We might have seen a few people who go to the gym regularly or people who just love exercising. Some people on the other hand are quite lazy or come up with excuses about not having time to exercise or they don’t find exercise interesting or maybe don’t think it’s necessary. Others might want to but can’t seem to be able to, it’s kind of a thing of “the mind is willingly but the body is weak”. So these group of people choose to sit at home watching TV all day, eating junk foods, engaging in activities they find interesting and wasting away the opportunities to make their lives better and healthier. What are the benefits of exercise?
There are several benefits of exercising. It reduces your risk of heart attacks, prevents stroke, hypertension, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease etc. And some of us might be wondering how true this is, well the name speaks for itself and that’s why many doctors all over the world advise their patients to engage in physical activities. So this article address the benefits of exercise.
Engaging in physical activities no matter how small it might be, whether it is walking around your living room, or swimming in your apartment’s pool, Exercise is one of the major ways of preventing premature death and hospitalization caused by several diseases.
Humans are becoming less active
In the ancient times when most of the inventions were not yet made, people were generally more active. They haunted for animals, walked distances to get food and migrated to different places in search of a better life. Not to say that these inventions haven’t made life easier but it has also made us lazier. It has ensured that people engage less and less in exercising. We are now given the opportunities to pick up our mobile phones and our next meal is just one call away and the food gets delivered right at our doorstep. I’m also guilty of this. No one uses the stairs anymore, we’d rather use escalators or elevators.
What if I told you that a lack of exercise especially cardio respiratory exercises have been found to be the most important risk factor for premature death. Well this is true. As mentioned in my previous post Improve Your Health With These Helpful Tips engaging in physical activities decreases the risk of obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes.
More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, and over 17 percent of the children living in the US are obese. These statistics are indeed shocking. If this is coming from America alone then imagine if you were to consider the world in general. The interesting thing is we can change these statistics. We can change the way we live, the way we eat. We can make a decision to live healthier.
The reason I exercise is for the quality of life I enjoy
Kwnnwth H. Cooper
What are the benefits of exercise?
Exercise helps by increasing blood flow across all areas of our body replenishing our organs with more blood and therefore more oxygen. It a stimulatory trigger to our circulatory system. Because of the increased blood flow, it flushes out fat deposit in our arteries and veins which in turn helps in preventing a heart attack or a stroke. When we exercise, the fat deposits in our arteries and veins are broken down making it accessible for fat breaking enzymes to attack them and remove them from our system.
Brain and Memory
Exercise has also been linked to improved memory. Researches have shown that regular exercise can generate new neurons in our hippocampus which is the area concerned with memory. When we have several neurons working together, we are more likely to retain new information and consolidate from our short term to long-term memory.
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Modest daily exercise also helps reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes. Why wait to take metformin when you can prevent having diabetes just by making a few lifestyle changes? Diabetes is associated with neuropathy (nerve problems), nephropathy (kidney problems) and retinopathy (eye problems) and these could all be prevented by taking that bold step to exercise. When you exercise, your cells become more sensitive to insulin which stimulate muscles and fat to absorb glucose from the bloodstream, thereby reducing blood glucose levels
These points highlighted above aren’t only the benefits of exercise.
Active exercise as you know builds more muscle and burns fat. It helps with the way we look and feel. Everyone wants to look amazing or achieve their dream bodies, exercise can help with that, you can sculpt your ideal body, off course realistically. Exercise reduces body weight and BMI which is a known risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer, obesity, diabetes etc. So why not get up and get those muscles.
Regular exercise also help reduce stress. In my previous post Stress And How to Manage It.-The Secret to Natural Stress Relief I discussed in details the effects of stress and how to manage it. Stress can be good or bad but it’s the bad stress we have to worry about. Engaging in aerobic activities such as brisk walking, cycling, and swimming can help reduce daily life stress.
How can I be more physically active?
Exercise is clearly something we should all adopt into our lives. As highlighted above, there are several benefits of exercise. It is clearly a life saver. Majority of people do not exercise because they make excuses about not having any time to exercise which is very surprising as majority of people are often times locked indoors either watching TV, playing video games or just lying down using their phones or computer to surf the internet. Getting physically active doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. A lot can be done at home or in your workplace such as
- Parking your car a few blocks away and then walking to the office,
- Avoid sitting down all day, always stand at least after an hour of sitting.
- Instead of ordering food to your work place, you can walk to a close by restaurant to eat.
- Take a walk in the evening, brisk walking etc.
- Swimming is very effective way to lose weight
- Jogging is also encouraged if you’re looking forward to stay physically active.
- Although going to the gym might encourage you a lot because you see people also trying to be healthier so you feel motivated too.
It’s not sufficient to have the knowledge alone and not put it into practice. So after reading this article I wonder why you’re still sitting down instead of being more active.
I learned a few years ago that balance is the key to a happy and successful life, and a huge part of achieving that balance is to instill rituals into your everyday life – a nutritious balanced diet, daily exercise, time for yourself through meditation, reading, journaling, yoga, daily reflection, and setting goals.
Thanks for reading