The world keeps struggling to find what our “New Normal” is going to be. These troubled times present us with the perfect opportunity to start or resume an exercise routine (or routines).
Many even see it as a way to cope with the uncertain and sometimes stressful situations that 2020 brought along.
To get you motivated in your journey for a cleaner, healthier life, we’ll point out 7 benefits of regular physical activity!
1.- Bones and Joints Strengthening
High impact physical activity (like jumping or running) can help increase bone density in kids and younger people.
On the other hand, low impact exercises (such as swimming or slow walks) contribute to the delaying of bone degeneration at an old age.
Which, in turn, can help prevent osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
We must also mention that regular exercise is the best ally for our bones. This causes the muscular contraction that favors calcium deposit and fixation and improves blood flow that contributes nutrients to the bones.
It is also worth noting that just by standing for at least 4-5 hours and exercising during a minimum of 30 minutes a day helps you prevent a decrease in bone density.
But, if you complement it with some controlled weight lifting, it can increase your bone density and even prevent bone fragility in the elder.
2.- Psychological Benefits
Exercise as a stress reliever is something we all have done.
But did you know it is equally effective in the treatment of some mental health issues such as depression and anxiety with even less secondary effects than medication?
Also, when you engage in physical activities, you’ll likely sleep better, feel happier, and even change your perspective towards some aspects of life.
This change takes place mainly because of the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters during and after exercising. Both substances prevent the degeneration of hippocampal neurons.
These neurons are in charge of memory and learning capabilities.
It’s also worth noting the fact that regular physical activity diminishes the risk of having a brain stroke, due to its “cardiovascular protective effect”.
3.- Muscle Mass Building and Development
Muscles are metabolically active. This means that the more muscle mass you build, the more calories your body will demand, causing your basal metabolic rate to increase.
This fact is important because with age and the subsequent loss of body mass comes a deceleration in our metabolic rate that can only be countered by building muscular mass.
With this in mind, we must also mention that by keeping our muscles active and in tension, we increase caloric loss.
And said calories keep burning even after the physical exercise has finished.
Also, the regular practice of weight training routines helps you build, improve, and keep your levels of strength and resistance.
It boosts the structural and functional integrity of tendons, ligaments, joints, and even increase your performance in everyday activities.
The best part is that you don’t even need a gym membership to do so!
Something as simple as a pair of plastic bottles filled with sand can work as your very own house-made dumbbells.
4.- Heart Disease Treatment
Physical exercise is vital as a way to prevent cardiovascular incidents and pathologies.
But it’s also crucial in the improvement of living conditions in patients with preexistent cardiovascular issues.
Said benefits are undeniable, given the fact that regular exercise helps improve the structure and functions of the human heart, as well as its blood vessels.
This translates in a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate, reducing its fat weight, and easier control of glucose levels.
However, if the person has previously suffered from any kind of cardiovascular disease, they must go to a medical check.
This way, their doctor can indicate the recommended physical activity and intensity for each case.
5.- Digestive System reconstitution
Physical activity favors intestinal motility, prevents constipation, and has a protective effect over our gastrointestinal tract.
It plays a significant role in diminishing the risk of having colon cancer and diverticular disease.
There is also a direct relationship between exercise and the bacterial composition of our digestive system.
It’s been proved that aerobic exercises in sessions of at least 10 minutes each may help improvement in minor digestive upsets, such as bloating, gas, and bowel sounds.
Of course, to keep our digestive health, we must stay perfectly hydrated and keep a right, balanced diet, including probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods.
Also, exercising contributes to the right positioning of our internal organs, which in turn favors intestinal transit, regulating our daily evacuation habits.
6.- Sexuality boost
Sedentary life is not only inconvenient for the complications it causes on a cardiovascular and muscular level.
It also goes to the detriment of our sexual function and performance!
So what better excuse to start training than the “natural Viagra” effect regular exercise has?
It is widely associated with diminishing the risk of erectile dysfunction in men, and higher levels of libido and arousal in women.
This has much to do with the improvement in blood flow irrigation joined with the boost in confidence and the self-perception that comes with a clean diet and active lifestyle.
Also, exercising is especially beneficial in the improvement of sexual performance because as your strength and flexibility level builds up, it literally heightens mobility and action capacity.
Finally, weight training routines help increase testosterone levels in the blood, which translates in a rising libido (in men and women alike), aside from making you more sexually attractive.
7.- Diabetes Treatment and Prevention
General consensus considers type 2 diabetes a “metabolic cardiovascular disease”, based on the observation of several epidemiologic studies that placed diabetes as one of the main cardiovascular risk factors.
In fact, most of the complications presented by diabetic patients are of cardiovascular origin:
- Renal insufficiency.
- Arterial insufficiency.
- Heart attack .
Considering the benefits of regular physical activity in the prevention and treatment of heart diseases, it’s indispensable for fighting this disease.
A regime consisting of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and keeping the ideal weight is crucial in the control of blood glucose.
This happens because activity increases insulin sensitivity.
Though this must not be misinterpreted as a way to reach optimal control of diabetes automatically, it’s possible to get to this point in the long term.
As long as patients exercise regularly, and also keep in mind specific factors such as:
- Insulin injection in groups of muscles that are not going to mobilize during the routines.
- Scheduling physical activities according to food intake and insulin action.
- Ingesting an extra amount of carbohydrates before or during exercise.
- And last but not least, try to engage in physical activities regularly and at the same hours each day, preferably at first hours of the morning.
What Are You Waiting For To Benefit From Physical Activity?
Finally, we advise you to engage in regular training, exercising, and clean eating.
Not only as a means to improve our weight and physical appearance but also as the ideal vehicle to reach a healthier lifestyle.
And having in mind as well, that when we talk about physical activity, it doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to gym routines or organized sports.
Remember that just by making small changes in your daily routine count as exercising.
Take the stairs instead of an elevator, walk to the office as opposed to taking a taxi, or park a little further from your destination; it all will contribute!
It’s always better to start somewhere, even if you feel it will make no difference! However, you must be consistent and expect the results to take some time.
Make sure to increase the intensity of your exercises from time to time; your body will get used to the training load soon!
The main requirement is having the right mindset! Once you get the taste of it, you won’t want to stop!
Keep a register of your progress, find ways to stay active even when stuck at home. And even more importantly, HAVE FUN!
Perhaps you can’t find the strength to do it alone?
Exercising alongside a partner or in a group makes it even more rewarding! We not only work towards improving our physical and mental health but also strengthen our social and family bonds.
And with that being said, there’re no more excuses people, so get off your couch and start moving and get these 7 benefits of regular physical activity!
- The 7 Benefits of Having an Everyday Exercise Routine - September 24, 2020