Lately I’ve been coming out of a period of time where I’ve had several nagging physical issues.
Lower back, as you know if you’re a regular. Knee soreness, shin splints, all of those little things that try to convince you to step away from activity. But like I said, I’m starting to get back to my normal intensity, normal distances, normal weights, etc.
You get the idea, right?
And so I’ve been all kinds of happy about kinda being “back”. Because of all of the benefits of regular activity. Like….
…actually, what are the benefits of regular activity, aside from getting my fix of endorphins?
Well, let’s take a look at that. I think I know at least some of the benefits. But how’s about I take a more thorough look at the subject. So what I’ve done is researched the preventative benefits of activity. Maybe you already know all of this. But maybe there’s actually something new under the sun
So in no particular order, here’s what I came up with.
First the obvious stuff;
Weight management.Obesity is a leading cause of health issues like diabetes and heart disease. By exercising regularly, you can maintain a healthy weight and decrease your chances of serious diseases.
Brain health.Exercise increases the flow of blood to your brain, helping to keep it healthy. With diseases like Alzheimer’s on the rise, exercise can help keep you sharp in old age.
Mental health.Don’t overlook the benefit exercise has on your mental health. Exercise is not just a great stress reliever, it has been proven to help people with symptoms of depression and anxiety as well. Going for a run and blowing off steam has saved lives in my experience.
My life and the lives of others. Seriously.
Stronger bones and joints.
Keeping your body moving helps keep it limber and strong. As you age, your bones become weaker and your joints can become sore. Regularly exercising can help strengthen your body and limit your pain as you age.
And here’s some less obvious benefits;
Evidence indicates that regular physical activity reduces the severity and occurrence of diseases related to unhealthy lifestyles, and is enormously beneficial to both cognitive functioning and general well-being. People with low levels of physical activity are at a higher risk of developing noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases as well as many types of cancer, depression and anxiety, and dementia.
If you’re at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, regular exercise can help delay or even prevent diabetes from developing. It helps Type 2 diabetics avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. It also helps them to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve weight control, and manage sleep and stress better.In a study published by BioMed Research International, researchers observed that moderate aerobic exercise before breakfast helps to lessen the rise of blood glucose.
Did you know that, Mister or Missus “I already know this Stuff” ?
Good. Then I’ll stop putting things in Bold
But that’s not all.
Variety is key: You should vary your fitness routine with walking, cardio, high-intensity interval training, muscle strength exercises, core strengthening, flexibility/balance training, etc. Because different types of activity have different types of benefits.
Anaerobic exercise, such as high intensity interval training (HIIT), focuses on a series of short, intense bursts of physical activity (usually one minute or less) followed by a short period of rest. These exercises strengthen bones and joints, increase lung capacity, contribute to a healthier heart, and build muscle. And as muscle mass increases, more fat is burned.
Let me say that last part again.
More fat is burned.
Yup. Good news, neh?
Aerobic exercises last longer than anaerobic; they’re usually 20 minutes or longer with a moderate level of intensity. Often referred to as “cardio exercises,” the heart rate and breathing rate increase and are sustained over a steady period of time. The heart and lungs become stronger and muscles are toned.
Some physical activities may focus on resistance training to build muscle, while others on movement, balance, and core strength (e.g., Pilates and Yoga). All play a part in a well-balanced fitness routine, stress reduction, and healthy living.
Also, when possible, it can be better to exercise outside because of the more holistic value of this experience (i.e. fresh air, sun, green grass, trees, social interaction, women runners, running shorts, crop tops….
….but I digress…
Oh, and one more thing I learned this week….
Research shows a sedentary life may lead to twice as many early deaths as obesity, (I had to use bold on that, sorry) so the key is to engage in some form of physical activity on a regular basis. Thirty minutes of activity at least five days a week is preferable. You can even break it up into fifteen-minute intervals twice a day.
There, if that doesn’t present a good argument for getting up out of that chair and getting your keister in gear once or twice a day, I don’t know what will.
Actually, yes I do know what else will…
…Type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, heart attacks / strokes…..
The phrase that comes to mind in “a word to the wise”.
And I know it.