Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise. Exercise and physical activity are great ways to feel better, boost your health and have fun.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.
Check out these seven ways that exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
No matter what your current weight is, being active boosts High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the ‘good’ cholesterol, and it decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including Stroke, Metabolic syndrome, High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, Depression, Anxiety, Many types of cancer, Arthritis, and Falls.
It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.
Exercise improves mood
A gym session or brisk walk can help in emotional lift and get you out of stress. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise boosts energy
Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.
Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and increase your confidence about your physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.
But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.
Exercise can be fun … and social!
Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.
So take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Try something new, or do something with friends or family.
Moreover! Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.
To provide even greater health benefit and to assist with weight loss or maintaining weight loss, at least 300 minutes a week is recommended. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefit.
Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you have any concerns about your fitness, haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis. (MayoClinic)