Surprising Health Benefits of Exercise You Might Not Know AboutBy DuBose Fitness
You know that exercise can help you lose weight and look great. If you’ve already begun to exercise, you also know that when you’re physically active, you just feel better. However, there are additional health benefits to exercise that you may not be aware of.
Doctors and scientists recommend that adults get around 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. If you’re participating in something more vigorous, like running, 75 minutes is recommended. Let’s take a look at the health benefits of exercise this activity will provide.
If you’re having trouble falling – or staying – asleep at night, exercise can help! Studies show that people who participate in the recommended amount of exercise experience a 65% improvement in the quality of sleep.
And it’s not just the quality of sleep, either! Physically active people are less likely to feel drowsy throughout the day. They’re less likely to experience leg cramps while they sleep. And those who actively participate in exercise experience improved concentration in work and school!
If you’re feeling sluggish while you go through your day to day routine, try to switch it up a little: try incorporating exercise into your schedule!
Improved Mental Health
One of the most notable benefits of exercise is not for the body, but for the mind. Increasingly, doctors are beginning to realize that exercise offers a “prescription free” alternative for dealing with stress, anxiety, ADHD and even PTSD.
When you participate in even modest amounts of exercise, your body releases hormones which can help you better deal with stress and anxiety. Of course, improved sleep can also help to improve your mental health and general feeling of well-being.
What was that phone number again?
When you exercise, it’s not just your muscles that will grow. You’ll also be encouraging your brain cells to grow and function. Studies show that regular exercise can actually increase the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s responsible for memory.
This improvement is long-term, too. People who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s!
When you feel tired at work, what’s your first instinct? Chances are, you might feel like lying down and taking a nap, or grabbing a latte to give you an energy boost.
Why not take a walk instead? Rather than reaching for your next cup of coffee or an energy drink, take a trip to the gym or a hike around the block. Regular exercise is shown to increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. In fact, regular low-intensity exercise has been shown to reduce fatigue by as much as 65%.
Improve Muscle Tone
Many of us associate muscle tone with looking good. When your muscles are toned, you appear strong and healthy, right?
As it turns out, “toned” muscles are a myth. Your muscles will either grow or shrink in size. They don’t get harder or firmer, softer or more pliant. With that said, though, there is some benefit to popular muscle toning exercises.
First, strengthened muscles will reduce your risk of osteoporosis, particularly in your hips and lower extremities. Secondly, muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re at rest. Finally, when you strengthen your muscles, you’ll be less likely to suffer injuries related to the joints.
Improved Bone and Muscle Health
Along the same lines as the prevention of osteoporosis, exercise can help to improve the overall health of your bones and muscles. You already know that as you work out, you’ll be strengthening your muscles. But did you know that includes your heart and other muscles?
A regular exercise routine will help to prevent heart disease. As you age, you’ll also find it beneficial that exercise will help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. That means a decreased instance of incontinence. It may also help to alleviate menstrual cramps in women.
Better Digestive Health
If you struggle with digestive issues such as heartburn, frequent constipation or even IBS, exercise can help! As you work out, you’ll increase the blood flow to your digestive organs. Your body will find it easier to properly digest the foods you eat, which can have a positive effect on your overall digestive health.
Studies show that getting the recommended amount of exercise each week may not cure you of digestive diseases, but will almost certainly help to alleviate the symptoms. Cardio exercise is the best way to see this result.
A Decreased Risk of Disease
Continued exercise reduces your body mass index. Your BMI is what you weigh in relation to your height. As your BMI decreases, you’ll be at a lower risk for quite a few diseases, including:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Some types of cancer
- Liver disease
This is just a sampling of the health concerns that can be alleviated when you participate in regular exercise!
Working out isn’t just about fitting into your jeans or looking great in a swimsuit. There are surprising health benefits to exercise you may not have even been aware of!
Are you ready to start on the path toward better overall health? Let’s get started! Call us today to schedule a meeting with a personal trainer. You and your trainer will consider your existing health concerns, your lifestyle and your fitness goals, then find an exercise routine that’s perfect for you!