Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. However, it’s good not only for weight loss but for a lot of other reasons. Regular exercise benefits many different areas of your body and your life. So here are 10 reasons why exercise is important and why you should make it a regular part of your routine.
1. Increases Energy Levels
Even though you might feel like all your energy is drained after a tough workout, regular exercise will actually make you feel more energized throughout the day.
First of all, exercise increases the level of endorphins. These are chemicals that are produced at the base of your brain and which generate the feeling of pain-relief and well-being. When released into your bloodstream, these endorphins energize you and help you to tackle on the rest of the day. They also contribute to the feeling of euphoria known as the runner’s high.
Secondly, physical activity increases the need for oxygen. And as you increase your consumption of oxygen, you also increase your lung capacity. As a result, you increase your aerobic capacity, meaning that more oxygen gets delivered to your brain and bloodstream. This makes you feel more alert, awake and energized.
And lastly, the increase of oxygen also contributes to more efficient blood circulation. So you get more oxygen to your muscles and that increases functioning throughout the body.
2. Improves Cognitive Function
Exercise is also important for maintaining good brain function, protecting memory and making you smarter.
Exercise gets your heart rate up and that increases blood flow to the brain. More blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients. All this gives the brain more to work with and helps to create a nourishing environment for the brain cells.
Physical activity also leads to an increase in BDNF, which is a neurotransmitter that fuels most of the mental activity leading to higher thought. On top of that, it also helps to protect and repair brain cells from degeneration.
Studies have also shown that regular physical activity increases the volume of your hippocampus. Therefore, you can prevent the chances of developing memory loss, dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Your brain function can also benefit from exercise indirectly. It reduces stress and improves mood and sleep, which contributes to the health of brain cells.
3. Improves Mood
Physical activity promotes the release of endorphins. These are natural “feel good” neurotransmitters that positively affect your mood, make you feel more relaxed and reduce the perception of pain. Exercise also increases brains sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine chemicals. As a result, it helps to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression, while also preparing the body to deal with mental tensions in your everyday life.
There are also studies showing that long-term physical activity leads to improved changes in happiness. So keep the sweat flowing and make it a habit.
4. Strengthens Your Heart
By regularly exercising you also support your heart health. Since your heart is a muscle, just like all the other muscles in your body it should be workout out.
Exercise promotes cardiovascular health by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and at the same time increasing the HDL (good cholesterol) levels. On top of that, it also reduces blood pressure and triglyceride levels. This combination strengthens your heart muscle and lowers your risk of developing heart disease.
5. Helps Combat Health Conditions And Diseases
First of all, exercise enhances your immune system. It leads to pumping more oxygen and nutrients around your body. This fuels your cells and helps them fight bacteria and viruses.
Secondly, by being physically active, you improve your body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Additionally, exercise contributes to preventing obesity. And by controlling these two factors, you can prevent Type II diabetes.
Staying fit may also help in reducing the risk of developing colon cancer and breast cancer. It may also lower the risk of lung and endometrial cancers.
Furthermore, by doing strength training you can also combat osteoporosis. It can be any weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, running or weight training. These type of exercises increase your bone density, making them stronger and healthier.
6. Increases Muscle Strength
Exercise is vital for maintaining strong muscles and reducing muscle loss associated with aging.
As you exercise, the released hormones promote the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. This stimulates muscle building and reduces their breakdown.
Also, staying active makes your joints, tendons and ligaments more flexible. It helps you to move more easily and prevents injury. This makes exercise helpful in preventing joint and lower back pain.
7. Improves Your Sleep
Exercise also contributes to good quality sleep. Just avoid working out right before going to bed because it will have the opposite effect and will give you too much energy.
During a workout, you deplete your energy and this helps to keep in tune your body’s circadian rhythm. As a result, you get better sleep and that, in turn, reduces your stress levels, makes you feel more energized the next day and improves overall wellness.
8. Helps to Maintain a Healthy Weight
Inactivity leads to weight gain and obesity. And an effective way to combat that is with regular physical activity.
When you’re active, you increase your metabolic rate, burn more calories and subsequently, lose weight. The additional benefit of this is more motivation and the boosted self-esteem.
To maximize weight loss and to keep that weight off, combine aerobic exercise with weight training.
9. Improves Sex Life
Staying in shape also improves your sex life with greater sexual arousal, desire and satisfaction.
Physical activity leads to increased blood flow, which, in turn, leads to better sexual function. And the increased strength, flexibility and stamina also help with that.
Additionally, exercise increases levels of testosterone and can boost sex drive in both men and women.
10. Helps You Live Longer
Due to all the reasons mentioned above, exercise will also help you live longer. Even if you’re older and haven’t been very active, it’s never too late to start and get all the longevity benefits. Even just brisk walking up to 75 minutes a week will give you benefits and prolonged life expectancy. Include some resistance training and it will rise even more.