We all know that we really should exercise. Our doctors remind us every year, the internet is covered with fitness posts, and that one friend who is super into fitness never shuts up about it! While we also all know that exercise will make us look better and prevent heart disease, this is just scratching the surface! The many benefits of exercise for your body have been well researched, but the field of studying exercises effects on the brain is just beginning to blow up. New research suggests That exercise can make you smarter, improve your memory, help prevent anxiety and depression, and even extend your lifespan by YEARS! Because this is such a big subject, we will be breaking it up into three articles. Pt. 1 will be about the physical benefits of exercise, Pt. 2 will be about its effects on your brain, and Pt. 3 will be about which types of exercise you should do.
Some of the most obvious and well-known benefits of exercise are physical, but that doesn’t make them any less compelling. Dedicated exercise will result in a healthy, attractive body that does its job when you need it to. By working out your body in the gym or home, you can be sure that it won't fail you as you age or when you need it. Let's start by looking at the biggest physical benefits regular exercise has to offer
In the modern world, having a strong well-trained body has become largely unnecessary for most people to survive and earn a living. We have comfortable desk jobs, cars to transport us, a supermarket to feed us, and no terrifying predators to run from! However, even with all these conveniences I am willing to bet there have been many times where you wished you were in better physical shape. With a strong body, you could finally climb that challenging mountain, participate in that team sport, or even just play chase with your kids.
The list of things you could do with a strong body is endless, and the great news is even moderate exercise can open these things up to you. When you train, you will quickly find that you can run longer, move more weight, and if you stretch enough, bend yourself into impressive shapes! These improvements are fun to see in the gym, but when you use them in real life it's AWESOME! Don’t think that because you are older than these benefits are unavailable to you. I have seen people over 80 start regularly exercising and end up being in better shape than they were when they were ten years younger!
Consistent exercise is a wonderful way to prepare your body for the unexpected strenuous situations that life tends to throw at us. This can be a spontaneous hike when you are on vacation, or perhaps even a dangerous emergency situation. Regardless of whether it is an emergency, or just being spontaneous, there will be times when you need to abuse your body, and if you have not regularly exercised you greatly increase your chances of severe injury. At the very least you will wake up feeling VERY sore the next day.
Luckily there is an easy way to prevent serious injury and be able to jump out of bed the next day after a lot of physical activity. You guessed, exercise. If you exercise regularly you will soon find you really have to push yourself to feel sore the next day. In the same way, when your body is used to being, stretched, worked, and pushed to its limits, it is much less likely to suffer from common injuries like sprains, and pulled muscles.
Perhaps the most important of regular exercise’s many benefits is its miraculous ability to help prevent a laundry list of serious diseases. These include heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, mental health issues, and even cancer to name a few. So how is exercise able to prevent such a large and varied list of diseases? The short answer is that your body was built to move, and prolonged periods of inactivity increase your risk for almost every disease on this list. By exercising regularly, you are preventing the increased risk of these disease that comes with inactivity. Regular exercise also releases a host of beneficial chemicals, boosts your immune system, improves circulation, and even improves your digestion. All of these things are very helpful when it comes to aging well and preventing disease.
One of the most popular reasons why people exercise is to simply look and feel better! Consistent exercise can help with weight loss, muscle tone and size, and can make you look and feel more alive. Of course, one of the most important parts of getting stronger and losing weight is the huge boost it gives your self-perception. In fact, people who regularly exercise almost universally report being more confident!
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“I’m so stressed” has become such a common saying at this point, that it's almost a cliché. In the ever faster pace of daily life, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli. 24/7 news is always delivering the latest problem or crisis, pressure at work, and social media providing constant standards to compare yourself to. These are just some of the burdens of modern life, so its no wonders people are feeling tense and burned out.
The good news is that even in today’s crazy world, it is possible to live a stress-free life with completely natural methods.