It seems like a no-brainer: exercise = better health.
Regular exercise can lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. Regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better, keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key ingredient for losing weight, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Resources’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Yet despite all the benefits, more than seven out of 10 of people don’t exercise enough, says the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. In case we haven’t given you enough reasons to exercise, here are some reasons that you should move more!
As you exercise, chemicals in working muscles produce substances that leave the muscle cells. These chemicals cause tiny capillaries (blood vessels) to dilate (widen) and this boosts blood flow which in turn brings more nourishing oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. Better circulation helps to nourish your internal organs and skin cells, too, so you look better, too!
Support the muscles that support your joints
Regular exercise may help to slow down and even prevent problems with your muscles, joints and bones. Regular exercise helps to build and maintain strength and flexibility – important at every stage of life but especially as you get older.
Perfect your posture, balance and coordination
Your posture is the way various parts of your body align in relation to one another. Good posture can help to prevent fatigue, headaches, eye strain, and chronic muscular tension. Getting your posture right can also help to boost circulation and even aid digestion. It might also help you sleep more soundly.
For good balance and coordination, you have to be able to control a number of muscles in order to prevent falling over. So, building your muscle strength leads to better balance and may even help to prevent injuries as with age.
Feel good about yourself!
“Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who do not exercise regularly,” says the Black Dog Institute, which diagnoses and treats mood disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder. “Several trials have shown that regular exercise of moderate intensity can be an effective treatment by itself for mild-to-moderate depression.”
Exercise boosts the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and feel-good chemicals which in turn helps to boost your mood. And as regular exercise helps to tone and shape your body, you’ll have more reasons to feel good about yourself!
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days. Weight bearing exercise boosts your bone health as well as training your heart and lungs to be stronger. Swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise if you have a lot to lose or have stiff joints.
Include three sessions of strength training. The ultimate in sculpting your body, this flab fighter builds muscle and burns fat so you have a sculpted, leaner look. Plus, the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism — i.e. the faster you burn calories.