For a number of years now, doctors have been recommending regular exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle to their patients. While a lot of patients take this on board and follow the recommendations to a T, many just try to diet and lose weight without exercising.
There is a common misconception amongst the general public that regular exercise only helps keep the heart healthy and reduces body fat. But it is a lot more than just that. From cardiovascular risk factor reduction to maintaining a healthy vital system and a good memory, the benefits of exercise encompass a number of different aspects of one’s health.
In this article, we shall explore the overall benefits of exercise on the entire body, and why we feel you stop procrastinating and start a good work out today.
It does not matter how old you are, exercise has benefits ranging from childhood all the way till we are 65 years and older. A plethora of scientific evidence exists that has shown that exercise increases blood flow to various organs and vital structures in the body, and can reduce the chances of developing heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes by up to half!
Not just that, it can also reduce the chances of early death by nearly 30%. Many believe that exercise is the magic cure that we have been searching for, but has been right in front of us all this time.
So what are the benefits?
1. Cardiovascular benefits
Probably the most important amongst them all. Regular physical exercise reduces the chance of developing a heart attack and stroke by over 35%. As mentioned previously, it can reduce the risk of early death by 30%. With respect to cardiovascular risk factors, exercise reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes by over 50%.
2. Cancer reduction
Exercise has been shown to reduce the chances of developing different forms of cancer. Breast cancer incidence is reduced by 20% while that of colon cancer is reduced by 50%.
3. Neurological benefits
Exercise reduces the incidence of dementia and depression by 30%. Moderate to high intensity exercise can cause what is popularly described as a ‘high’ – a feeling of elation that makes one feel good. It is this property of exercise that can make it addicting once you do it regularly.
4. Benefits in Elderly patients
Regular exercise over a number of years can improve our balance, and reduce the incidence of falls as we age. The reduction is nearly 30%. In addition, the chances of developing osteoarthritis can reduce by over 80%, meaning lesser aches and pains as we get older.
Finally, exercise can help reduce the chances of developing a hip fracture from a fall by over 65%, which is undoubtedly significant and rather remarkable.
5. Maintains healthy skin
Exercise can help maintain excellent blood flow to the skin, and can keep it healthy and glowing. It prevents premature skin aging, keeping skin softer and wrinkle free for longer.
6. Weight control
Obesity brings with it a large number of negative health effects, including heart disease, arthritis, skin problems, diabetes and high blood pressure, to name just a few.
Regular exercise of moderate intensity can help maintain a healthy body weight, stripping off any excess body fat and building lean muscle. This promotes blood flow to various vital structures, bringing with it benefits previously described on various vital systems.
7. Increase energy levels
One of the most common complaints that we get from our patients is the lack of energy to do anything. Tiredness and fatigue seem to take over their lives, making them lethargic and resulting in a lack of interest in performing exercise. This is a vicious cycle.
Tiredness means no exercise; no exercise means low energy levels; low energy levels mean more tiredness.
8. Helps you sleep better
Sleep patterns can be altered due to a number of reasons. If you are struggling to fall asleep every night, then exercise is the answer, not a sleeping pill. Exercising in the evening can cause sufficient amount of fatigue to help you fall asleep at night.
However, do not exercise too late in the evening, as the burst in energy you experience can keep you awake for a while!! Early morning or early in the evening is recommended.
Exercise has a number of benefits, as you can see above. It can be as simple as getting off the couch and hitting the gym, or going to the park for a brisk walk. Along with other measures, it can help keep your heart fighting fit.
There is not a shadow of a doubt – exercise has a ton of advantages that can keep you healthy and prolong your life. So don’t you think it is time you started today?!