Any movement that causes your muscles to work and requires your body to burn calories is considered regular exercise. Swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing are just a few examples of physical activities.
Being physically and mentally active has been shown to have numerous health benefits. It might even help you live a longer life. Here are the top ten benefits of regular exercise for your body and mind.
1. Makes You Feel Happier and Refreshed
Regular exercise has been shown to boost mood and reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
It causes changes in the areas of the brain that control stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which alleviate depression symptoms.
Exercise can also increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce pain perception.
Furthermore, regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and improve anxiety symptoms.
Surprisingly, it makes no difference how hard you work out. Exercise appears to benefit your mood regardless of the intensity of the physical activity.
In fact, a study of 24 women diagnosed with depression found that any level of exercise significantly reduced feelings of depression.
Exercise has such powerful effects on mood that is simply choosing to exercise (or not) makes a difference over short periods of time.
One meta-analysis of 19 studies discovered that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in depressive and anxiety symptoms, even after only a few weeks.
2. Helps in Weight Loss
According to some studies, inactivity is a major contributor to weight gain and obesity.
To comprehend the impact of exercise on weight loss, it is necessary to comprehend the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure.
Energy is expended by your body in three ways:
- digesting food
- maintaining body functions like your heartbeat and breathing
A lower calorie intake while dieting lowers your metabolic rate, which can cause weight loss to be delayed. Regular exercise, on the other hand, has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which can help you burn more calories and lose weight.
Furthermore, research has shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximise fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is critical for maintaining weight loss.
3. Good For Muscles and Bones
Regular exercise is essential for developing and maintaining strong muscles and bones.
Weightlifting, when combined with adequate protein intake, can stimulate muscle building.
This is due to the fact that exercise causes the release of hormones that promote the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. This promotes their growth and decreases their breakdown.
People lose muscle mass and function as they age, which increases their risk of injury. Regular physical activity is critical for preventing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age.
Regular exercise also helps build bone density when you’re younger, which helps prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Surprisingly, some research suggests that high-impact exercise, such as gymnastics or running, or odd-impact sports, such as soccer and basketball, may help promote higher bone density than non-impact sports, such as swimming and cycling.
4. Improve Your Energy Levels
For many people, including those with various medical conditions, exercise can be a real energy booster.
An older study discovered that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue in 36 people who had previously reported chronic fatigue.
Exercise can also significantly boost energy levels in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses.
In fact, regular exercise appears to be more effective than other treatments, including passive therapies like relaxation and stretching or no treatment at all, in combating CFS.
Exercise has also been shown to increase energy levels in people with other conditions such as cancer.
5. Reduces Risk of Chronic Disease
Chronic disease is primarily caused by a lack of regular physical activity.
Exercise on a regular basis has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, and body composition. It may also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
A lack of regular exercise, on the other hand, can lead to significant increases in belly fat, potentially increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
As a result, regular physical activity is advised to reduce belly fat and lower the risk of developing these conditions.
6. Enhances Skin Health
The amount of oxidative stress in your body can have an effect on your skin.
Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defences are unable to completely repair cell damage caused by free radicals. This can harm the structure of the cells and have a negative impact on your skin.
Even though strenuous physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can actually increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells.
Similarly, regular exercise can increase blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations, both of which can help delay the appearance of skin ageing.
7. Improves Your Brain Health and Memory
Regular exercise can help to improve brain function as well as protect memory and thinking skills.
To begin with, it raises your heart rate, which promotes blood and oxygen flow to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that promote brain cell growth.
Furthermore, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, as these diseases can impair its function.
Physical activity is especially important in older adults because ageing, in conjunction with oxidative stress and inflammation, promotes changes in brain structure and function.
Regular exercise has been shown to increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain important for memory and learning, which may help improve mental function in older adults.
Finally, exercise has been shown to reduce brain changes that can contribute to conditions such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia.
8. Provides Relaxation and Quality Sleep
Exercise on a regular basis can help you relax and sleep better.
In terms of sleep quality, the energy depletion caused by exercise stimulates restorative processes during sleep.
Furthermore, the rise in body temperature during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by allowing it to fall during sleep.
Many studies on the effects of regular exercise on sleep have yielded similar results.
According to one review of six studies, participating in an exercise training programme improved self-reported sleep quality and reduced sleep latency, which is the time it takes to fall asleep.
Another older study found that 16 weeks of physical activity improved sleep quality and allowed 17 people suffering from insomnia to sleep longer and deeper than the control group. It also made them feel more energised throughout the day.
Furthermore, regular exercise appears to be beneficial for older adults, who are frequently affected by sleep disorders.
You can be picky about the type of exercise you do. Aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training appears to improve sleep quality.
9. Reduces Pain
Although chronic pain can be debilitating, exercise can help to alleviate it.
In fact, for many years, the standard treatment for chronic pain was rest and inactivity. Recent research, however, indicates that exercise can help relieve chronic pain.
One meta-analysis of several studies discovered that exercise could help people with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.
Several studies have also found that exercise can help control pain associated with a variety of health conditions, such as chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, to name a few.
Physical activity can also increase pain tolerance while decreasing pain perception.
10. Promote A Better Sex Life
Exercise has been shown to increase sex drive. Regular exercise can help to strengthen the heart, improve blood circulation, tone muscles, and increase flexibility, all of which can help to improve your sex life.
Physical activity can also improve sexual performance and pleasure while increasing sexual frequency.
Surprisingly, one study found that regular exercise was linked to improved sexual function and desire in 405 postmenopausal women.
A meta-analysis of ten studies also discovered that exercising for at least 160 minutes per week for six months could significantly improve erectile function in men.
Furthermore, one study discovered that a simple 6-minute walk around the house helped 41 men reduce their erectile dysfunction symptoms by 71%.
Another study found that regular resistance training for 16 weeks increased sex drive in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, which can reduce sex drive.
The Bottom Line
Exercise has incredible health benefits that can improve almost every aspect of your health from the inside out.
Physical activity on a regular basis can boost the production of hormones that make you feel happier and help you sleep better.
It can also improve the appearance of your skin, help you lose weight and keep it off, lower your risk of chronic disease, and improve your sex life.
Whether you participate in a specific sport or adhere to the 150-minute-per-week-activity-guideline, you will undoubtedly improve your health in a variety of ways.