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Exercise and wellbeing

PHOTO: blog.aarp.org

PHOTO: blog.aarp.org

If you are one of those who think exercise is a waste of time and of no benefits at all to the body, you might have to have a rethink. This is considering the immense advantages and benefits of regular exercise to the overall health and wellbeing of the body.

Research shows that regular physical activity can improve your overall quality of life as well as reduce risks for several diseases and health conditions. Besides, exercise will make you feel better, have more energy and even live longer.

To health experts, regular physical activity can help protect from some health problems such as high blood pressure. It does this by reducing body fat which is associated with high blood pressure. So, those with high BP can benefit from regular exercise, experts note.

Exercise also controls weight. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. For the obese, exercise is very important as it helps reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Besides workouts at the gym, your body can benefit from other forms of exercise such as jogging, fast walking, running, playing games, taking the stairs (instead of the lift) among others.

Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening your heart muscle, lowering your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol), improving blood flow, and increasing your heart’s working capacity. Optimizing each of these factors can provide additional benefits of decreasing the risk for Peripheral Vascular Disease.

Self Esteem And Stress Management: Studies on the psychological effects of exercise have found that regular physical activity can improve your mood and the way you feel about yourself. Researchers have found that exercise is likely to reduce depression. Need an emotional lift or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

Exercise promotes better sleep
If you struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep, regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

Regular physical activity can help protect you from the following health problems:

High Blood Pressure: Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity reduces body fat, which is associated with high blood pressure.

Noninsulin-Dependent Diabetes: By reducing body fat, physical activity can help to prevent and control this type of diabetes.

Obesity: Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories. When physical activity is combined with proper nutrition, it can help control weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases.

Back Pain: By increasing muscle strength and endurance and improving flexibility and posture, regular exercise helps to prevent back pain.

Osteoporosis: Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.

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