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The Benefits of Exercise

 


Exercise.  It hangs over us.  We know how we can benefit from it, but for a few of us, we just don’t do it. Some do it as we know how good it is for our physical and mental health and for others, it’s firmly in our routine. Then, there are those that for them, exercise is something to jump out of bed for.

Regardless of where you are on the chart, we need to remember that no one feels bad after an exercise session or a period of physical activity. Due to the endorphins produced in our brains, the bodies ‘natural high,’ we always feel good.


So, let’s look at the benefits of this thing that is so good for us.

 

It can make us feel happier.

WHY: – Exercise makes the brain more sensitive to the production of hormones relieving depression. It produces changes in parts of the brain that regulates stress and anxiety.

WHY:– It increases the production of endorphins which is the body’s natural pain killer, making us feel great!

WHY:– Exercise helps people to be more aware of their mental state, to be distracted from fears and symptoms of anxiety.

HUGE benefit – it doesn’t matter on the intensity of your workout. You will benefit from ANY form of exercise, regardless of the intensity.  BONUS!


It helps with weight loss.

WHY: – Exercise increases the metabolic rate. This is the  amount of energy burnt at rest. A reduction in calories lowers your metabolic rate.  The rate adapts itself to the amount of energy (food) it receives. So, if there is a reduction in calorific intake, the metabolic rate will slow down significantly to conserve the energy it has received.   Therefore, a healthy amount of calories and a good exercise programme = WEIGHT LOSS!

 

Your muscles and bones benefit.

WHY: – Exercise is excellent for maintaining strong muscles and bones.  Exercising when younger helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.  High impact and run around sports all show a higher bone density.

 

Your energy levels increase.

WHY: – Regular exercise increases blood volume by 10% meaning there will be more oxygen being transported to your muscles. making you feel more energetic.  (Just as an aside – elite marathon runners who race the year after giving birth always do better times as blood volume is increased in pregnancy.)

 

You look younger.

WHY: – Regular exercise increases the body’s production of natural antioxidants which help protect cells. It stimulates blood flow which helps delay the ageing process.

It helps to keep your brain healthy and your memory on fire!

WHY: – Exercise increases your heart rate which boosting blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Our hippocampus (the part of the brain where our memories are stored) grows as a result of exercise, increasing our mental function.

 

Sleep quality is improved, helping relaxation.

WHY: – A study has shown that 150 minutes of exercise per week ( 4 x 30 minutes) can provide a 65% improvement in sleep quality.  (NHANES 2005-2006).

Following a 16 week programme, 17 people who suffered from insomnia, slept longer and more deeply than those who had not followed an exercise programme.  (Reed, Baron, Lu, Naylor, Wolfe, Zee, NCB1 2014)

 

It reduces pain levels.

WHY: – Physical activity has shown to reduce pain due to the production of endorphins. It can also decrease our perception of pain.

So, from just moving around, raising your heart rate, getting slightly out of breath… You will feel GREAT!