8 benefits of regular exercise
We know that regular exercise is good for you, and that it makes you fitter and healthier in some vague way. But you may not be aware of the extent to which exercise can transform your life.
From improving your sleep to boosting your health and happiness, it touches so many areas of wellbeing. So if you don’t exercise regularly, put aside those excuses and get active. Here are some reasons why you should:
1. Control your weight
Not only does exercise help you lose weight, even small amounts of regular exercise prevent you from gaining weight in the first place. You don’t even need to do strenuous workouts – all physical activity burns calories. Incorporating routine exercise into your day is an excellent way to get active. It can be as simple as walking to the post office instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of using an elevator. These simple activities burn calories and help to control your weight.
2. Improve overall health
There are plenty of reasons why regular exercise is good for your health. Most notably, it boosts cardiovascular efficiency and circulation, which in turn promotes better muscle growth. Not only does that make you fitter and stronger, it also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular exercise also helps reduce the risk of stroke, cancer and arthritis, and it helps manage metabolic syndrome, depression and diabetes.
3. Improve your confidence
There’s a reason why you usually feel great after going for a run, a cycle or a swim – physical activity stimulates endorphins. These chemicals in your brain leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Exercise can also boost your confidence and self-esteem by helping you lose weight and tone your body.
4. Increase energy and endurance
Do you sometimes feel tired or out of breath? Regular physical activity improves muscle strength and boosts endurance. That’s because it leads to a higher concentration of red blood cells. Oxygen and nutrients are delivered more efficiently to the tissues throughout your body and your muscles become stronger and more elastic. It means you will have more energy to go about your daily chores.
5. Helps you sleep better
It’s pretty simple really: physical exercise tires you out. It can help you fall asleep more quickly and deeply. Everyone knows the feeling of exhaustion you get after overexerting yourself, but studies have shown that even moderate exercise through the day can help sleep better at night. But don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
6. Live Longer
A small amount of exercise each day can add years to your life, according to a scientific study reported in the UK’s Telegraph. The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that running up to six miles each week can cut the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke by almost 54 per cent.
7. Stress Relief
Feeling anxious or uptight? Exercise is one of the best methods for combatting stress. In the afterglow of exercise your muscles relax and the endorphins released in your brain reduce stress levels considerably.
8. It’s fun and social
Exercise shouldn’t be a chore – it may be a challenge at the start, but you should ultimately practice a type of exercise that you enjoy. The satisfaction that comes from meeting your fitness goals is incredibly rewarding and exercise can be a great social activity. Teaming up with friends to go for runs, swims, bike rides or other types of exercise makes your work out all-the-more enjoyable. There’s often a social atmosphere at the gym, and team sports are a great way to make lasting friendships.