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Which area of life is not touched by the benefits of exercise? You’ll be pressed to find an answer to that question.
Does exercise boost your mood? Does it improve mental and physical fitness? Increase libido? Maintain the quality of life as we age? Improve the ability to cope with stress?
The answer to all these questions is yes.
Here we examine the top nine specific exercise benefits you should know about in more detail.
The term “exercise” refers to any movement that engages your muscles and causes your body to expend energy.
Swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing are just a few examples of physical activity.
Regular exercise has a positive impact on both your physical and mental health.
Exercise Improves Mood
Depression, anxiety, and stress are all reduced or eliminated when you engage in regular physical activity. Both your mood and your mental attitude improve with exercise.
Exercise affects the parts of the brain in charge of managing anxiety and stress. The supplement can also raise the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, two substances that assist reduce depression.
Exercising also has the added benefit of increasing the synthesis of endorphins, which have been shown to help alleviate pain and boost mood.
Even if you’re doing an intense workout, it doesn’t matter. Exercise appears to have a positive effect on your mood regardless of the intensity of the activity.
In a trial involving 24 women who had been diagnosed with depression, researchers found that even light exercise reduced depressive symptoms.2Influence of Exercise Intensity for Improving Depressed Mood in Depression
Even a short period of exercise or inactivity affects the mood profoundly.
Studies discovered that even after only a few weeks of not working out consistently, previously active persons began to show signs of despair and anxiety.
Exercise Helps You Lose Fat
Here I need to address two fundamental misunderstandings.
Regardless of the intensity, exercise alone may not help you lose weight without reducing the calories you consume.
While beneficial in so many ways, exercising below a certain level has no impact on fat loss.
It is critical to understand the link between exercise and energy expenditure to understand the influence of exercise on weight loss.
Exercise helps your body convert energy from food or stored fat to kinetic energy and heat.
Kinetic energy is the energy you use in moving. You convert chemical energy to kinetic energy and heat (thermal energy.) There is a vast difference between the kinetic energy requirement of pushing a car and walking.
However, decreasing calorie intake may slow metabolic rate, reducing the body’s ability to burn calories and lose fat.
Research shows that consistent activity increases your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories around the clock and help you shed more pounds.3The effects of weekly exercise time on VO2max and resting metabolic rate in normal adults
Combining aerobic and resistance training has also been shown to maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, essential for a healthy weight and lean muscle mass.
Exercise Builds Muscle and Bones Density
Appropriate exercise is essential for developing and maintaining strong muscles and bones. Resistance training not only makes you stronger but building muscle, it also increases bone density.
Weightlifting and other muscle-building activities, when combined with a sufficient protein diet, can result in increased muscle mass.
Because exercise increases hormones that help muscles absorb amino acids. This promotes growth and reduces breakdown.
The loss of muscle mass and function that occurs due to aging can put a person at an increased risk of being injured. It is critical to engage in regular physical activity to prevent muscle loss and preserve strength as you age.
Resistance training exercises also help increase bone density in the adolescent years and prevent osteoporosis later in life.
According to some studies, high-impact exercise (such as gymnastics or running) or odd-impact sports (such as soccer and basketball) may assist build more bone density than low-impact sports such as swimming or cycling.
Exercise Boosts Energy Level
Many people, even those with various medical issues, can benefit greatly from regular physical activity.
A previous study indicated that six weeks of regular exercise improved the weariness of 36 persons experiencing it for a long time.
Exercise is more helpful than other treatments in fighting CFS, including passive therapy like relaxation and stretching or no treatment at all.
Also, don’t forget about the excellent cardiovascular and respiratory health benefits of exercise. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, giving you more energy.
The heart pumps more blood while you exercise, supplying your muscles with extra oxygen. Your heart gets better at pumping oxygen into your blood, making your muscles more efficient due to frequent exercise.
In the long run, this aerobic exercise results in reduced strain on your lungs, which means that you’re less likely to get short of breath during strenuous activity.
Various studies have shown that exercise can boost the energy levels of those battling other illnesses, such as cancer.
Exercise Reduces The Risk of Chronic Illness
Regular exercise seems to change the body’s condition to reduce the risk of chronic disease.
A lack of regular physical activity primarily causes chronic illness.
Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition. It can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Chronic health issues such as those listed below can be improved or avoided with regular physical activity.
Regular aerobic exercise can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes. It can also help people with type 1 diabetes.
Glycemic control, insulin resistance, fat mass, and blood pressure are improved by resistance exercise for type 2 diabetes.
A heart condition. Cardiovascular disease patients benefit from exercise since it lowers risk factors and acts as a treatment.
Several kinds of cancer. Many malignancies, including breast, colorectal, gynecological, endometrial, gallbladder, neoplasms, ovarian, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers, can be reduced by regular physical activity.
Cholesterol levels are too high. According to research, regular moderate-intensity physical activity can raise HDL (good) cholesterol while maintaining or even reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. High-intensity aerobic exercise appears to be necessary for lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
People with hypertension can reduce their resting systolic blood pressure by 5–7 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) by engaging in regular aerobic exercise.
On the other hand, the absence of regular exercise has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Exercise Improves Mental Health
Exercise can help the brain, memory, and thinking skills.
It boosts your heart rate, promoting blood and oxygen flow to your brain. It can also boost hormones that encourage brain cell proliferation.
Plus, the ability of exercise to avoid chronic disease can assist your brain, as these conditions can influence its function.
Regular physical activity is vital for older persons because aging, oxidative stress, and inflammation alter brain structure and function.
Exercise has been shown to enhance the size of the hippocampus, a memory and learning brain region, and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Exercise Improves Sleep
Exercise-induced energy loss boosts sleep-restorative mechanisms.
Moreover, the rise in body temperature during exercise may enhance sleep quality by allowing the body to cool during sleep.
Many studies on exercise and sleep have similar outcomes.
A meta-analysis of six trials indicated that exercise training improved sleep quality and reduced sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep).
A 4-month study indicated that stretching and resistance training improved sleep in chronic insomniacs.
Sleep length and quality improved following stretching and resistance exercise. The stretching group had less anxiety.
Regular exercise also appears to aid older persons who suffer from sleep difficulties (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).
You can be versatile with your exercise choices. Aerobic exercise alone or mixed with strength training appears to improve sleep quality.
Exercise Relieves Pain
Exercise can help alleviate chronic pain, which is debilitating. To feel pain, you need to perceive it. Exercise could relieve pain, change your perception of pain and increase your tolerance to pain.
For many years, the treatment of persistent pain was rest and inactivity. But new research shows exercise relieves chronic pain.
One study indicated that exercise could assist people with chronic pain reduce discomfort and enhancing their quality of life.
Several studies also demonstrate that exercise can help manage chronic pain problems such as low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder dysfunction.
Physical activity can help reduce pain tolerance.
Exercise Can Improve Sex Life
A healthy heart, circulatory system, and muscular tone contribute to better sex life.
Physical activity can increase sexual performance and pleasure while increasing sexual activity frequency.
One study found that regular exercise boosted sexual function and desire in 405 postmenopausal women.
A meta-analysis of 10 trials indicated that exercising for at least 160 minutes per week for six months improved erectile function in men.
According to another study, a 6-minute stroll around the home also helped 41 men lessen their erectile dysfunction symptoms by 71%.