19 Benefits Of Physical Activity And Regular Exercise

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Low physical activity has been associated with numerous diseases such as diabetes, obesity,  osteoporosis, mental stress, cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia, and numerous forms of cancers. As such, these diseases are called lifestyle diseases as their onset often tend to be associated with a lack of physical activity lifestyle.

Regular exercise and physical activity have numerous benefits.

Below are various benefits of physical activities and regular exercise;

1. Lose Weight


For most people, the number one reason they engage in any physical activity is to lose weight. Women, for instance, want to fit in certain dresses or, generally, to look fit and attractive. Studies have shown that moderate physical exercises may not help in weight loss. However, intense physical exercises together with a balanced healthy diet can help in weight loss to a large extent.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925973/)

2. Improve Your Sex Life

According to a study, regular exercise helps to improve blood flow to your genital areas improving sensitivity, especially for women. Men, on the other hand, can benefit from exercising because of improved energy levels and lowered erectile dysfunction.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29606554)

3. Boost Memory


If you are constantly forgetting your keys or people’s names, the problem could be lack of exercise. A physical activity, such as skipping rope, helps to increase your heart rate, increasing blood flow to your brain cells. Exercise also helps in the production of hormones responsible for the growth of brain cells. A recent study on the effect of exercises on brain memory indicated that people who exercise more often had a bigger hippocampus, (part of the brain responsible for memory retention) than those who don’t exercise.
(https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2018/10/02/study-suggests-light-exercise-helps-memory/)

4. Get Stronger


Day to day physical tasks such as cooking, cleaning, lifting cupboards etc. require a physically fit body. Regularly exercising can help you perform these tasks easily and with a smile on your face. Exercises, such as weight training, helps to build muscles and improve body mass. Stretching, on the other hand, improves flexibility and aides easy blood flow to your muscles enabling a quick recovery. Becoming more strong and flexible is important as you age.
(https://smokefree.gov/stay-smokefree-good/get-active/grow-stronger-through-exercise)

5. Depression And Anxiety


It is not a secret that stressed people tend to work out more vigorously to blow off steam caused by stressing situations or circumstances. The truth is that physical activities can greatly improve your mood, relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. This is because exercise causes your body to release feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins, that improve your mood. Research also indicates that aerobic exercises help to alleviate the effects of depression.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21495519)

6. Prevent Illness


People that exercise more often are less likely to fall sick than those who don’t. Exercising improves your heart beat which in turn helps improve blood flow to all parts of your body. This helps to prevent illnesses because blood contains white blood cells that are responsible for fighting infections.
(https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm)

7. Reduced Risk Of Heart Disease


Regular physical exercise can greatly reduce the occurrence of heart disease in the following ways: lowers blood pressure enabling blood to move easily, increases production of good cholesterol, prevents blood clots that can cause heart attacks and enhances fat loss all of which are important in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396114/)

8. Prevents Cancer


Research has proven that routine physical exercises are effective in reducing the development of cancer, especially breast and colon cancer. Physically fit men and women are less likely to develop any type of cancer as compared to their inactive counterparts in the same age bracket. Evidence has also shown that people suffering from cancer can improve the quality of their lives through physical activities.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576469/)

9. Helpful During Pregnancy


Moderate physical activity can help in managing mood swings that come along with pregnancy and improve the mother’s well being. Exercises such as brisk walking and aerobics are known to maintain healthy lungs and heart. Pregnant women should start an exercise routine slowly that is from less intense exercises to more intense with time to enjoy the full benefits of physical exercise.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4622376/)

10. Boost Your Energy Levels

Think of the time when you felt tired and exhausted. Your number one reaction was to take a bath and rest. Well, science suggests otherwise. When your sugar levels are down, it is to best engage in a physical exercise, it doesn’t have to be intense. Exercising will help break down fats stored in your body hence releasing sugars into your bloodstream. The result is a more energized person.

11. Increase Self Esteem

Obesity, body weakness and excess body fat around the body can significantly affect one’s self-confidence, leading to a feeling of unworthiness and rejection. Studies have revealed that by only engaging in one exercise a day, you can trick your brain into thinking that you are physically fit. Furthermore, with regular exercising, your body would burn excess calories, become stronger and eventually build real physical fitness which, in turn, would lead to improved self-esteem.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6376132)

12. Longer Life

People who engage in regular physical activities live longer according to research. Exercise helps to keep their minds sharp and active, their flesh and bones stronger, hence slowing down the aging process. Moreover, lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and hypertension rarely invade physically fit bodies. If you want to live longer, consider engaging in physical activities.

13. Helps Reduce Chronic Pain


In the past, rest and a state of inactivity was the recommended cure for chronic pain. But recent studies indicate that exercising helps mitigate chronic pain significantly. Pain associated with health conditions, such as low back pain and shoulder disorder, can be controlled through exercise. Additionally, exercise helps your body to increase pain tolerance which is important for your well being.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5461882/)

14. Prevents High Blood Pressure


High blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This is usually because of the narrowing of arteries caused by fat. By exercising regularly, you can decrease the amount of body fat in your body which in turn widens your arteries. Usually, the risk of hypertension increases as you become fatter.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1499574/)

15. Balance Cholesterol Levels


For a moderately healthy person, it is important to balance your cholesterol levels. There are two types; good cholesterols (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). Good cholesterol helps you to carry out your daily activities with ease while bad cholesterol is harmful to your health. Research has shown that by exercising regularly, your body can maintain an optimal balance between good and bad cholesterol.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25014391)

16. Discover Your Potential

The only way to know whether you can run in the Olympics or become the world’s best basketball player is through exercising. Footballers and other sports people engage in physical exercises all the time to enhance their talents and abilities. A regular person can also engage in physical exercises to discover their abilities.

17. Sleep Easier


Are you prone to turning and tossing all night in your bed? Consider adopting an exercise routine into your daily or weekly schedule. Studies indicate that people who do moderate to intense exercises sleep better at night. Exercising helps to keep you active and sharp throughout the day allowing you to rest at night. Additionally, your body temperature rises during exercise and drops sharply at rest. This, in turn, enhances and improves the quality of sleep.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15892929)

18. Improves Skin Health


A smooth, healthy skin can be achieved through exercise. Exercise increases heart beats consequently increasing blood flow which is required in nourishing the skin cells with essential nutrients. Blood flow also helps in transporting waste products from the skin for disposal. Moreover, exercise relieves stress leaving you feeling radiant and confident.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1549024)

19. Helps You Have Fun

After all, is said and done, what better way to have fun than to engage in physical exercises with family and friends? People around the world meet to compete in games such short races, skipping ropes, playing golf, hockey, etc. This provides opportunities for families to bond and enjoy good times together in addition to gaining all the health benefits discussed above.

 

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