You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
Exercise controls weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help you keep off lost weight. When you take part in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none. To gain the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.
Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to lower stress after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates many brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
You also may feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Exercise can make you feel happier
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. The authors of a 2019 review found that 10–30 minutes of exercise is enough to improve your mood.
Exercise may increase brain sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine. These hormones relieve feelings of depression. It may also increase the production of endorphins, which help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain.
Stopping to exercise may also affect your mood. A 2017 review found that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, even after only a few weeks.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
Exercise sends oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
Combats health conditions and chronic diseases
Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death. A regular exercise regimen of moderate-intensity can put you at a lower risk for these diseases. Regular physical activity can also help reduce your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels. Exercise boosts high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides, which reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Inflammation may be an underlying cause of many diseases and disorders in both body and brain. Exercise reduces many inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, which are linked to several diseases.
Exercise helps your pancreas to work better and makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. This improves the way your body deals with sugar and helps prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.