What Are the Benefits of Exercise?
Whether you’re an athlete or just getting started, there are plenty of health benefits to be had from regular exercise. You’ll get a stronger heart, healthier muscles and bones, lower blood pressure, fewer health risks, a better mood and even more energy.
Improve Your Memory and Think Sharper
When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that help you focus on tasks and boost your concentration and mental sharpness. This helps prevent age-related cognitive decline and keeps you from forgetting things.
You’ll also be able to handle stress better, which can lessen your anxiety and depression. It also helps you sleep better and feel more relaxed, which is great news for anyone suffering from insomnia or other sleep problems.
Strengthen Your Bones
The type of exercises you choose can make a big difference in your bone health. Walking, running and weight training can all be good choices. Yoga, tai chi, and other balance exercises can also help strengthen your joints and prevent injuries.
Keep Your Heart Healthy
When you do aerobic exercises, your heart pumps harder and your lungs work harder to deliver oxygen throughout your body. This is important for preventing heart disease, high blood pressure and other related conditions.
It also increases your levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), or “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This is one of the most powerful ways to lower your risk of developing heart disease or other cardiovascular conditions, according to the American Heart Association.
Reducing Chronic Inflammation
As you exercise, your body adapts to the workout and produces natural anti-inflammatory substances, called endorphins. This can help relieve the pain, stiffness and swelling that come with inflammatory diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
These compounds are also beneficial for those with autoimmune disorders, as they can help fend off infections and other ailments that cause inflammation. They also increase the level of protective cytokines, proteins that protect the immune system against infection.
Inflammation is the root of many painful diseases and illnesses, including diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and lupus. It’s crucial to keep your inflammatory processes in check, which is why regular exercise is so important for all of us.
Maintain Your Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese is linked to a greater risk of several serious diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Exercising can help you lose weight, which can decrease your risks for these diseases as well as improve your quality of life and increase the number of years you live.
The CDC recommends adults do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise every week, as well as additional activities to increase your daily activity. Regardless of how much exercise you do, it’s vital to start slow and build up your endurance over time.
If you’re new to exercising, you can begin by doing short, moderate-intensity exercises on most days and gradually increase the length of your sessions. Just be sure to talk with your doctor about how hard to push yourself to achieve your goals.
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