When taking part in a new exercise plan, you’ll often notice key physical benefits, far before you recognize any mental benefits. The truth is, exercise promotes total wellness — supporting both aspects of your health. From a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease to enhanced cognitive function, your workout is offering up more benefits than you think.
The Physical Benefits of Exercise
Let’s start with some of the physical benefits that are commonly associated with exercise. After all, a large portion of the population begins to workout in order to lose weight or reduce their risk of disease. On that note, here are some of the MANY benefits of working out.
A healthy weight will instantly reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so much more. As obesity rates rise, it’s imperative that more individuals take part in a healthy diet and exercise plan. When you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, you’re protecting your future.
Helping you burn calories as you gain lean muscle mass, this helps you boost your resting metabolic rate. Start small, increasing the level of intensity week after week. Also, in order to maximize weight loss, you’ll also want to eat right and utilize the benefits of natural supplements.
Each year in the UK, approximately 73,000 people die from heart disease. Although there are many contributing factors, an unhealthy lifestyle significantly increases your risk. As you exercise, you will help target key factors that often lead to heart health complications — including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Exercise stimulates blood flow, all while strengthening the muscles in your heart. Research has shown that regular exercise helps prevent and better manage a wide list of conditions, including arthritis, cancer, diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome, and much more.
Increase Vitamin D Intake
For those who enjoy working out in the great outdoors, you will not only improve your level of fitness, but also reduce your risk of a vitamin D deficiency. With so many people working in offices, it can be tough to get enough of the sunshine vitamin. Without, it you would not be able to maintain your bones and teeth — or properly absorb calcium and phosphorus.
The Mental Benefits of Exercise
Now, the not so obvious benefits — those that influence mental health. Of course, everyone has heard of the connection between exercise and mood, as physical activity increases key ‘feel-good’ hormones in the brain. This leads to feelings of relaxation and happiness — but did you know that exercise can also:
As you exercise, you’re able to enhance cognitive processing. In fact, exercise has been shown to influence cognition decades down the road. It’s been found that young adults who participate in aerobic activities, are able to preserve memory and thinking skills into middle age.
Similarly, it’s been found that regular exercise during midlife, may also protect individuals from dementia in their elder years. Although we’re still learning more and more about the brain each day, it’s believed that exercise increases neurotrophic factor, stimulating the growth of new neurons.
Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety
Our modern lives have exposed us to increasing levels of stress, resulting in a number of potentially dangerous health effects. As mentioned, exercise stimulates the production and release of endorphins, helping us feel happier and less stressed. In fact, research has shown that just 30 minutes of exercise, 3-5 times weekly, can make a significant difference.
From enhanced liver function to increased self confidence, there are so many holistic benefits that result from a regular exercise plan. Taking control of your health is most certainly possible — all you need to do is set goals and take action. If you’re just starting out, set small, achievable goals.
This will help you build your confidences and fitness levels, ensuring a sustainable workout routine. As time passes, set new goals, really challenging yourself. Also, be sure to follow a clean diet, as this will not only boost your health, but also fuel your body so that you can train harder.