You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again – regular exercise is essential to your health and well-being. While your doctor, personal fitness trainer, loved ones, or friends may be trying to get you to become a bit more active, they’re likely not explaining why exercise is so important. Let’s put it into perspective.
Physically Active People are Happier People
It’s true. Those who get at least 30-minutes of exercise tend to have a more positive outlook than those who do not. Why? The movement and exertion aids in the stimulation and production of chemicals in your brain. These chemicals soothe your nerves and help you to feel relaxed.
Decreased Cholesterol Levels
We start our lives free of medications and, as we age, tend to find ourselves adding more and more in the way of supplements and prescription medications. It is not uncommon for individuals to end needing cholesterol medications to control their LDL (bad cholesterol) and HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Exercise helps you to keep your HDL levels high so that you can combat that LDL. Excess levels of LDL can build up in your arteries and cause heart disease and strokes. So which would you prefer in this case – exercise or medication?
Blood Pressure Control
While many people with high blood pressure shy away from exercise because they believe it could make things worse, the truth is that moderate exercise will actually help to strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure. The more active you are, the less likely you are to see your blood pressure creep up on you as you age.
It is no secret that exercise will help you to burn calories, allowing you to either lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Exercising regularly will have a number of benefits. Your body has a resting metabolic rate, where you burn a certain number of calories per hour. Exercise not only gives you the initial rush and calorie burn from your workout, but increases your resting metabolic rate as well. You’ll essentially become a calorie crushing machine.
Quality of Sleep
Sleep is as essential to a healthy life as food. Exercising on a regular basis will help your body to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep at a deeper level. As you start to sleep better, you’ll become more productive and have less trouble concentrating during the day. Your body will also have the proper amount of rest time to make much needed repairs, leaving you feeling healthier and more energized.
Prevention of Diabetes
Adults who develop diabetes later in life tend to do so because their bodies are storing too much fat. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh, though – exercising can help to fend off the onset of diabetes. This type of exercise doesn’t need to be intense, either. You could walk approximately ½ mile per day and still reap the benefits of diabetes prevention.
Exercise and Your Energy Levels
Your increased energy levels will be caused by two things. First, that extra sleep we mentioned before will help you to feel more alert. Second, moving around and exercising allows oxygen to move through your body and to your tissues. As your heart and lungs are able to work more efficiently, you’ll start to have higher energy levels!
Exercise is for everyone, no matter what your background or current physical condition. Talk to your doctor and a fitness personal trainer about how you can safely begin incorporating more exercise into your daily routine. This is one decision you’ll never regret.