Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise. You probably have a vague sense that exercise is good for you- and you’ve probably heard that it’s, healthy for the heart. Regular exercise can make you feel happier. It can help with weight loss. It is good for your muscles and bones. It can increase your energy levels. It can reduce your risk of chronic disease. It can help skin health. It can help your brain health and memory. “But if you’re like most people, that’s not enough motivation to get you to break a sweat with any regularly.
We all know that exercise is important in our daily lives, but we may not know why or what exercise can do for us. It’s essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Exercise plays an integral role in keeping you happy. Here are just of a few facts about the benefits of exercising –
1. Boost Brainpower
Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain. It also encourages the release of the brain chemicals (hormones) that are responsible for the production of cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning. It’s linked to less depression, better memory and quicker learning. Studies also suggest that exercise is, as of now, the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, a major fear for many humans.
Scientists, don’t know exactly why exercise changes the structure and function of the brain, but it’s an area of active research. So far, they’ve found that exercise improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells.
“When you exercise, its increase endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline and endocannabinoid – these are all brain chemicals associated with feeling happy, feeling confident, feeling capable, feeling less anxiety and stress. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
And any type of exercise may be helpful. The idea that moving can affect our moods is not new. Countless studies show that many types of exercise, from walking to cycling, make people feel better and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain- serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine- that dull pain, lighten mood and relieve stress. “For years we focused almost exclusively on the physical benefits of exercise and really have ignored the psychological and emotional benefits of being regularly active, “says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise.
3. It Might Make your Age Slower
A lifetime of regular exercise slows down aging, study finds. The results showed that those who have exercised regularly have defined the aging process, having the immunity, muscle mass, and cholesterol levels of a young person. Almost any amount and type of physical activity may slow aging deep within our cells, and middle age may be a critical tie to get the process rolling, at least by one common measure of cell aging.
Exercise has been shown to lengthen lifespan by as much as five years. A small new study suggests that moderate- intensity exercise may slow down the aging of cells. As humans get older and their cells divide over and over again, their telomeres- the protective caps on the end of chromosomes – get shorter. To see how exercise affects telomeres, researchers took a muscle biopsy and blood samples from 10 healthy people before and after a 45minutes ride on a bicycle. They found that exercise increased levels of a molecule that protects telomeres, ultimately slowing how quickly they shorten over time. Exercise, then appears to slow aging at the cellular level.
4. Beautiful Skin
By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cell and keep them vital. “Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including skin,” says Marmur. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. In fact, exercise benefits the body as a whole, because it improves the- tone the muscles beneath the skin, making the skin look healthier.
Aerobic exercise revs up blood flow to the skin, delivering oxygen and nutrients that improve skin health and even help wounds heal faster. That’s why when people have injuries, they should get moving as quickly as possible- not only to make sure the muscle doesn’t atrophy, but to make sure there’s good blood flow to the skin, “says Anthony Hackney, an exercise physiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Train long enough, and you’ll add more blood vessels and tiny capillaries to the skin, too.
The skin also serves as a release point for heat. When you exercise, your muscles generate a lot of heat, which you have to give up to the environment so your body temperature doesn’t get too high, Hackney says. The heat in the muscle transfers to the blood, which shuttles it to the skin; it can then escape into the atmosphere.
Exercise improves your body’s ability to pump the oxygen and nutrients around your body that are required to fuel the cells that fight bacteria and viruses. It improves your mood and gives you an improved sense of well – being. Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins which make you feel better and more relaxed.
Emerging research suggests that it doesn’t take much movement to get the benefits. “We ‘ve been interested in the question of, How low can you go?” says Martin Gibala, an exercise physiologist at McMaster University in Ontario. He wanted to test how effective a 10 – minute workout could be, compared to the typical 50 – minute bout. The micro- workout he devised consist of three exhausting 20 – second intervals of all – out, hard as you can exercise, followed by brief recoveries. In a three – month study, he pitted the short workout against the standard one to see which was better. To his amazement, the workouts resulted in identical improvements in heart function and blood – sugar control, even though one workout was five times longer than the other. “If you’re willing and able to push hard, you can get away with surprisingly little exercise, “Gibala says.
Exercise can help prevent and treat mental illnesses like depression. Physical activity can help you meet people, reduce stress levels, cope with frustration, give you a sense of achievement, and provide some important” me time”, all of which help with depression. Staying active reduces the likelihood of developing some degenerative bone disease.
Weight bearing exercise such as running, walking or weight training lowers your risk of both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis – the adage of “use it or lose it” really does apply to bones.
Even very vigorous exercise – like the interval workouts Gibala is studying – can, in fact, be appropriate for people with different chronic conditions, from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure. That’s new thinking, because for decades, people with certain diseases were advised not to exercise. Now scientists know that far more people can and should exercise. A recent analysis of more than 300 clinical trials discovered that for people recovering from a stroke, exercise was even more effective at helping them rehabilitate. Being fit may mean that the risks of colon cancer, breast cancer and possibly also lung and endometrial cancers are reduced.
Exercise is key to weight loss and to maintaining that weight loss. With a sufficient calorie deficit and proper exercise regimen, fat cells shrink over time as their contents are used for energy, leading to improved body composition and health.
Excess consumed energy – usually calories from fats or carbs – is stored in fat cells in the form of triglycerides. This is how your body preserves energy for future needs. Over time, this excess energy results in a fat surplus that can affect your body shape and health.
The body uses both carbohydrates and fats as energy sources. But after consistent aerobic exercise training, the body gets better at burning fat, which requires a lot of oxygen to convert it into energy. “One of the benefits of exercise training is that our cardiovascular system gets stronger and better at delivering oxygen, so we are able to metabolize more fat as an energy source, “Hackney says. As a result, your fat cells – which produce the substances responsible for chronic low – grade inflammation – shrink, and so does inflammation.