If you’re like most people, then you’ve probably heard from various sources that you should be getting more exercise. From the time you were in grade school until you became an adult, teachers, parents and doctors have been telling you that exercising is beneficial.
While you may be very aware that exercise is good for your health, it may be hard to find the time or desire to exercise. The good news is that by devoting at least 20 minutes a day to being active, you can do a lot for your body. Spending more time exercising is even better. If you only think that you should be exercising to maintain weight, you really should look again at the benefits you get from exercise.
1. It Improves Your Mood
It has been found that exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which are chemicals that have an impact on your mood. Thus, if you are feeling depressed, sad or anxious, getting out and doing any kind of exercise—whether vigorous or lightweight—could make you feel better.
Exercise has also been found to make your brain more sensitive to serotonin and norepinephrine, both of which relieve feelings of depression. Regular exercise and the release of chemicals in your brain can also reduce feelings of pain. All of these combined can lead to a happier, healthier you.
2. It Reduces Your Risk of Chronic Disease
When you exercise regularly, you are improving your body’s insulin sensitivity, body composition and cardiovascular fitness. At the same time, you are lowering your blood pressure and blood fat levels. Without regular exercise, you are at an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure.
You may also notice that when you don’t exercise, your belly holds onto more fat. There’s an easy way to prevent that from occurring, as well as reduce your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and other debilitating diseases. All it takes is some physical activity.
3. It Helps with Memory and Brain Health
When you exercise, you increase your heart rate, and this moves blood and oxygen throughout your body. Since your brain thrives on these nutrients, exercising gives it more of what it needs. It has also been found that exercising stimulates the production of hormones that encourage the growth of brain cells. Thus, when you get active, you’re helping your brain grow.
4. It Helps You Sleep Better
Engaging in exercise is a great way to make your body stronger, but the energy you use to get through the workout will also make you tired. When you exercise, your body temperature rises. At night, when you go to sleep, your body temperature has to drop. It has been found that sweating during exercise helps your body drop to the optimum temperature so that you can sleep at night. If you suffer from sleep issues, then getting out and exercising might be the best way to overcome these issues and get a good night’s rest.
5. It Helps You Meet People
Humans are social creatures, which means we thrive when we are around others. Heading down to the gym to use their weight machines or to take a fitness class is a great way to meet new people and be social.
If you’re looking for encouragement to get out and do some exercise, then signing up for a class with a friend or family member will give you someone to be accountable to. You might also consider working with a trainer, as they’ll show you the proper way to use the equipment and develop a plan that will help you achieve all of your goals.
There are so many reasons why you should be getting out and exercising, and they go beyond helping you maintain an ideal weight (although, this is a good reason to be active as well). It’s never too late to get started. Find something you enjoy doing and make it part of your daily routine.