Exercise is Good for the Body & Mind

The moment we first engage in exercise, our bodies begin to experience the benefits of movement. At times, we may have a love/hate relationship with exercise. But rather than thinking of it as a chore, we should be grateful that we can exercise and to focus on the physical and mental benefits that we receive. We only get one body and it’s important to do what we can to take care of it.

Physical Benefits

  1. Exercise increases the heart rate, which strengthens the heart and lungs. It also helps lower blood pressure and decreases your resting heart rate. The less our heart must work, the healthier our heart is.
  2. When exercising, you burn calories helping to maintain a healthy body weight. You build more muscle through exercise, which helps burn fat and calories long after the exercise session in over.
  3. Exercise boosts the immune system by releasing immunoglobulins which fight off the flu, colds and other illnesses.
  4. Regular physical activity promotes better sleep by helping us fall asleep faster and to sleep deeper.
  5. By exercising regularly, you reduce your risk of many diseases including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Mental Benefits

The psychological benefits of exercise are just as important as the physical. Have you ever noticed that you didn’t feel like engaging in exercise, but then once you finished you felt so much better and more energized? I’ve always told myself that “the hardest step is the one out the door.”  

  1. Exercise releases endorphins in our body which make us feel happier and improves our mood.
  2. Exercise reduces stress and can be a great way to cope with stress.
  3. The same endorphins that improve our mood, also flood our body to create more energy and motivate us.
  4. Regular exercise improves our confidence in our physical abilities. One of the reasons that I love to exercise is to keep my body strong. So, when opportunities present themselves to engage in physical activities with friends or to try a new activity, I’m ready to get onboard.
  5. Exercise helps improve our body image therefore boosting self-esteem and self-confidence.
  6. Exercise produces more energy and allows us to tap into our creativity. I know I’ve personally experienced a jolt of creativity right in the middle of a workout and have come up with blog ideas, solutions to problems or new ways to think about something.
  7. Physical activities can be social and a great way to connect with friends. Exercise can also be fun option to mix up gatherings with friends or to support a local charity in a walk/run.

Exercise is very personal and the same types of workouts that motivate one person may cause another to cringe. I encourage you to discover what types of physical activities you enjoy and to engage in them. I also recommend engaging in a variety of physical activities to train different muscle groups and to help from getting bored. It is suggested that for the most well-rounded level of fitness that you engage in strength training and cardiovascular activities. The Mayo Clinic recommends that average adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly. They also recommend strength training all major muscle groups a minimum of twice per week.

Movement is medicine for the body and is not something to take for granted. So, get out there and start exercising today (if your doctor is supportive). If you’re looking for ideas to move daily, read “Movement is Medicine“. And for those of you that are looking for ways to change things up with your fitness routine, check out this post on “Ways to Spice Up Your Fitness Routine”.

“The groundwork of all happiness is good health.”

L. Hunt

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