You don’t need to knock yourself out at the gym each day to reap the many health benefits of daily exercise. With simple planning and a determination to engage in a healthier lifestyle, you can add easy stints of exercise to your schedule without breaking too much of a sweat. Best of all, you may realize some of these 10 health benefits of daily exercise.
Exercise elevates your mood
When you are physically active, it stimulates brain chemicals that make you feel better and lifts your mood. Some experts say that exercise of any intensity, such as a walk or time on the elliptical, exercise bike, or other equipment at a home or the gym can even be instrumental in preventing future depression. A study in the journal Brain Plasticity reports that even a single episode of physical exercise confers “significant positive effects” on mood, as well as cognitive functions.
Control your weight with exercise
Anyone experiencing problems with fluctuating weight, an accumulation of extra pounds, weight loss, or difficulty maintaining a healthy weight can benefit from regular daily exercise plus a healthy diet. When you exercise vigorously, you burn even more calories than when you walk around the office. And burning calories can make your desired weight goal easier to attain. It’s also easy to add a little exercise to your day: take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk outside at lunch or on break, park several aisles from the grocery or mall entrance. You get the idea.
Want toned muscles? Regular exercise helps with that goal
Along with caloric burn and the slimming effect you might be seeking, daily exercise will greatly help in toning muscles and getting rid of body fat. It needn’t result in a bodybuilder physique – that’s more an outcome of intense, targeted (some call it hard-core) exercise. Get rid of belly flab and loose skin after weight loss, pregnancy, or yo-yo dieting by working on different muscle groups with specific exercises – such as jumping rope for calves, hand weights or dumbbells for upper arms, sit-ups for belly fat and sit-to-stand for your backside. Find something you enjoy doing, work out with a friend, add music to your routine – whatever it takes to motivate daily exercise.
Sleepless nights? Adding daily exercise to your routine can promote restful sleep
The good kind of tired you feel after a bout of vigorous physical exercise does more for you than you might expect. When you make it a point to do some form of physical exercise every day, you’ll fall asleep easier, experience deeper sleep (which helps the body repair itself), and be less likely to wake up during the night. There’s compelling evidence that exercise and a good night’s sleep are linked as essential to overall health.
Exercise helps in preventing health conditions including cardiovascular disease
There’s no secret to the fact that regular exercise is good for your health. Yet the number of medical and health conditions exercise can help prevent is impressive. One way exercise helps your heart is that it releases high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the good kind of cholesterol, while reducing nasty triglycerides. Not only helpful in preventing cardiovascular disease and maintaining good cardiovascular health, exercise is also proven to be a preventive strategy for stroke, developing type 2 diabetes, several types of cancer (cervical, breast, even skin cancer, when combined with intake of caffeine), depression, arthritis, and the damage resulting from falls.
You’ll get an energy boost
How can exercise boost energy? Simple. During vigorous exercise, oxygen gets delivered to tissues and organs. This helps the heart work more efficiently as well as the lungs. A more efficient heart and lungs translates to more energy. So, combat fatigue while you boost your energy with regular, daily exercise.
Put a spark in your sex life
This health benefit should perk up your interest in beginning regular exercise – beyond the physical exercise you get during sexual activity, of course. With a continuing exercise routine, such as daily brisk walks, a focused home workout, jogging, playing sports, swimming, skiing and more, you’ll have more energy, be more toned and fit, and see dramatic results in physical appearance. Exercise may help women feel more sexually aroused, and men may experience fewer problems with erectile dysfunction, contributing to a healthier sex life.
Alleviate stress and help improve memory
Dealing with a high-pressure job or increased stress at work, school or home? Instead of reaching for a pill or downing a cocktail to cope, go for regular exercise. In addition to being a healthier way to cope with stress, regular exercise has also been shown to improve memory and learning functions, both of which are impaired by chronic stress. Scientists have also discovered that exercise helps in preventing dementia and cognitive impairment in older adults.
Exercise – especially aerobic exercises – helps prevent or delay aging
Researchers have discovered that relatively short stints of high-intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking or biking, can help stave off the effects of aging. The improvement occurs as the aerobic activity causes cells to build more protein necessary for energy-producing mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes. Researchers have said, “there’s no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process.”
Staying active can help reduce chronic pain
Several studies have examined the beneficial effect that exercise can have on chronic pain. In older adults, especially, scientists have found that physical activity may reduce the risk of developing chronic pain. Other research found that targeting exercises for spine-support and muscle control helps reduce disability and pain caused by lower back pain. Yet another study found that exercise reduces nerve pain by decreasing inflammation, a key contributor to neuropathic pain.