Effects of Exercise
1. Good for the brain & body:
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Physical exercise is very good for both the brain and body, it’ll increase oxygen to your muscles, give you great pumping ability, keep your endurance up, and also makes you lose lots of weight (especially if you’re using a low carb diet).
2. Increased strength capacity:
Strength training will make you stronger all around, not just in one area or movement pattern like regular cardio does. Resistance exercises triggering muscle contractions against an external resistance (like barbell presses) can result in greater hypertrophy than those that don’t (like jogging), as well as being more metabolically expensive.
3. Increased bone mineral density:
Bone mineral density is closely linked with muscular strength. The stronger you are, the better your bones can handle physical stress, and the higher their density will be, as long as you have a good supply of calcium, vitamin D, and testosterone.
4. Decreased risk of certain diseases:
High-intensity training is very useful for preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular disease since it helps increase insulin sensitivity along with a decrease in body fat stores. There’s also evidence that HIIT is especially effective at reducing blood pressure compared to low-intensity exercise because the afterburn effect keeps your metabolism elevated for hours following each workout – thus burning more calories during this time.
In one study 10 men with type 2 diabetes were assigned either HIIT or MICT protocols three times per week for 6 weeks, with the HIIT group showing a significant reduction in average glycosylated hemoglobin levels.
5. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease:
Studies have suggested that there’s an inverse relationship between physical activity and coronary heart disease. In other words, more exercise means less chance of heart problems.
For every additional 7 MET-hours per week (one MET equals 1 calorie per kilogram body weight per hour) of leisure-time physical activity, 9% of cardiac deaths were prevented, while 11% were postponed until later in life or delayed until after age 75 years.
Although this is no conclusive evidence that cardiovascular disease can be avoided by simply exercising regularly, it is certainly suggestive enough to encourage people to get moving!
6. Increased cognitive function & memory:
You know that regular exercise is good for your heart, but it’s also extremely healthy for your brain. Research has substantiated the idea that exercising can improve cognitive function in addition to preventing age-related degeneration of the brain and nervous system.
One study looked at 90 older women with mild cognitive impairment who were assigned either a 6-month program of aerobic training, strength training, or balance and tone exercises (control group).
Those in the strength and aerobic groups showed significant improvements on tests measuring mental processing speed, executive function, word fluency; completing tasks quickly; divided attention; prospective memory; visuospatial ability (the ability to rotate objects in one’s mind), flexibility (mental multitasking); and memory.
7. Improved Quality of Life:
Your body is designed to move, so when you’re sedentary your health inevitably declines because the energy-producing mitochondria in every cell in your body degenerate over time. Even if you exercise regularly, sitting all day at work or while driving can reduce blood flow and compromise the efficiency of these cellular engines (mitochondria), which leads to tissue damage and potentially disease.
But it’s not just about avoiding cardiovascular disease; regular physical activity will also improve mood, decrease stress levels, increase self-esteem and confidence, improve sleep quality, boost motivation – resulting in improved general life satisfaction
8. Improved lung function:
Regular aerobic exercise makes your lungs work better – by strengthening the muscles that support your bronchi. In a study involving 20 obese adults, any type of physical activity (strength training, walking, cycling) for 3 months led to improvements in lung function and decreased airway resistance.
9. Improved hormonal profile:
Moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic workouts help balance cortisol levels while boosting testosterone and growth hormone production. In fact, one study compared a group of men assigned either HIIT or MICT protocols three times per week for 6 weeks.
The HIIT group showed a significant reduction in average glycosylated hemoglobin levels, suggesting that high-intensity exercise may be especially beneficial for people with diabetes mellitus type 2. The same group also had significantly higher serum-free testosterone and growth hormone levels after their workouts, which is indicative of improved hormonal status.
10. Reduced risk of hip fractures:
It’s a known fact that as we age our bones tend to become more fragile. And if you’re female, the risk increases dramatically after menopause due to decreased estrogen levels, putting women at greater risk for osteoporosis later in life. Yet regular exercise throughout your lifetime can help reduce this risk – regardless of whether you start early (in childhood) or later on (in adulthood).
