We have all heard it many times - regular exercise is good for you, and it helps you in losing weight. But to be honest a large part of our civilization is busy, and have a sedentary job, and haven't yet changed their exercise habits. Well the good news is that, "it's never too late to start". You may start slowly, and find different ways to fit more physical activity in your daily life. And to get the most of it, you should try to get the amount of exercise recommended for your age. If you can do it, the payoff is that you will feel better both physically and mentally, help prevent or control many diseases, and likely even live longer.
So What are the health benefits of exercise?
Regular exercise and physical activity impacts you in following means:
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- Help in controlling weight. Along with diet, exercise plays an important role in controlling weight and in turn preventing obesity. To maintain weight, the calories consumed while eating and drinking must equal to the energy burnt. To lose weight, you must use and burn more calories than you eat and drink.
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- Reduce the risk of heart diseases. Exercise strengthens the heart and improves circulation. The increased blood flow will raise the oxygen levels in the body. This helps in lowering the risk of heart diseases such as high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, and heart attack. Exercising regularly can also lower your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
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- Help the body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Exercise can lower blood sugar level and help the insulin work better. This can cut down the risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. And if you already have one of those diseases, exercising can help you to manage it.
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- Help anyone to quit smoking. Exercise may make it easier to quit smoking by reducing the cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It may also help limit the weight you might gain when you stop smoking.
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- Improve a person's mental health and mood. During exercise, human body releases chemicals that can improve someone's mood and create a more relaxed feeling. This will definitely help you deal with stress and reduce the risk of depression.
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- Helps keeping your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. Exercising stimulates human body to release proteins and other chemicals that improve the structure and functionality of the brain.
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- Strengthen the bones and muscles. Regular exercising helps kids and teens in building strong bones. Later in life, it might also slow the loss of bone density. Doing muscle-strengthening activities like gym, workout or weighlifting can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength.
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- Reduce the risk of some cancers, including colon, breast, uterine, and lung cancer.
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- Reduce the risk of falls. For older adults, a number of research shows that doing balance and muscle-strengthening activities in addition to moderate-intensity aerobic activity can help reduce the risk of falling.
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- Improve your sleep. Exercising can help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
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- Improve your sexual health. Exercising regularly may lower the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) in men. For those who already have ED, exercising might help improve their sexual functionality. In women also, exercise may increase sexual arousal.
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- Increase the chances of living longer. Studies show that physical activity can reduce the risk of dying early from some of the leading causes of death, like heart diseases and some cancers.
We will be discussing on how to make exercise a part of one's daily routine in the next blog.