There is no denying that exercise is good for you, and whilst there are obvious benefits for your physical wellbeing, exercise also has some really great impacts for your mental health, mindset and more. I often read about the well know benefits of exercising regularly, such as weight loss, building muscle, improving fitness levels and building up stamina. However, all too often people aren’t fully aware of the extent of the long-term health benefits that can be enjoyed through exercise.
Understanding the huge range of benefits for mind, body and spirit that can be unlocked through exercising is a great way to motivate you to take that first step and do that first session, whether you are planning skiing in Italy, running in your local village, using exercise bikes at the gym or doing yoga at home. I have written this article to help you better understand the connections between exercise and a healthy body and mind.
The benefits of exercise for your body and mind
Exercising to help with weight loss
Many people when asked about their weight say that they would like to either lose weight or maintain their current weight. Exercising regularly is a great answer to this – every single time you go out walking, running, or to the gym, you’re burning calories. Match this with a good diet and you’ll end up consuming less than what you’re burning off doing all those exercises you love to hate!
Improving mental health and making you feel happier
Mental health is a key issue that is, quite rightly, being brought more into discussion recently. Whether the subject of mental health is something that has come up in your working life, personal life or both, we all know someone who has been affected, and it’s great that people are beginning to talk more openly about a topic that deserves some much-needed attention, without fear of stigma.
Taking part in fitness can really help with your mental health, and it’s proven to actually make you feel happier. Hormones called endorphins are released when you do any form of exercise, and they trigger a similar reaction to morphine within your body, leaving you feeling happier. Taking part in regular exercise can also help to reduce stress and feelings of depression.
Exercising to keep your mind sharp and improve your memory
Exercising on a consistent basis can have a great impact on your brain and cognitive function. Whilst people normally only associate exercise with growing and flexing your muscles, it can also help to flex the grey matter too. In fact, exercising helps the body stimulate multiple growth factors, one of which is the hormones in the brain that links to brain cells and the growth of lots of new blood vessels in the brain. As a result, exercise actually improves and helps to grow the section of your brain which helps control thinking and memory.
Why is exercise good for you?
Increasing your energy levels
There are several studies that show that people who take part in regular exercise reported having the feeling of more energy or less fatigue compared to those who didn’t exercise. This is because exercise helps to make your cardiovascular system work more efficiently by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. The end result? You can now go shopping, climb stairs and do all your daily routines without feeling sluggish or out of breath!
Exercising to reduce the risk of heart disease
Heart disease is one of the biggest causes of death in the UK, making it a very worrying prospect for anyone concerned about their cardiovascular health. Exercise can help though, and doctors and fitness professionals all agree that being active and healthy helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. People who exercise regularly show reduced blood pressure, an increase in HDL (the good cholesterol in your body that helps to remove other forms of bad cholesterol), and a decrease in things like triglycerides (which is a type of fat found in your blood).
Why exercise is important – and how you can get started
So, after reading about all the great benefits of exercise, for both your physical and mental health, I’m sure that you’re pumped to start your fitness journey so take a look at some exercise tips here.
I know that taking the first step on any fitness journey, however big or small your goals can be daunting. If you head back to the fitness coach page, I’ve put together some helpful articles to steer you in the right direction.