Weight loss is one of the more obvious reasons people begin an exercise routine. Body weight is determined by the number of calories taken in versus the number of calories burned. Being physically active can burn calories that are stored as fat. Exercise also increases muscle strength which can help lower the percentage of body fat. Exercise for weight loss, in combination with helathy eating habits, is an effective way of losing weight or maintaining your desired weight.
Why do people exercise for health? Regular exercise has been shown to help control many diseases and health conditions. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes are all better managed or prevented in people who participate in regular exercise. Exercise increases muscle strength, improving posture and flexibility. This is helpful to those who suffer from back pain. Exercising with weights is beneficial to women prone to osteoporosis as it aids in bone formation and prevents bone loss.
Lesser Known Benefits of Exercise
Better Sleep: Good sleep habits lead to better concentration and a better overall mood. Exercise can help you to fall asleep faster and achieve a deeper sleep. It is important, though, to exercise earlier in the day for exercise to be beneficial in sleep habits, as exercising too close to bedtime can leave you too energized to fall asleep for a while.
Increased Energy: Exercise strengthens the heart muscle and improves the blood flow, carrying oxygen to the tissues of the body. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, this leaves more energy for you.
Improved Mood: Exercise increases endorphins, a chemical in the brain that boosts your mood and leaves you with a happier feeling than before you exercise. Regular exercise can help to ward off depression and improve your confidence in how you look and feel.
Beginning an Exercise Routine
The many benefits of exercise cannot be ignored. Regardless of your age or size, it is never too late to begin exercising. If you have health concerns, talk to your physician about what a safe exercise routine should look like for you.
Exercise does not have to be a strict workout at the gym or require the use of fancy equipment. Playing at the park with your children, dancing, participating in sports, household chores and yard work all require physical activity. Small changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking walks during your lunch break are ways you can add physical activity into your day. All movement counts, so find something fun that you enjoy doing and stick with it.
WebMD: “Fitness: Getting and Staying Active—Why Should You Be More Active?” https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/tc/fitness-why-should-i-exercise
Mayo Clinic: “Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity”: https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676