10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Exercise Regularly
Exercise plays a major role in the health and well being of a person. There have been numerous studies that determine the fact that regular exercise has a positive impact on not only your body but your mind as well. So much so, that experts even agree that being physically active can go so far as to increase your lifespan by helping fight against serious diseases, either chronic or progressive.
Exercise can be anything that requires you to work out your muscles and burn calories. There are so many different types of exercise for you to choose from that you really have no excuse against it. Getting a gym membership isn’t the only way to get your dose of exercise! You could join your local swimming club, go for short walks every day, start your morning with a run, join a Zumba class, go dancing every weekend, join a local sports team, etc.
You can start with a few minutes of exercise per day a few days a week and slowly build-up to the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week. But one thing’s for sure: any exercise is better than no exercise and it will enhance the quality of your life dramatically. Here are 10 things that happen to your body when you exercise regularly.
1. Flex Your Muscles and Better Their Health
Exercise is a major player in building and maintaining of healthy bones and muscles. When coupled with a good amount of protein, activities such a weight lifting can stimulate muscle building since it releases hormones that facilitate the absorption of amino acids into your muscles. This thereby reduces their breakdown and helps in their growth.
In children, regular exercise helps build bone density, and also prevent osteoporosis as they grow older. Adults who exercise regularly can also help forestall or lessen muscle mass loss that occurs naturally as you age, which then helps keep further injuries or disabilities at bay.
2. Helps Lose Those Extra Pounds
Research has made it clear that a sedentary lifestyle is one of the major reasons for weight gain and obesity. This is because your body is using up less energy than it is getting, thereby packing on the pounds. There are three main ways in which your body uses up energy: food digestion, maintaining bodily functions, and physical activity.
This is why exercise is a far more effective way to lose weight than dieting. When you diet, your body receives fewer calories, which leads to a lower metabolic rate and slower weight loss. Exercise, on the other hand, boosts your metabolism. Furthermore, studies have even shown that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training can help increase fat loss.
3. Gives You An Energy Boost
Exercising for any length of time or intensity can give your energy levels a boost, regardless of if you’re in top-notch health or suffering from a medical condition. In fact, exercise has been determined to be an effective way of increasing the energy levels of those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). According to a study that followed 36 healthy people who complained of persistent fatigue, 6 weeks of regular exercise led to reduced feelings of tiredness.
Exercise can also help combat a range of other serious illnesses, from cancer, HIV/AIDS, and heart disease to progressive conditions like multiple sclerosis. It’s apparent that even if you feel tired, one of the best things to do is exercise!
4. Exercise Your Way To A Happier Life
When you exercise, your brain releases hormones such as serotonin and norepinephrine, known as “happy hormones”. This is one of the major reasons why exercise is recommended by doctors to those suffering from mental conditions like depression and anxiety. Even in healthy people, regular exercise can help alleviate your overall mood and keep stress levels down, since it alters the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety.
Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins, known to produce positive feelings and lower your perception of pain. Endorphins also help people be more aware of their mental state and keep their fears at bay. The best part about it is that it doesn’t even have to be intense exercise – any physical activity is good!
5. Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise is so important to leading a healthy lifestyle that a lack of it can be attributed to the onset of several chronic diseases and an increase in belly fat. Even a short term lack of regular exercise can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many more medical issues.
Being physically active has provides your body with several benefits, both physically and mentally, leading to a better lifestyle. Some such benefits include the improvement of insulin sensitivity, better heart health, a fit body, a happier mind, etc. It can also reduce blood pressure and blood fat levels.
6. Improving Brain Health and Memory
As we already spoke about, exercise affects the brain positively. But it’s not just a mood enhancer, it also aids in the betterment of several other brain functions from concentration and thinking skills to memory. Since exercise increases your heart rate, it also encourages oxygen flow to the brain. Furthermore, it also stimulates the production of hormones that are responsible for brain cell growth.
Exercise also boosts brain function of older adults, since aging can cause the degeneration of it. Another positive effect of exercise is that it makes the hippocampus of the brain grow, and that’s the part responsible for memory and learning. Since exercise can also prevent the onset of chronic and age-related diseases, it’s a must for aging adults. In fact, the sooner you get started, the better!
7. Better Skin
Aging occurs naturally, and one of the things that speed up the process is oxidative stress, which occurs when the body’s antioxidants defenses aren’t adequate enough to completely counteract the damage of free radicals on skin cells and their internal structure. This means that limiting oxidative stress can mean younger-looking skin.
Excessive physical activity has been shown to increase oxidative stress, but regular moderate exercise can be beneficial since it increases the production of natural antioxidants in your body. Furthermore, exercise also stimulates blood flow, which can benefit your skin cells and therefore, delay the effects of aging.
8. Better Sexual Function
Regular exercise can translate into a better time in bed! Yes, you heard that right. Since exercise promotes several health factors like better heart health, better blood circulation, muscle toning, enhanced flexibility, etc. it can lead to an improvement in sexual desire, function, and performance.
The positive effect of exercise on the sex life of both men and women has been well documented. In fact, it helps in the elimination of conditions that might hinder sexual activity. For instance, one study found that a simple 6-minute walk around the house was able to reduce erectile dysfunction in 41 men up to 71%! Similarly, women who suffered from polycystic ovarian syndrome reported an increase in their libido following a routine of resistance training for 16 weeks.
9. Increased Tolerance to Pain
In the olden days, doctors would recommend those that suffered from chronic pain to rest as much as possible. But today, they have made a complete 180 in opinion and have begun suggesting exercise as a remedy for chronic pain, thanks to several studies that show that inactivity is not the right way forward.
Research has concluded that exercise can even help reduce pain caused by several medical conditions from chronic lower back pain and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder to fibromyalgia and so much more. And the icing on the cake is that physical activity, even in healthy adults, can reduce pain perception and increase pain tolerance.
10. Better Sleep and Energy
Exercise can also help you get a better night’s rest, as it seems. Several studies have concluded that regardless of what type of exercise it is, it helps you sleep better at night by keeping you more energized during the daytime.
This effect occurs due to the increased energy depletion that takes place as a result of increased physical activity. As such, the body rests better as it needs recuperation. Furthermore, exercise also causes an increase in body temperature. When you sleep, this helps the body lower the body temperature, thereby inducing better sleep. Exercise for sleep can be especially beneficial for aging adults who naturally face issues with falling and staying asleep.