- Keeps your weight under control, which reduces stress on your joints, especially your hips and knees.
- Maintains your muscle strength to help prevent arthritis and keep your joints flexible and protect them from damage.
- Releases endorphins, which act as your body’s natural pain medication.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
Exercise benefits include low blood pressure, strong muscles, weight control and stress reduction. Walking, sports and aerobic classes are just a few of the exercises that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
1 AnswerWhile weekend exercise might be tempting, it can be dangerous due to the risk of injury. Shoot for regular exercise, which not only keeps you ready for those weekend pickup games, but also offers these important benefits:
1 AnswerFitness as a teen boosts cardio health well into adulthood. According to a large Swedish study of 750,000 men, being aerobically fit as a teen significantly decreases the risk of heart attack into the adult years. Every 15% increase in fitness is associated with an 18% reduced risk of heart attack as long as 30 years into adulthood.
1 AnswerHealthCorps answeredA recent study looked at a group of individuals who were over age 60 and at risk for diabetes. One half of the group took a 45-minute walk after dinner, while the other group took a 15-minute walk after each meal of the day. In both groups, walking (regardless of duration) right after a meal helped to lower the blood sugar spike associated with meals. Experts also suggest that walking after dinner can also help you to relax and prepare your body for sleep.
1 AnswerStaying physically active increases your likelihood of staying socially connected. In a study of 6,500 older adults there was a linear relationship between levels of walking, biking or gardening and the number of social contacts.
1 AnswerPlaying at anaerobic levels is a great way to get in peak shape. It doesn’t do anything for longevity, or probably for overall health, but it’s great for vim, vigor and pure fitness. Don’t bother with it until you get into pretty good basic shape, then add in interval training a couple of times a week.
1 AnswerThe real benefits of exercise come with months and years of sustained, steady growth.
Long, slow exercise builds your muscles, heart and circulation, mobilizes your fat stores and then goes beyond that to let your body heal. Long, slow exercise is the opposite of the chronic inflammation of modern living. It’s the tide of youth.
With training, you can easily double the circulatory and mitochondrial capacity you had before you started. Several months of long, slow exercise will turn you into a happy, Zen-like powerhouse of aerobic capacity. Zen-like because your brain does not know you’re walking on the treadmill. It thinks you’re foraging, and it moves automatically into the chemical state where your mind is engaged but relaxed. Your thinking is clear; your mood is calmer and more alive than it was at rest. Your brain wave patterns on an EEG are similar to meditation states, and for good reason -- this is the pace you used in nature when the threat was low.
What’s interesting is that the actual pathways of relaxation and focus in your brain become stronger with use. Long-term memory improves with regular exercise, and the risk of Alzheimer’s drops. Long hikes and long, easy bike rides are enjoyable kinds of low aerobics because frankly it’s pretty tedious walking slowly on the treadmill for an hour or more.
1 AnswerMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredFor years, doctors have been telling people that any sort of physical activity before bed was counteractive to a good night’s sleep. But the latest research shows that nighttime exercise can actually help you wind down and decompress. Mild nighttime activity also helps lower your body temperature, which helps you fall asleep faster.
You don’t need to do a full exercise routine; a quick workout like simple stretching or holding the plank position is a good way to slowly increase your heart rate without energizing you too much before bed. Every day, you’ll wake up fitter and better rested -- a win-win combination for your health and a more youthful appearance.
1 AnswerEva Cwynar, MD, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answeredGetting rid of toxins in the body will give you more energy. So here's another reason to exercise: exercise accelerates the detoxification process. Exercise pushes the blood to circulate more efficiently through the body, allowing nutrients to more easily reach all the organs and muscles. At the same time, exercise helps lymph fluids circulate through the body, which removes toxins and other harmful materials. When you exercise, you naturally take in more oxygen; to make room for the added oxygen, your cells kick out toxins that are taking up space. When you exercise properly, you build up a sweat and toxins are released through the pores of the skin.
Find out more about this book:The Fatigue Solution: Increase Your Energy in Eight Easy Steps
1 AnswerSeems obvious, but regular physical activity has a more direct effect on your eating habits than you may realize. Scientists have recently discovered that exercise can strengthen the part of the brain responsible for inhibitory control. Said the researchers in the journal Obesity Reviews: "Increased physical activity may help compensate and suppress the hedonic drive to overeat."
1 AnswerFourteen hours -- that's how long one study found that your body continues to burn calories after 45 minutes of vigorous exercise. The study, published by the American College of Sports Medicine, defined vigorous exercise as 73% of maximal oxygen uptake.