We are encouraged to move and exercise at least once a day if not more.
But have you ever wondered why this is? Or what other benefits there are to exercise?
Here are 10 encouraging health benefits of exercise that will make you feel more enthusiastic about kicking yourself into gear and being more active!
Exercise can reduce your risk of developing major illnesses.
Exercising is a natural human activity and one of the main benefits of exercise is reducing your risk of illness.
Major illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and strokes are always a threat to humans but by exercising you can dramatically reduce your risk.
According to the National Health Service in the UK, it has been medically proven that people who regularly exercise reduce their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50%.
You are also 50% less likely to develop colon cancer.
For women, you are 20% less likely to develop breast cancer if you exercise regularly.
Regular exercise can improve your mental health.
Exercising isn’t only good for our physical health but it also helps improve our mental health.
Moving around gets the blood flowing and the body pumping.
Part of this process releases dopamine and endorphins in your brain.
These are what make you feel happy and it’s not only this benefit happening in the brain when you exercise.
The brain also starts to get rid of the chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious.
Exercise is also an outlet for expressing and releasing emotions.
Regular exercise can lower your risk of developing depression by 30%.
Exercising can help improve your sleep.
Exercise allows the brain to release positive chemicals as well as getting rid of negative chemicals.
This means that your reduced stress and anxiety levels will help you get a better night’s sleep.
However, the time of day that you exercise can affect your ability to fall asleep.
Some people find due to the high levels of dopamine released they can sleep instantly; others need time to wind down.
When we exercise our body temperature rises and sometimes this stimulation can trick the body into feeling more awake.
It can take around 30 to 90 minutes for the core body temperature to fall and from then you will start to feel sleepier.
Time of day can be a factor for some and not for others, it is completely down to the individual and certain types of exercise can relax the body.
Not all exercise is high intensity and it is suggested that exercise that is more meditative like yoga can be practiced before you hit the hay.
As well as the chemical changes in the brain which promote better sleep, you will feel physically tired or even exhausted meaning your body needs to rest.
Some exercises can help improve your breathing and respiratory health.
Exercises such as Yoga can help you to improve your respiratory health.
Breathing exercises and controlling your breathing whilst exercising can help increase lung capacity.
Sports such as swimming where you need to hold your breath are a great way to slowly build up your lung capacity.
This allows you to take in more oxygen which will optimize your performance and maintain your health.
You can improve your balance through exercise.
There are balance-focused sports such as yoga, gymnastics, and water sports such as surfing and paddleboarding.
These all encourage the body to focus on weight distribution and how to use a balance to engage in a sport.
Building up core strength can help with your balance which is important for your long-term health.
Because of this, regular exercise that focuses on balance and core strength can reduce your risk of falls as you get older by as much as 30%.
Exercising reduces your risk of developing heart diseases.
Exercise comes in many forms, but when we take part in a moderate or high-intensity activity our heart is working to its fullest.
It’s pumping blood as fast as it can around the body and our breath becomes labored to get more oxygen to our blood cells.
Working the heart and encouraging blood flow helps to keep our body in good working order.
Regular exercise where you have an increased heart rate can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by up to 35%.
You also lower your risk of having a stroke by 35%.
The more you exercise, the stronger your muscles and bones become.
Movement is important for keeping our muscles and bones in strong working order.
Exercise can reduce your risk of hip fracture by a huge 68%.
You are less likely to develop conditions such as osteoarthritis as regular movement encourages joints to not cease up.
If you exercise regularly you can lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis by up to 83%.
Your immune system is boosted by exercise.
Exercise can help to strengthen your immune system and strengthen your cells.
This is because when we exercise blood flow is increased, which allows our cells to perform properly.
Stress is reduced and any inflammation, as well as sweating out and breathing out any bacteria or dead and unwanted cells.
This removal allows for new cells to be formed.
It also allows your current cells to become stronger and perform at their best as they are being challenged.
Exercising can help you control your weight.
Regular exercise means you are less likely to become overweight and develop health conditions such as obesity.
Although diet also plays a key role in weight control, regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy body size.
This means that by preventing obesity you are reducing your risks of developing diseases such as diabetes.
Regular exercise can help keep the mind focused.
Exercise is not only beneficial to your physical body like muscles and bones but also your brain.
Taking part in exercise gives you the mental challenge of pushing on through the pain.
As they say “no pain, no gain”, in some cases when exercise pushes you to your limits you build a tolerance.
This is a way of training your mind to stay focused and not let the aches distract you.
Obviously you should not cause your body extreme pain when exercising and you should always approach with caution.
But for those of you that like to make your muscles ache from a good work out, you are also training your brain.
And, what’s more, exercise can help lower your chances of developing dementia by 30%.
Regular exercise doesn’t just make you feel good physically but also mentally.
It might be challenging to find time in your daily routine to exercise, but the health benefits are worth the effort.
Not only does exercise have immediate positive effects but it can affect your body in a beneficial way for the long term.
Exercise can reduce your risk of developing illness and disease and therefore prolong your life.
So why not give it a go!