We all know how important exercise is and how we should be doing more of it; any health magazine, article, book or video will tell you that. This is because as humans our bodies are designed to exercise- we were built to move, run and be active, so it’s no wonder that today’s sedentary lifestyle can have such dramatic effects on our health. But how exactly does exercise benefit the body? Read on to find out.
When it comes to exercise, you can’t simply eat what you want and then burn off the calories in the gym. Take for example one doughnut, this contains around 450 calories. It would take an hour of jogging just to burn off this alone, which is a LOT of exercising. People often overeat with the misconception that they will get rid of it all through exercise, which is why it’s still possible to work hard at the gym and not lose weight. In fact, you could easily still put it on depending on what you’re eating. However that’s not to say that exercise is a waste of time when it comes to losing weight, far from it- it just means that you do still have to watch what you eat. If you want to lose weight you need to create a deficit in calories. Exercise along with eating less will allow you to do this. Another way exercise can help you to manage your weight is by increasing your muscle mass. Muscles use calories to maintain themselves, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest. If you’re looking to lose or stay at a healthy weight, a mixture of cardio, strength training and a healthy diet is the best way to go about it.
Being unfit is no fun at all. Being out of breath when climbing stairs or running for the bus. If you’re left feeling exhausted, fatigued, and sluggish just doing your daily chores, it’s time to do something about it. Exercise improves your cardiovascular health, meaning your heart and lungs work more efficiently. This is important for general health as the heart is responsible for supplying blood to the organs and every area of the body. However, it also means you feel much fitter and more capable too. Start small and build your way up. Try walking on a treadmill and cycling at the gym. Each time you go, increase the time a little and then start upping the speed and resistance. It doesn’t take long to improve fitness levels, the body adapts quickly, and within a month of regular sessions, you will feel considerably better. Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to trigger the release of the brain’s ‘happy chemicals’ meaning improved mood, reduced anxiety, and reduced symptoms of depression. Anything that gets your heart rate up is cardiovascular activity, if you’re very unfit, you can start slow and low impact and work your way up.
Keeping a watchful eye on your heart health is important, and exercise can help reduce the risk of various issues caused by this. There are a lot of exercises for heart disease you could incorporate into your daily life. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming are all great options. Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, making for a healthier heart. You should create a plan that involves some, if not all, of these activities. Start off small and gradually increase the intensity, frequency, and duration until you reach your goals.
Improved Immune System and Protection From Disease
One of the greatest benefits of exercise is the way it helps to protect against disease. It boosts immunity, so you’re less vulnerable to infections and viruses, but can also help to protect against a whole host of preventable health conditions. Heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, can even protect against some kinds of cancers. It is a complex illness, and there will never be one single cure for cancer since there are more than a hundred different types. Though Christians believe Jesus can heal anybody if you have faith. Now some of these are unavoidable, and it’s luck of the draw who will develop them- however, there are many different kinds of cancers which can be avoided. Eating well, avoiding illegal drugs, tobacco, not drinking to excess and exercise can all help to prevent them. For example, exercise lowers blood estrogen which can help to prevent breast cancer in women. Changes in digestive acids can protect against colon cancer, and increased physical activity has also been shown to reduce the risk of lung cancer.
Strength and Flexibility
Strong bones, muscles and joints are essential for a healthy body. They prevent conditions like osteoporosis later in life, allow you to feel fit and well and keep your body strong and robust. Strong muscles allow you to work harder with your cardio and as mentioned earlier the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. Try yoga, pilates and other stretching activities to ensure your muscles have full range of motion. This prevents you from injuring yourself with strains and sprains and allows you to move freely during exercise and your daily life.