Decoding the mental and physical health benefits of exercise
You may have heard the saying ‘exercise is good for us’, and to live a healthy lifestyle you should engage in regular exercises. But have you ever wondered why, what, and how exercise can affect your body and mind?
We all have our reasons for exercising. Whether we engage in light exercises or high-intensity activities, the idea is to keep moving.
Regular exercising can provide several benefits — from improving your cardiovascular system, metabolism, your mood, and sleep, to improving your concentration levels and developing a sharper memory.
Here are a few examples of how exercises can improve your physical and mental health, and hopefully motivate you to make exercise a part of your daily life.
The psychological benefits of exercise include:
Improves your concentration or focus
Whether at work or home, if you want to be productive, you should be able to concentrate on what you are doing. At times, we all have issues concentrating, however regular exercise can help improve your concentration as well as improve creativity. Two minutes of simple cycling or running can help sharpen our memories by triggering the hippocampus, which is the most vital region for our memory process.
Reduces stress and anxiety
Stress has a direct relation with your muscle. When you are stressed or tired, your muscle tenses up. This is your body’s way of reacting to stressors and preventing damage. Therefore, the best way to relax your tensed muscles is a good workout session, which eases muscle tension and enhances fluidity making you feel more flexible.
Regular exercise also helps to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by producing endorphins in our brains, which make us feel good and boost our moods.
Helps you sleep better
One of the major reasons for depression and anxiety is lack of sleep. Besides making a few lifestyle changes, engaging in exercise regularly can help you sleep better. If you are looking for a simple, healthy, and safe way to get a good night’s sleep, you should start exercising, even if it is some light exercises.
However, remember to not exercise close to your bedtime as it may keep you alert and prevent you from getting rest.
Some of the physical benefits are:
Helps to keep your weight in control
People usually take up exercising with the sole purpose of losing weight. However, in order to control your weight, you also have to control your diet. You should burn more calories than you take in and that can be done by engaging in physical activity. While any amount of exercise is good, if you want to burn more calories, then indulge in a more intense routine.
Works on strengthening the bones and muscles
We all know that exercise builds muscle, but do you know that it also makes your bones stronger? When you are younger, exercise helps to build strong bones and when you grow older it helps to strengthen them. Also, if you want to maintain muscle mass and strength, add muscle-strengthening activities to your daily workout routine.
Improves balance and coordination
Regular exercising can help to improve your balance and coordination, which is very important as we grow older. Muscle-strengthening and aerobatics activities can help to reduce the risk of falling and preventing yourself from breaking your bones when you get old.
Overall, exercise can benefit you in multiple ways and also prevent diseases like heart attacks and cancers, thereby increasing your lifespan. Just remember to keep your body moving.
Edited by Megha Reddy