By: Molly Smith
Exercising for fitness is a great way to get the body in shape. But the benefits of exercise are so much more than just fitting into those skinny jeans. If you need another reason to get up and hit the gym today, we’ve got 10 reasons why exercise is good for your health.
- Combat Health Conditions and Risks — Exercise can put you at a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are “two of the leading causes of death in the United States.” Regular workouts can also help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and even some cancers such as bladder, breast, colon, kidney, and lung.
- Stave off Stress — Who isn’t feeling stressed in the age of COVID-19? With everything going on right now, we could all use a stress reliever! It turns out one of the benefits of exercise is that it also helps reduce stress. Whether it was a rough day at the (home) office (even via Zoom in your jammies) or you just need to clear your head — exercise is the answer.
- Boost Your Mood… and Your Self-Esteem — According to an article on the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.” After all, we should love ourselves unconditionally, but we can always use a little more self-love, right?
- Get More Energy — Looking for a little more energy in your day? Instead of reaching for that second cup of coffee, consider a workout! Exercising delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and ultimately helps the cardiovascular system work better, specifically improving heart and lung function. Even something as simple as a short walk can give you more pep in your step.
- Increase Life Longevity — Want to be a super-ager? Hit the gym… or a hiking trail. Whatever your preference, get moving in the name of a long life. The CDC reports, “Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.” The site goes on to state, “People who are physically active for about 150 minutes a week have a 33% lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive.”
- Kick Start Your Sex Life — Need a little boost in the bedroom? Getting more exercise and becoming more physically fit can help by increasing energy and self-confidence (both important in between the sheets!). But the Mayo Clinic notes that regular “physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction…” We’ll just leave that here.
- Reduces Depression and Anxiety — Beyond just reducing stress and boosting your mood, exercise can tackle mental health. It has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety, too. Win-win.
- Improve Brain Health — If you’re having trouble remembering where you left your keys or to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, a good workout might be overdue! An article on the Harvard Medical School website states that regular exercise, specifically aerobic, can help reduce “brain fog” and even “changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills.”
- Lose or Maintain Weight — Many people that are looking to get fit are also looking to control their weight. Losing weight to look better in the mirror or to feel more comfortable in your own skin is great, but there’s more to it than that! Losing weight can also help people reduce their health risks. For those that are looking to lose weight in the name of their health, proper nutrition is a key factor in this as well.
- Sleep Better — A good night’s sleep might be one of the most underrated parts of life! Sleep is truly essential for our bodies to recharge. An article on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website focused on exercise for better sleep states that exercise can help you fall asleep more quickly and can improve the quality of your sleep. One thing to note — some people may find working out too late in the day can keep them up at night (probably because of that aforementioned boost of energy!). Listen to your body when it comes to how to fit your fitness into your day to best serve your sleep schedule.
These are some of the most popular reasons why exercise is good for your health, but the list doesn’t end here — exercising has so many more wonderful health benefits. If you’re looking to get started on a new exercise routine, come chat with one of our fitness experts at The Village today.