Why Is Exercise Important?
Exercising provides a range of benefits. Yet, many people only associate working out with losing weight. While weight loss can be a significant benefit of exercise for some people, not everyone needs to lose weight. Yet, everyone needs to exercise. Consider these 4 benefits of a regular exercise routine that don’t include curbing extra pounds.
1. You’ll sleep better
Getting enough sleep lowers a person’s risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Yet, many people fail to prioritize sleep as a crucial health habit. The good news? A consistent exercise routine can help people fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. Just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime, as exercise can boost energy.
2. Boost your mood
Exercise has been scientifically linked to decreased feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. Regular movement increases endorphin production and makes the brain more receptive to serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemicals that reduce feelings of depression. In one study, women who had a depression diagnosis experienced a significant reduction in symptoms with a regular exercise plan.
3. Increase your heart health
One of the most straightforward lifestyle changes to promote heart health is exercising regularly. Heart disease and stroke are two of the most common causes of death in the US. Yet, exercising for 150 minutes a week makes a significant difference in heart health risks. Regular physical activity also helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, two factors that are crucial for overall cardiovascular health.
4. Live a longer life
Living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading risk factors for chronic disease. Increase longevity and prevent chronic conditions by exercising a few times each week. Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity, decreases blood fat levels, and reduces the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, regular exercise has been shown to improve brain function, as well as increase memory and cognitive skills.
Starting an exercise routine
A well-rounded exercise routine incorporates components of aerobic activity, strengthening, and stretching exercises. For best results, aim for 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity like walking, jogging, biking, or using an elliptical machine on most days of the week. Follow up aerobic activity with strengthening exercises like lifting weights, doing Pilates, or using resistance bands. Aim to stretch for at least 10 minutes after every workout to increase flexibility and reduce soreness. For more help getting started with an exercise plan, speak with a healthcare provider.