One 10-year study followed 250 physically active and sedentary women and found that those who were physically active had less than half the risk of developing a hip fracture over the study period compared to sedentary women. And the benefits of exercise were similar regardless of age, weight, smoking status, or alcohol intake.
11. Improved immune function:
Exercise boosts your natural killer cells (cells that destroy tumors and virus-infected cells). Studies indicate that regular moderate to vigorous exercise has significant beneficial effects on immunity by increasing the number of NK cells in circulation without adversely affecting their cytotoxic capabilities (ability to kill viruses and cancerous cells).
12. Better quality sleep:
Regular aerobic exercise is known to improve both deep and REM sleep. It helps people fall asleep faster, improves sleep efficiency (percentage of time spent sleeping), improves blood oxygen saturation levels during sleep, enhances restorative processes during sleep, keeps you from waking up in the middle of the night, and enhances memory in the elderly.
13. Reduced risk of breast cancer:
According to research, physically active women had a 24% lower risk of developing breast cancer than inactive ones. Even women who took up activity during adulthood showed an 18% reduced risk compared with their sedentary counterparts.
14. Improved prostate health:
Men need aerobic exercise just as much as women do. One study found that men over 40 who exercised 5 or more times per week were 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer than those who exercised 0-1 times per week.
15. Better oral health:
People tend to brush and floss their teeth when they exercise because it’s convenient (you’re already at the gym). On top of that, increased blood flow to the gums helps clear away both bacteria and plaque. And since regular exercise is one of the tools in our arsenal for weight management, maintaining a healthy body weight can also cut your risk of oral cancer.
16. Fewer colds and flu:
I’ve always said that you don’t need to be thin to be fit – it’s better when you are fit AND thin! One study found that people who participated in moderate to vigorous aerobic activity were 30 percent less likely to get sick when exposed to a cold virus compared with their sedentary counterparts.
Another study has shown that when participants engaged in moderate-intensity physical activity (such as walking) for 20 minutes or more per day, they had a 50 percent lower risk of developing the common cold.
17. Better childhood health:
Some studies have shown that physically active kids perform better on intelligence and memory tests and behave better in class. Get them moving and their overall academic performance is likely to improve.
18. Improved self-esteem:
Exercising regularly will make you feel good about yourself because your body becomes fitter and healthier; it’s a proven fact that people who stay fit tend to be more positive about themselves than sedentary individuals are. And when you have high self-esteem, you are less likely to suffer from depression or other negative mood disorders.
19. Increased bone mass:
Bone formation increases when individual exercises, which helps prevent age-related bone loss and osteoporosis, a disease resulting from decreased bone density. Additionally, physical activity stimulates hormones that help the body absorb calcium (a key mineral for bone health). Studies show that people who participate in weight-bearing exercises retain more of their hip and spine bone mass – even during menopause.
20. Improved mood:
While no definitive evidence exists to prove it, many others would like to believe that exercise is an excellent way to make yourself feel better when you are down or depressed because it releases endorphins (the chemicals responsible for making you feel good after sex) into your system; this may explain why researchers have found that regular aerobic exercise is as effective as antidepressant medications in reducing symptoms of mild to moderate clinical depression.
21. Healthy pregnancy:
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who exercised during their pregnancies were less likely to have a baby that was too small for his or her gestational age and they also had shorter labor times than those who didn’t exercise as often.
If you are trying to get pregnant, regular physical activity may increase your chances as it promotes optimal fertility by improving blood flow through the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. At any rate, being active means better health for both mother and child during the nine months of pregnancy and beyond!
22. Reduced back pain:
Back pain is incredibly common more than eight out of 10 people will suffer from it at some point in their lives. Research has shown that exercising regularly reduces back pain and improves the function of the spine
23. More energy:
Once you get hooked on regular exercise, you’ll likely notice a significant increase in your vitality and energy level because exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body which keeps everything from your muscles to your brain healthy. Many studies have shown that not only can aerobic activity improve one’s mood, but it also increases energy levels by stimulating the release of endorphins.