By Susanne Mitschke
Exercise and physical activity are good for everyone, regardless of physical ability, sex or age! You not only feel better, but may also add years to your life! The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore - read here about 6 points why you should start exercising today:
1. Improves mood
Had a stressful day and need to blow-off some steam? Need an emotional lift? A 30-minute brisk walk or a gym session can help! Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that can make you feel happier and more relaxed!
Exercising can also boost your confidence and self-esteem, as you might feel better about your appearance, if you exercise regularly.
2. Promotes better sleep
Researchers of the Mayo Clinic found out that regular physical activity can help you falling asleep faster. It might also deepen your sleep. However, if you exercise too close to bedtime, it might have the opposite effect: you might feel too energised!
3. Boosts energy
Exercise helps your cardiovascular system to work more efficiently by delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. It can improve your lung and heart health, and as a result, you have more energy to tackle daily tasks. Another plus: regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and might also boost your endurance!
4. Combats health conditions and diseases
If you exercise regularly, this might help you to prevent or manage a wide range of health concerns and problems, including type 2 diabetes, a number of types of cancer, stroke, depression, falls, metabolic syndrome and arthritis.
Your current weight doesn’t matter, if you are active, your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is boosted. This is also often referred to as “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. It helps you to keep your blood flowing smoothly, which in return decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
5. It is fun and social
Taking the dance class, joining a soccer team, or hit the hiking trails with your family or friends - find a physical activity you enjoy. Team activities help you to get motivated and might help you to connect with family and friends. What are you waiting for? Enjoy the beautiful outdoors and engage in activities that make you happy!
6. Controlling weight
It is not a secret that regular exercises can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss, as you’re burning calories, when you engage in physical activity. Don’t worry, if you can’t find your way to the gym every day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking/biking instead of taking the subway can already make a difference. Consistency is key!
You should aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercises per week, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercises. You should try to engage in a combination of vigorous and moderate exercises, such as running, walking and swimming and squeeze in strength training at least twice per week. Here, you can use your own body weight, free weights or, if you are in a gym, weight machines.
It is also important to spread out your exercising efforts throughout the week. And please REMEMBER TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISING PROGRAM. This is true specifically, if you haven’t exercised for a long time, or have chronic health problems like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease or any other health concern.