28 Reasons to Exercise
We all know that exercise is good for us. But it’s time we realized just how powerful it really is.
Exercise is as close to a cure-all as we’re ever likely to find. Here are 28 proven reasons why exercise will increase your well-being.
- Exercise boosts your energy. If you suffer from an afternoon slump, a few minutes of stretching or a brisk ten-minute walk will perk you up by getting more blood to your brain.
- You’ll sleep better. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
- Exercise can make you calmer and keep anxiety at bay.
- Your self-esteem will get a boost as you start to look better and people notice how fit you are getting.
- Your blood pressure will get lower. People who exercise regularly don’t experience as much of a rise in blood pressure during stressful situations as couch potatoes do.
- Movement also eases chronic pain. Getting your body moving helps keep your muscles and joint limber and can lessen pain.
- Exercise helps relieve menopausal hot flushes by regulating your body’s rhythms.
- It improves your overall mood. Feeling blue or tense? A quick walk can improve your outlook.
- Being fit makes your glucose metabolism more efficient (lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes).
- It changes flab to muscles. And extra muscle means a faster metabolism, since muscle burns far more kilojoules than fat does—even when you’re sitting still.
- You’ll build a healthier heart and lower the risk of heart attacks.
- Exercise improves your cholesterol profile, bumping up the good and lowering the bad.
- Regular aerobic exercise improves your cardiovascular endurance. No more puffing when you climb the stairs.
- Your bones will grow denser with exercise, particularly with strength training and high-impact activities such as jogging.
- You’ll reduce your cancer risk. If you exercise regularly, you stand a good chance of reducing your risk of colorectal cancer, as well as lung, breast and prostate or uterine cancers.
- It stops you from gaining weight!
- It can prevent gallstones. Male or female, two to three hours of recreational exercise per week may lower your risk of developing gallstones by at least 20 percent.
- Exercise can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with arthritis.
- Moderate aerobic activity boosts immune system function.
- Benefit from a longer life span. You don’t have to exercise every day to add years to your life. In a 17-year study, people who exercised moderately for 30 minutes six or more times a month outlived those who were sedentary by a 43 percent margin.
- Thirty minutes a day is enough as long as you burn 4200-8400 kilojoules a week in activity—the equivalent to a daily 30-minute walk at 5.5 km per hour.
- You can pick the exercise you enjoy. Find out what you’re good at and what you like to do.
- You can choose your own workout hours according to your timetable. However, some studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning are most likely to stick with an exercise routine.
- Exercise can be a social activity. Take a walk with a friend, jog with a neighbour. You don’t have to do it alone!
- Warm up, cool down is simple to do. Start each exercise session with a warm-up: five to 10 minutes of moderate aerobic activity that heats up your muscles. Cool-down with some stretches designed to loosen up the muscles you’ve just exercised.
- You can choose your own wardrobe and dress for comfort. Layers work, especially for outdoors.
- Whatever sport you choose, there’s some pretty cool footwear out there.
- You can start at your own level. Start slow, think big. Start by working to just beyond your present fitness level, then gradually increase the duration, frequency and intensity of your activities.
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Originally Published: January 18, 2011