9+1 benefits of exercise for physical and mental health!
There is irrefutable evidence of the effectiveness of physical exercise on human health. In fact, regular physical activity is one of the most important factors that improve overall health. The benefits of exercise for both physical and mental health are plenty and -for sure- they are not limited just to the external appearance of the body. It is worth underlining just a few of the benefits that exercise offers to our health:
Improves cardiovascular health: Regular exercise is important for our heart, as it improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks or heart disease. In addition, it helps to minimize the risk of heart stroke. Of course, the more active a person is, the greater the benefits he will experience.
Supports the management of diabetes: According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity and exercise should be recommended and “prescribed” for all diabetics as an integral part of managing glycemic control and overall health. Physical exercise improves blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity, making it a crucial ally in the weight loss effort.
Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer: Higher levels of physical activity are associated with better health and a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including colon, stomach, breast, kidney and more.
Improves bone health: Regular exercise plays a crucial role in preventing bone loss, which – to some extent – occurs naturally as we age. Additionally, moderate or intense weight training supports the bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Builds and strengthens muscles: Weight training is beneficial for building muscle mass, which is particularly important for all adults, especially women going through perimenopause or menopause phase.
Improves brain function and reduces the risk of dementia: Regular exercise can reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in adults. In individuals over the age of 50, exercise also appears to improve some aspects of cognitive function, such as the speed of processing information.
Increases life expectancy: According to an official report from the US Department of Health and Human Services, just a few minutes of moderate to intense daily physical activity may prevent premature death.
Helps to manage weight: Regular physical exercise, when combined with a balanced and healthy diet, contributes to long-term weight management.
Improves mental health and mood: Physical activity promotes emotional relaxation and stress relief, even reducing the risk of depression.
Facilitates sleep: Regular exercise has been proven to improve the quality and quantity of sleep, reducing issues such as insomnia, restless sleep, daytime sleepiness, as well as the need for sleep medication.
Therefore, regular physical exercise is an excellent habit that can reduce the risk of many serious diseases, improve mental health and mood, and promote longevity. People of all age groups can benefit from physical activities. It is important to mention that you do not have to spend much of your time or follow a specific training program, if you do not want to. You may start by simply walking for 10’ in the morning on your way to work or right after your evening meal. Alternatively, you could engage in household chores, tend your garden or dance to the rhythm of your favorite song. Remember that -even if you fail to meet the recommended levels of weekly activity- the benefits of making small and gradual additions to exercise levels or duration are significant and worthwhile.
Thus, what do you say? Is it time to make exercise an integral part of your daily routine?