We all know what exercise is but do we really do enough?
To start with exercise is a planned physical activity, something we plan for the purpose of adding to our health. How much time a week or day do you plan for exercise? Yes walking/cycling to work does count to some degree as exercise, but think about your spare time. The NHS UK site (strictly talking for adults) suggests a minimum of "150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week". Also suggesting that at least 2 days a week we should all train our major muscle groups, this is strong advice only for a purely basic level of exercise.
A sedentary lifestyle is where you spend the majority of your time lying or sitting with little to none exercise. So anything above that level would be good, right? Yes, but having more than that recommended amount would be perfect.
Exercise can do wanders for your health and wellbeing. I will tell you a few reasons why!
1. It makes you Happy! :)
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress. When you exercise it produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. Exercise helps us to be more receptible to feeling the depression relieving affects of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.
Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins such as dopamine (the feel good hormone) which are well known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
Not only that but exercise is being shown to reduce symptoms for those suffering with anxiety while also helping them to be more aware of their mental state.
The good news is, it doesn't seem to matter how intense or even what type of exercise you're doing. It seems that your mood can benefit from all types and intensities.
2. Reduces risk on chronic disease
Lack of regular exercise is 1 of the main causes for chronic diseases. Regular exercise has been shown to slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss) etc. Meaning to keep your body healthy exercise is extremely important! Exercise allows you to add muscle mass while lowering fat levels internally and the visual fat you see in the mirror.
With high blood pressure affecting so many people world wide it is important to note that exercise helps reduce your blood pressure.
Your immune system gets a boost from exercise, helping you to not het that yearly cold and flu, very important especially as you age. Those that have been exercising throughout their life and carry on into their 50's/60's see the "anti aging" benefits of exercise. Exercise can keep your body feeling "young" in some senses. When you exercise your bones and your joints actually get stronger along with many other benefits which in turn can help reduce those aches and pains in the future!
Just be sure to not over do it.
3. Boosts your brain
Exercising has been shown to actually give you energy, but it can also boost your Brain power! When you exercise your body releases a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin has been shown in giving mental clarity, allowing you to be more productive. So if you have assignments / work to be done and feel the lack of motivation, exercise could be your answer. I mentioned in point 1 about the "feel good hormone" Dopamine, if you feel life is very stressful with assignments and deadlines, then exercise is a very good way to help you mentally relax.
4. Increases confidence
By exercising we are going to be feeling better in ourselves physically. There is some research into how feeling better physically helps us to feel better mentally. Where you have that brain and body boost you will have more energy to be able to overcome obstacles whether physical or mental. Confidence is a powerful tool for us, when you're confident you will feel more interested in general and more likely to explore new things while developing a much more positive outlook over your unconfident self. If you are in a place where you are unhappy with how you look, Exercising can help to develop your physique in a new way, allowing you to change what you were unhappy with originally, helping you fit into clothes and to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin!
5. Gives you energy
Now this may sound backwards to you, but it is true. It's not all down to the endorphins that kick in during and after exercise; but also to the fact you get fitter and stronger. Becoming fitter and stronger in turn, makes your daily activities easier. For those that don't really exercise you may at first feel tired from the exercise. but that will pass very quickly. Once you get into a regular routine, on your days off you will notice you have more energy for projects and even family time.
Exercise isn't just for weight loss.
Absolute shock right? well no! If you are completely new to exercise your goal should be to have an easier time doing what you already do (Being able to keep up with your daily demand while being able to add other activities in, such as taking the stairs instead of a lift). Once you are comfortable and in control of your daily life, adding in more exercise and making bigger changes in your lifestyle are the next step.
Being healthy is the key, being healthy does not always relate to your weight. Exercising allows us to function better and live a life with less chance of illness. People exercise for many reasons, getting bigger and stronger, to be more healthy/get fitter, for sport and to lose fat.
I personally exercise for many reasons, I love the way it makes me feel, I enjoy the physical and mental challenge involved with pushing myself to new limits, I also just like to get out the house and be active. Exercise isn't just the gym or running, it can be walking the dog, playing football with your kids etc. Do not worry to get creative.
So, why do you exercise? And what exercise do you do? It is vital to our health and to our life to keep active. If you find yourself getting a bit bored of your routine then change it, add in exercises or activities, take a friend with you or find a group of people interested in the same exercise as you. Moving more especially in this challenging time is something we should all be doing.
If you have no idea where to start with exercise and nutrition, contact us. We are more than happy to help.
If you liked this little blog, feel free to comment, drop a like and share!
Don't forget to subscribe!