Exercise: A new lifestyle
In today’s crazy world, we could all use a little inspiration to make our health a priority!
Step right up! It’s the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for.
It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.
Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.
So what are the benefits of regular exercise? Not only can it give you more energy, but it can also improve your mood, help you sleep better and live longer (just to name a few). Here are some reasons why exercise is so important.
People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, clinical depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
To maintain your weight
Work your way up to 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, which could include dancing or yard work. You could achieve the goal of 150 minutes a week with 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
People vary greatly in how much physical activity they need for weight management. You may need to be more active than others to reach or maintain a healthy weight.
Makes you feel happier
Who doesn’t love the rush of endorphins after a brisk walk or spin class?
Endorphins are hormones that reduce pain and boost pleasure, creating a general feeling of well-being and positivity. So before you roll your eyes at your enthusiastic fitness instructor, consider how a steady state of endorphins does the body good.
Endorphins also act as a natural painkiller and can help ease long-term aches. Regular exercise can strengthen muscles, lessening chronic pain and your risk of injury.
Increase your chance of living longer
An estimated 110,000 deaths per year could be prevented if US adults ages 40 and older increased their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by a small amount. Even 10 minutes more a day would make a difference.
Taking more steps a day also helps lower the risk of premature death from all causes. For adults younger than 60, the risk of premature death levelled off at about 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day. For adults 60 and older, the risk of premature death levelled off at about 6,000 to 8,000 steps per day.
Promotes quality sleep
Exercise can reduce stress and anxiety levels, leaving you feeling more relaxed and stabilised, which is a perfect zone for sleep.
And while working out can also raise your body temperature and make you feel more alert throughout the day, it can also help you drift off better when your internal temperature starts to dip back down.
If you exercise outside, exposure to vitamin D can also regulate your wake-sleep cycle. Just tread carefully when you work out and how close it is to bedtime.
Exercise can be fun … and social!
Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.
So take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends or family.
Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.
It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have lower risk of:
- coronary heart disease and stroke
- type 2 diabetes
- Bowel cancer
- Breast cancer in women
- early death
- Hip fracture
- falls (among older adults)
Why wait longer? Set your alarm to start exercising as your new lifestyle.
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