It is no secret that exercise is good for you. You’ll get a cocktail of “feel good” hormones after an intense and sweaty workout session. Exercise can reduce the symptoms of stress. It improves your mood and helps wash away feelings of isolation and loneliness. It also improves your overall physical fitness.
Physical activity pumps blood into your brain, enhancing the clarity of your mind. It also improves your memory and overall cognitive function.
So, does this mean that you should put on your rubber shoes and start running around your neighborhood? Well, yes. But, remember that physical activity is not limited to exercise. It is anything that makes you move and burn a certain amount of calories, including dancing, brisk walking, playing basketball or badminton, skipping rope, doing your laundry, or cleaning your house.
According to the American Heart Association, you need to do at least two and a half hours of exercise each week to protect yourself from heart disease. This means that you should work out 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
But, how important is exercise? Well, here’s a list of the reasons why you should do physical activities more often.
Exercise Is a Natural Mood Stabilizer
If you are a little anxious, uneasy, or irritable, put your rubber shoes on and get active! Exercise releases “feel good” hormones such as serotonin and endorphins. This is the reason why you feel a natural high after a good workout.
Although you put pressure on your body when you exercise, physical activity actually helps you relax. It reduces your physical and mental stress. If you’re having a bad day at work, it’s a good idea to go to the gym or just walk around your neighborhood.
Physical Activity Helps You Lose Weight
We live in a time when people mindlessly wolf down 4000 calories in one sitting. We live in the era of Big Macs, chocolate bars, and high calorie sodas. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, in the year 2014 over 50% of the population above 18 years was overweight or obese. Obesity is a serious problem in our society today.
Exercise burns calories and thus, it helps you lose weight. So, it’s a good weight management tool. To lose 1 pound (0.5 kg) a week, you must burn 500 calories more than you consume. To do this, you must dance, jog, or do boxing for at least 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Exercise helps you lose weight, but you cannot exercise out a bad diet. If you want to lose weight fast, you must also watch what you eat.
Exercise Is A Good Pass Time
Do you watch TV often? Do you play video games for hours each day? If yes, why not spend your time doing something that’s good for your health like jogging or yoga?
Exercise is an amazing leisure activity that you can do with your loved ones. You can join a dancing class or a fun run or play your favorite outdoor sport. Joining group exercises is fun and it also allows you to meet amazing people. In fact, a lot of entrepreneurs do networking at the gym!
Physical Activity Helps You Sleep Better
Lack of sleep causes serious health problems. For one, it makes you cranky and moody. When you don’t have enough sleep, you’ll feel like biting people’s heads off when you’re upset. Lack of sleep also increases the risk of medical problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation, asthma, and seizure. It also affects your memory and your performance at work (or school). It even reduces your sex drive.
Exercising makes you feel physically tired, making it easier for you to sleep at night.
Exercise Improves Your Overall Fitness and Health
We now live in a digital world. This means that we can already do a lot of things sitting down. So, it’s no wonder that a lot of people have a sedentary lifestyle.
Lack of physical activity can harm your health. It increases the risk of depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. It also causes several other diseases such as diabetes, lipid disorders, gout, scoliosis, and migraines. It also causes mood disorders.
Physical activity improves your vigor, stamina, and strength. This increases your agility and mobility, making it easier for you to perform your daily tasks.
To enjoy optimal health, you must take at least 10,000 steps a day or exercise at least thirty minutes daily. Exercise can do wonders to your health. A simple physical activity like walking or running down the stairs can improve your life in many ways, including:
- It improves the blood circulation in your body. This reduces the risk of heart problems. It also reduces your bad cholesterol levels. Studies show that regular physical activity reduces the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by thirty to forty It also reduces the risk of stroke by at least 20 percent.
- It reduces your blood pressure. This does not only improve your heart health, it also makes you calmer and less agitated.
- It helps maintain your blood glucose levels by improving insulin action.
- It reduces the level of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increases good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).
- It increases our muscle strength. This allows you to do various physical activities with ease.
- It helps prevent bone loss caused by aging.
- It boosts your energy. So, if you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s a good idea to hit the gym.
- It helps you manage stress. It does not only increase your physical strength, it also gives you all the mental strength that you need to cope with the challenges in life.
- It prevents cognitive decline. Studies show that working out can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. It also increases your memory. So, if you’re using your brain a lot at work, exercising can actually increase your efficiency and productivity.
- It allows you to adopt a positive attitude. Working out actually increases your optimism and your overall happiness.
- It increases your self-discipline, so it is a good addiction management tool. Exercise can help curb alcohol, drug, and food addiction.
- It improves your self-confidence. Exercise can improve your physical appearance and this increases your self-esteem. When you look good, you feel good, too. But regardless what your age or weight is, a good workout session can instantly improve your self-image and self-worth.
Exercise also increases your longevity. In fact, studies show that people who exercise regularly live seven years longer than those who have a sedentary lifestyle.
Types of Physical Activities
There are two types of physical activities – aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Aerobic activity increases your heart rate so it improves your lung and heart fitness. There are various aerobic activities that you can do such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging, running, and dancing. To improve your physical fitness, you need to do two and a half hours of aerobic activity each week. To increase the weight loss effect of aerobic exercise, it’s best to alternate the intensity of the exercise. For example, you can run for ten minutes at full speed and then do a slow jog for three minutes. This technique is called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training.
Muscle-strengthening activity increases your muscle and bone fitness. It also increases your physical strength. There is a number of muscle-strengthening exercises that you can try such as squats, crunches, weight lifting, and pushups. These exercises work all your major muscle groups such as the abdomen, hips, back, and arms. Muscle-strengthening activities increase your bone density and help increase your metabolism as well as helps to lose weight.
If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to do a combination of body weight and aerobic exercises daily. For example, you can jog for 20 minutes and do squats and push-ups for ten minutes.
How to Make Time For Exercise
A lot of people do not exercise because they do not have time. If your schedule is too packed, it’s best to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. For example, you can cycle to your office and use the stairs instead of the elevator.
Regular exercise does not only improve your physical fitness. It can also do a lot of wonders in your life. So, put on your comfortable clothes and start running.