cycling and swimming.

11. Exercise Increase Self-Confidence

if you are feeling down on yourself, Exercising can help you feel a little bit better about yourself. It doesn’t matter how fit you are or the type of workout you engage in. A study has shown that  “the simple act of exercise and not fitness itself can convince you that you look better.” With so much emphasis placed on the outward appearance in our societies today, it is important to say that exercise helps people get a better feeling about themselves and their natural outlook.

12. Exercise could be fun and Social

Engaging in exercise and physical activity can be so enjoyable. It gives chance to enjoy the outdoors or simply engaging in activities that make one happy. Physical activity can also help to connect with friends and family in a social setting.

Bored? try something new or do things with friends. Participate in a dance class, join a soccer team. Find any physical activity you enjoy most and just stick to it.

13. Exercise is Key to Better Performance at Work

Taking part in exercise and physical activity have proven to bring a productive and happier working experience.

A study revealed that employees who did work out before work or during their lunch hour reported that they felt less stress and more productive than those that didn’t participate in any physical activity. Not only that, but they also put up excellent performances on exercise days.  It’s the perfect excuse for a walking meeting or a lunchtime stroll.

A diverse group of adults in a water aerobics class.

14. Exercise Helps to Control Addiction

The brain releases a sort of chemical known as dopamine, a chemical responsible for any form of pleasure be it sex, exercise, drugs, alcohol or food. It’s a pity that people become addicted to dopamine, therefore, become dependent too on the substance that produces it, like alcohol or drugs ( and more rarely, food and sex).

On the bright side, exercise can help in the addiction recovery process. Short exercise sessions can also effectively distract drugs or alcohol addict at least in the short term.

Alcohol abuse tends to disrupt many body processes one of which include the Circadian rhythms. As a result, alcoholics cannot fall asleep or stay asleep without drinking. Exercise can help in the rebooting process of the body clock, helping people fall asleep at the right time.

15. Exercise helps you Live Longer

Life is all about being there for your loved ones and enjoying as many special moments as you can. Having a refreshed and healthy body to help you live a longer, fuller life is one of the greatest benefits of exercise.

Research published in 2013 showed that more than 650 000 people that did 150 minutes of moderate exercise (or about half hour five days a week)had increased lifespan by 3.4 years. The findings were true even for individuals who were overweight or obese; exercise helped them live longer while being obese and not involving in any physical activity decreased lifespan by 7.2 years.

Is that TV show really worth it? Don’t say you are too busy, think about it this way: You are shaving off years of life.

The Bottom Line on Exercise and Physical Activity

Exercise and physical activity is a great way to feel better, have fun and boost health for a longer lifespan. Set a target of at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, or even 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise.

Try as much as you can to engage in a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic exercises such as walking, running or swimming. Put in a little strength training at least twice a week by doing bodyweight exercises, lifting free weights or using weight machines too.

Space out activities throughout the week to meet specific fitness goals if you want to lose weight. IIt may all require ramping your exercise efforts.

Remember to go see a doctor before starting up a new exercise plan, especially if you haven’t done that for a long time, have some chronic health issue such as arthritis, diabetes or heart disease, or you have other concerns too.

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