Exercise: Health Benefits

Exercise isn’t just something to do in order to get that body you want – it does a lot more.

Most of you might not consider the health benefits of exercise, you just want that body you’ve been working towards.

The truth is you may already know the benefits of a healthy exercise routine, and if you don’t, just knowing it’s good for you is enough. If you’re seeing results, do the benefits to your health concern you? Well if you’re putting in the effort, wouldn’t it be nice to see what you’re getting out of it?

Put it this way – some people go to work, and at the end of every month collect their salary and they are happy. Some people however want to see that the work they do helps others as well as making themselves happy. So some people exercise to see the results, but you may want to know what it is doing for yourself.

Here are some of the benefits (some are a bit obvious, I know)

  • Weight

Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. This in turn helps prevent all sorts of future complications, particularly with your heart. Other diseases (e.g. non-insulin dependent diabetes) are also preventable through regular exercise.

  • Stress Levels

It’s no coincidence that when you’re eating well and doing exercise that you feel good. Even in the short-term, exercise directly affects your brain which releases endorphins when you exercise creating the feeling of happiness. Exercise frequently enough and your brain will consistently produce these endorphins, which act as a naturally occurring ‘drug’. This over time reduces stress and makes you a much more pleasant person to be around.

  • Heart Healthiness

Aerobic exercise is any exercise that results in an increase of your heart rate. Regular aerobic exercise has been proven to lower blood pressure. The heart is a muscle, and just like any muscle, if you train it regularly it will perform more efficiently.

  • Cholesterol

That dreaded word – CHOLESTEROL. Just remember though, cholesterol can be considered ‘good’ or ‘bad’. LDL is the term for this ‘bad’ cholesterol – its presence in large quantities increases the risk of fat building up on the walls of your arteries. HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol does the exact opposite and prevents this build-up of fat. That’s right, you guessed it – regular exercise reduces the amount of LDL and increases HDL.

  • Bone Strength

The problem with your bones are that you never specifically train them. Think about it – do you follow leg day with bone day? Somehow I doubt it. Coupled with a good intake of calcium regular exercise does the ‘bone day’ for you, but not just once a week. Using your joints through running, or swimming, strengthens them and in turn the bones they join. Core skeletal strength is essential, especially if you’re training regularly as it helps prevent injuries obtained during sport as well as ones obtained in later life.

  • Brain Function

Exercising increases blood flow to the brain, which provides it with greater amounts of oxygen. This has been shown to help increase the production of other chemicals in the brain, including dopamine. So no, exercising probably won’t help you win Mastermind, but your brain will thank you in other ways.

The likelihood is that if you have been exercising regularly for a long period of time then you won’t notice that these things are taking place, you probably take them for granted. However exercising is essential, and in particular aerobically. So if you find yourself hogging the weights at the gym, or you notice you’re third in the queue, maybe try the treadmill for half an hour, your body will thank you for it later.


Ollie Lawrence
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