10 health benefits of regular physical activity

| November 7, 2018

Exercise makes us feel better. It improves our mood, flexibility and overall health and can add years to our lives. There are many ways we can stay physically active, from hitting the gym to going jogging, swimming or even dancing. The list of benefits of physical activities on our wellbeing is a long one. Here are ten of those benefits.

Weight control

In many cases, obesity isn’t only caused by excessive eating, but also by the lack of physical activity. When you don’t exercise, the only energy your body spends is on digestion and maintaining your basic body functions, such as breathing or the beating of your heart.

Being physically active improves your metabolic rate, which in return allows your body to spend more of the calories you intake through food, causing you to lose weight. The most effective way to lose weight is through a diet of low-calorie food with high nutritive values in combination with an aerobic workout and resistance training.

Strengthened muscles and bones

When you eat food rich in protein, you’re actually not even halfway to strong muscles. You need to pair your diet with physical activity, especially exercises like weight lifting. It’s the physical activity that helps your muscles absorb the amino acids they need to be strong and grow, which is important as you age since muscles can otherwise lose their function and mass with years.

As far as bone density is concerned, it also builds up when you work out. High-impact exercises, such as jogging or playing basketball, volleyball or football are the ones that allow for a higher bone density than low-impact sports.

Improved flexibility

Being flexible means our joints are able to carry out the movement needed to perform your everyday tasks and activities. The only way you can truly improve your flexibility is through a workout, and the activities which are excellent for good joint flexibility are stretching exercises, yoga, Pilates and similar exercises.

Also, flexibility activities are known to improve your posture, as well as reduce various pains and aches. And if you’re physically active all through your life, good flexibility can add a lot to your quality of life once you’re older.

Higher energy levels

If you feel exhausted and breathless after a short walk, climbing a few flights of stairs or doing some everyday chores, like vacuuming or scrubbing the bathtub, physical activity might just be the solution to your problems. Regular exercise can also increase your endurance by enabling your body to deliver nutrients and oxygen to all your tissues. Your whole body works better, improving your heart and lung function and providing you with the energy you need to confront any chore.

Even if you don’t have enough time, you can always get functional exercise equipment, such as a free weight machine or some sort of a pull-down and low-row combo machine, so that you can work out in the comfort of your own home.

girl

Improved state of mind

When your day was difficult and your stress levels are through the roof, a nice workout session or simply a fast-paced walk back home from work will make things better in no time. This is because physical activity is a great stimulant for the chemicals in your brain that lead to relaxation, happiness and the improved self-image.

The endorphins produced when you’re active create positive feelings and can even ease your pain. The best thing is, your exercise doesn’t even have to be very intense since you’ll get a mood boost even from the low-intensity ones.

Reduced risk of chronic disease

As with being overweight, chronic disease is also mainly caused by insufficient physical activity. Gaining weight and accumulating belly fat increases your chances of ending up with type 2 diabetes and even heart disease.

On the other hand, if you are physically active on a regular basis, it helps control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels improves your cardiovascular function and insulin sensitivity. So, try to maintain a workout routine that will improve your wellness and reduce the risk of these health issues.

Higher quality sleep

If you toss and turn for hours before you finally fall asleep at night, you might be in need of a good exercise regimen. Daily physical activity can do wonders for your sleep, allowing you to fall asleep easier and sleep soundly and uninterruptedly all through the night.

Not only does exercise help you relax, but while you work out, your body temperature rises, and when you sleep it drops, improving your sleep quality. The trick is not to exercise too close to your bedtime, since that way your energy levels might be too high and can actually cancel the good effect of your activity.

Better brain function

Physical activity can greatly improve your brain function, as well as sharpen your memory skills and ability to think. When you move and exercise, your blood flow increases, bringing more oxygen and faster into your brain.

Working out improves the production of the hormones which regulate brain cell growth and can even help the hippocampus, which is essential for learning and memory, become larger in size. All of this is particularly important as we grow older since our brain structure and functions change and decline with age if we’re physically inactive.

Improved mental health

Recreational activities not only improve your physical health but can also help you fight any mental issues you have and go a long way to enhance your mental health as well. Physical exercise can be a great ally in the war against stress, anxiety and depression. It can even weaken the symptoms of conditions like ADHD and PTSD.

If possible, take your workout outside as often as you can, since fresh air and sunshine are very beneficial for our whole organism and can help us gain a more positive view of ourselves and the world around us.

Better sex life

Stronger cardiovascular system, better blood flow, enhanced flexibility and better-developed muscles are a good way to give your sex drive a boost. Physical activity doesn’t simply create more desire for sex, but it also improves your performance, stamina and intensifies your pleasure.

Plus, the high energy levels allow you to be sexually active more often and longer. Men who exercise are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction, while women get aroused more easily.

Wanting to feel and look better are good enough reasons to start working out, but when you think about it, that’s just the top of the iceberg. So, waste no more time and start exercising today!

SHARE WITH:

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in health related topics and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family. Follow her on Twitter @DianaSmith82.

Leave a Comment