Most of us have heard that exercise is good for your general health as well as heart health. No pill exists that can provide the same benefits as exercise. If there was it would cost a fortune. But if you are like a lot of other people, this may not be enough motivation for you to exercise daily. Let’s face it, life has a way of keeping us busy to the point where we may skip the exercise in favor of some TV time.
This article will highlight seven reasons why you can’t afford to not exercise regularly.
Exercise is the most effective way to care for your body and health, even if you have mobility issues or are pregnant. Though intensity and duration will differ from person to person, exercise is an absolute must for every individual.
Here are seven motivating reasons to start exercising daily:
1. Good for your brain
Exercise is not only a great way to promote your general fitness. It also plays a great role in brain health.
The research is still not entirely clear why exercise tends to modify the structure and function of the brain. But it is well-established that exercise improves the blood circulation in the brain, feeding growth of new blood vessels, and new brain cells. BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) promotes the growth of new neurons and aids the brain cells from the degeneration. So that daily walk or trip to the gym is keeping you physically and mentally sharp! This may be why some people go for a walk to simply ‘clear their head’.
2. Slows down the aging process
New approaches to human longevity, like those proposed by Harvard’s Dr. David Sinclair, are still in their infancy. It has been suggested by research that daily exercise can potentially increase your lifespan by as much as five years. To quote an article in Harvard’s health journal: ‘Regular exercise helps people age more slowly and live healthier, more vigorous lives. And it also helps people live longer.’ Moderate-intensity exercise slows down the aging of body cells. As humans get older, their cells tend to divide again and again, and their telomere gets shorter.
Telomeres are the protective shells on the ends of chromosomes. From various research studies, it has been found that exercise enhances the molecules that protect the telomeres. Ultimately the shorting of telomeres can be slowed down by exercise. So it is becoming increasingly clear that exercise has the potential to improve the lifespan of cells at the cellular level.
3. Makes you happy
Many exercises from walking to cycling help lower mental stress and cause you to feel happier and more centered. One reason for this is because exercise stimulates the production of certain chemicals, including serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine that reduce pain and improve one’s mood. There’s a sense of euphoria that comes after a good bout of exercise.
Our perception is often that exercise has only physical benefits, but it also has an enormous impact on psychological and emotional benefits. And this psychological and emotional positivity leads to a happier outlook on life. That itself ought to be enough reason to motivate us to exercise every day. Exercise can also boost sexual desire, function and performance in both men and women. It can also help decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction in men.
4. Causes your skin to look better
Exercise causes the flow of blood in the whole body. It improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the whole body, which helps keep your skin healthy and heals wounds faster. That’s why people who suffered injuries are advised to move as soon as possible, in order to improve blood circulation and reduce scar tissue. Exercise causes the expansion of blood vessels and capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to your skin, which promotes new skin cells and promotes collagen production, giving you that ‘glow’ often associated with youth.
5. Incredible things can happen quickly
Recent research has revealed that it is not difficult to get the benefits of exercise. Some scientists at McMaster University have shown that a 10 minute micro-workout, consisting of three exhausting 20-second intervals followed by short recoveries were as effective as a typical 50 minute workout. Another popular form of exercise that relies upon a burst of activity followed by a recovery period is known as Tabata…you can even find apps for your phone that will help you work out in this way.
Short, but intense, workouts improved heart function and controlled sugar levels just as well as the average workout. So if you’re willing to push yourself a bit, you don’t have to spend an hour in the gym to reap the benefits of exercise.
6. Quick recovery from illness
Different chronic conditions ranging from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure should not prevent one from exercising, even vigorously. Of course, do consult your doctor first! This is a newly emerging thought because it was generally held that some patients dealing with such serious diseases couldn’t exercise meaningfully. Yet, a recent analysis of more than 300 clinical trials revealed that people who were recovering from a stroke benefited greatly from the rehabilitative effects of daily exercise. There are a lot of benefits that come with exercising, like these, but recovery from illnesses is definitely among the best.
7. Cause the shrinking of fat cells
Fats and carbohydrates are both used as a source of energy by the body. But constant aerobic exercises improve the body’s ability to shrink fat cells. When we overeat, our body expands the number and size and of fat cells. When we exercise, our cardiovascular system gets stronger, our body burns more calories, and our metabolism rate also increases. When we lose weight, the size and number of fat cells shrinks because we are turning the fat into energy and our body stops storing as much fat for energy. Because fat cells store hormones that increase inflammation and contribute to disease, discarding them via exercise will leave us slimmer, happier and healthier.
We hope this leaves you feeling motivated about your exercise regimen, whether it is simply a walk with a friend or a full-blown CrossFit session. Get that body moving and you’ll reap the rewards!
Honorable (obvious) mention: Exercise can help with weight loss
This should come as no surprise, but exercise is essential to supporting a fast metabolism and burning more calories per day. It also helps you maintain your muscle mass and weight loss. It’s generally held among fitness buffs that exercises that focus on large muscle groups, especially the legs/glutes, burn more calories after exercise than if one had chosen to only work small muscle groups like biceps and shoulders.