Exercise is part of a healthy foundation of you being at your best. And while it helps with your physique and weight loss its positive effects are more far reaching then just what you can see on the surface. Here are some of the other effects that exercise has on your overall health.
I like to think of your brain as the computer that makes sure that everything is functioning properly in your body and your heart is the engine that ensures that all parts of your body are receiving the proper blood flow, oxygen and nutrients that it needs to run at its best. Even your brain cannot function properly if it is not receiving adequate blood flow. Just like a car it will run only as well a its engine. So it is important we do our best to ensure our heart is in strong working order. The heart is a muscle but it is not like the other muscles in your body. For example if you want stronger biceps you can just go to the gym and do bicep curls and your arms over time will increase in size. With your heart the best way to keep it in shape is through cardio exercise. When you are exercising you are working your heart muscle by having it constrict and relax at a rapid rate which will allow it to grow in strength!
I am sure you have heard the term the runners high. A runner’s high is a state of euphoria that a runner will experience after running for a prolonged period. This is something I experienced myself once. I was grinning ear to ear and wanted to high five everyone running in the opposite direction! This is why after exercising you can feel happy and relaxed. It also a great way to manage stress. When exercising the body produces endorphins that reduce your perception of pain and overall just put you in a good mood. That is why being active is important to not just your physical health but your mental health as well.
Weight loss occurs when the energy you expend daily is greater than the energy you take in. When you exercise you are spending more energy and if you are trying to lose weight the goal is to increase your overall deficit for the day between energy spent and gained.
It is important to do both cardio exercises as well as weight training exercises. Both can help build your metabolism which results in you burning more calories daily even when you are at rest. While cardio helps more with burning calories immediately and keeping your heart healthy weight training exercises are also important especially as we grow older. Muscle burns more energy than fats and as we get older we lose our muscle mass. This results in a reduction in our metabolism which means we end up burning less calories at rest. That is why it is also important to have weight training as part of your daily regimen to account for muscle loss as well as age.
Diabetes is a condition where you are either not producing enough insulin or your cells in your body have become less responsive to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is made from the bodies pancreas and it helps promote uptake of sugars by your muscles and fatty tissues. Weight training helps your muscles reduce their insulin resistance. So if you are diabetic you can increase your muscles ability to store carbohydrates and as a result decrease your blood sugar levels. This is a great way for diabetics to help manage their sugar levels.
The benefits of exercise are far reaching and it is hard to do it justice in a single article. If you are being treated for a condition more than likely exercise is part of your foundation of your treatment. Whether you have asthma, COPD, diabetes or high blood pressure all physicians will agree that regular exercise is a cornerstone of your treatment. And if you do not have any current chronic conditions then exercise is the great preventative. It helps to keep you young and put a smile on your face! Exercise with friends to keep you motivated and make it a social activity! This way you are more likely to stick with it and make it part of your regular routine.