5 Benefits Of Exercise
While many believe exercise is only for weight loss or weight maintenance, there are many additional health benefits that come with being active. Here are five reasons to get off the couch and get moving:
- Exercise reduces your risk of disease. Moderate exercise (as little as 30 minutes three to four times per week) helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Exercise will strengthen your heart and lungs, increase the diameter and elasticity of your blood vessels and increase blood flow to every part of your body, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Exercise reduces stress. Modern living creates overwhelming stress from work, school, family, even traffic. Stress releases stress hormones, primarily cortisol, that adversely affects your blood sugar, metabolism, heart rate and blood vessel constriction. Cortisol makes everything in your body run faster, too fast, wearing your body down both mentally and physically. Exercise decreases the amount of cortisol released in response to external stressors.
- Exercise improves your mood, attitude and outlook. In addition to a lower stress level, regular exercise release “feel good” hormones or endorphins that activate your body’s opiate receptors, increasing your level of happiness. This feeling will also increase your desire to exercise, helping you reach your health and fitness goals. As you become more fit and lean, you will also experience a boost in your attitude, confidence and self esteem. The more fit and lean you are, the more confident you are and self pity, depression and anxiety become things of the past.
- Exercise improves brain function. Exercise increases cerebral blood flow, increased blood flow to your brain, increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients available to feed, maintain and regenerate brain cells. Exercise, especially resistance or weight training increases the production of human growth hormone which helps repair damaged cells and build new ones. This HGH helps with weight loss and anti-aging, but more importantly, it stimulates the production of lean muscle mass, boosts your metabolism, and can stimulate an immediate surge in brain function.
- Exercise reduces the effects of aging. As we age, bones become brittle and weaken, muscles begin to atrophy, we store more abdominal fat and our balance and agility begin to dwindle. Exercise and resistance training can slow these detrimental effects of aging. Functional fitness, training to complete everyday tasks, can help maintain fitness and health now will help you to remain independent and injury free much later in life.
Good news, it only takes 30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week to improve your health, your physical appearance, your outlook on life, all while strengthening your heart, lungs and reducing your risk for injury or disease. Isn’t it time to get off the couch and get moving?