Effects of Physical Exercise On Your Health
We may have neglected it for too long, but truth be told, exercise is the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for, as long as we take the right dosage. Scientific shreds of evidence have proved that when you are physically active, whatever your age may be, you can lead a happier and healthier life.
Studies have shown that chronic conditions like diabetes, cancers, heart diseases, and stroke may not develop in people who exercise regularly. In the same vein, physical exercise can help reduce stress, gaining weight and obesity, dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease while boosting self-esteem, quality sleep, and energy.
According to Dr. Nick Cavil, a health consultant, if exercise were like medicinal pills, it would be very cost-effective. This incredible evidence proves that being physically active is essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life throughout one’s lifetime. Medically, it has been proven that the following are the effects of regular physical activities:
- A decrease in risk of stroke and coronary heart disease up to 35%
- 50% decrease in risk of type 2 diabetes
- Risk of breast cancer decreases by 20%
- About 83% decrease in risk of osteoarthritis
- Lowers risk of depression and dementia by 30%
- It reduces the risk of hip fracture by 68%
- Decreases risk of premature death by 30%
Lack of Active Exercise is Influenced By Modernization.
These days, technology has made life more comfortable, and we leave the bulk of the work to machines. Instead of walking, we take public transport or drive our own cars. We no longer engage ourselves in tasks like washing clothes because we own washing machines. We are entertained when we sit in front of a TV or computer screen. And most of us get jobs with little or no physical efforts. When we compare with previous generations, we find that less energy is burned by us than people used to in the past.
Research reveals that adults, especially those aged 65 and above, spend more than 10 hours each day lying or sitting down with little or no activity, making them the most inactive age group.
Sedentary behavior and inactivity are described as a silent killer by the Department of Health, UK. Such actions, like sitting down for long, are detrimental to health. A good number of emerging pieces of evidence have started proving this.
Other behaviors like watching the television for a long time, or driving the car for short journeys should be discouraged. According to Dr. Cavill, we have to find means of putting more activity in our daily lives as previous generations had lesser health complications than us because, through their manual labor, they were more naturally active.
Your being physically active before you get pregnant will not only benefit you but also your baby. In fact, it boosts your chance of getting pregnant and improve your mental well-being.
Exercise Guidelines for Adults Aged (19-64)
The more physical activities done by adults, the better their health condition. As an adult, you should plan towards getting active physically each day. Therefore, doing at least one type of physical activity every day is right for you.
You could do:
- Activities that work on your major muscles like the back, abdomen, hips, chest, arms, and shoulders. Twice a week is suitable for a start.
- About seventy-five minutes of vigorous activity or a hundred and fifty minutes of mildly intense exercise per week is recommended.
- Stretch your legs. Reduce the time you spend just sitting or lying down. And fill it in with some activities.
- Set weekly targets for physical activities you wish to cover and work towards it.
Disabled adults, pregnant women, and new mothers can also follow these guidelines. However, your activity should suit your level of fitness. Also, note that vigorous intense exercise is not appropriate for previously inactive women.
It is advisable to keep your exercise moderate. That means any activity that will keep your body warmer, make you raise your heart rate, and help you breathe faster (you should be comfortable enough to talk without pausing for breath). Advised exercises include swimming, gardening, brisk walking, dancing.
A vigorous exercise is those physical activities that make your breathing faster and harder, so much that you can’t talk without pausing to breathe. Such activities include aerobics, tennis (single), jogging or running, weightlifting, pushups and sit-ups, yoga, riding a bike, sports, like football, rugby, hockey, skipping, martial arts, etc.
Here are a few tips for being active:
- Avoid spending too much of your time sitting or lying down. Instead of sitting for so long, try walking around for some minutes before returning to your seat. You can also consider cycling to work, standing while on a bus or train, walking down the store instead of home delivery. And instead of the escalator, use the stairs.
- Download and use workout and exercise apps on your mobile phones or PCs, such as Active 10 or Couch to 5k (a nine-week running exercise plan for beginners). These and other apps like it have proved to be invaluable for physical activities.
- During your lunchtime or break, simply take a stroll or walk down to a nearby park.
- If you have children, you can walk with them down the street, if they are still toddlers, then take them to the nursery or crèche yourself. This is a brilliant way to keep you and your children fit.
- Another great way to stay physically active is to get a step counting app on your phone, so you can get motivation on how much progress you’re making.
If you are interested in activities that will strengthen your muscles, then when you do strength exercises, you must do then to a point where you are exhausted and have to rest before repeating that activity. There are, nonetheless, several ways to strengthen your muscles.
And these include:
- Lifting weights
- Tai chi
- Pushups, sit-ups, and bodyweight exercises.
- Digging, gardening, and shoveling.
- Carrying children.
Note that these muscle strengthening exercises are not necessarily aerobic activities and should not be exchanged for your 150 minutes of aerobic exercises.
So What Will You Gain from Regular Exercise?
You’ll Feel Happier
Research has proven that exercise can decrease feelings of anxiety and depression and can also improve your mood by increasing the sensitivity of the brain to the serotonin and norepinephrine hormones. Another exciting thing is it does not matter if your physical activities are intense or not, you can benefit from any physical exercise no matter the intensity. The effects of exercise on mood is such that choosing to exercise alone is beneficial to your mental state. In a particular study, some men who exercised regularly were asked to stop exercising for some time. And after a while, most of them developed a negative mood problem.
It Helps Shed Excess Weight
According to a study, inactivity is a significant cause of obesity and excess weight. And on the contrary, studies have shown that aerobic activities can reduce excess body fats by increasing metabolism. It helps in muscle development, which is essential to shedding excess weight on the body.
Healthy Bones and Strong Muscles
When paired with enough protein intake, exercise is the perfect way to build and maintain strong bones and muscles. This is because, as you exercise, hormones that enhance your body’s ability to absorb amino acids increases. As people age, the tendency to lose muscles increase, and this can lead to injuries that could result in disabilities. To prevent, you should exercise regularly. Amazingly, exercise with high-impact like running, gymnastics, court sports, have proved to improve higher bone density in the body.
Stimulates Brain Health
The right amount of exercise can boost brain function and memory skills. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen into the brain and increases the production of hormones that helps brain cell’s growth. It also prevents chronic brain diseases like Alzheimer etc. Research shows that the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s concerned with thinking and learning, gets bigger in size as a result of exercise. Among older folks, it increases brain function.
Induces Sleep and Relaxation
When you exercise, energy depletion occurs, and this helps you to relax and sleep better. You also get to recuperate and gain more energy. One study revealed that if you maintain about 150 minutes of physical exercise in a week, you’ll get about a 60% increase in your sleep quality.
Exercise can help reduce any pain, whether it’s chronic or not. Some years back, the recommended treatment for chronic pains was inactivity and rest. However, recent studies have shown that exercise is excellent pain relief. It also increases pain tolerance, thereby installing more energy to kill pains faster.
Get up and walk down to the gym. Do some little activities around your garden, down the street, or anywhere. Just make sure you’re burning a portion of the body fuel. Because you deserve a great body and a perfect state of mind.