Engaging in the habit of regular exercise has also been found to improve your mood, decrease anxiety, decrease the effects of stress and raise self-confidence.
Why then do many of us abandon exercise programs so soon after taking them on? How can we maintain the motivation needed to make it an ongoing habit?
Read on and discover the enormous benefits that regular exercise provides and you will be more than convinced to integrate it into your daily routine.
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What is needed to begin an exercise program?
Two things not needed to obtain the benefits of exercise are investing in a health club membership, or purchasing extravagant exercise equipment. Likewise, while vigorous and sweat inducing activity is good, psychological well-being does not depend upon the intensity or duration of a workout. More important is the ability to maintain an exercise routine. If you can keep up your program for a minimum of two months, you’re on your way to reaping the benefits. Not only will it get easier, but you will probably end up enjoying it and will want to continue.
Benefits of Regular Exercise:
Improves physical health and quality of life – Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of premature death from heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and colon and breast cancers. It increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or good cholesterol) while decreasing triglycerides. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Overall it increases resistance to various diseases by bolstering the immune system.
Improves psychological well-being – Regular exercise improves your mood and reduces the likelihood of depression and anxiety. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals (endorphins) that usually leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You will not only feel better, but look better when you exercise regularly which, in turn, boosts confidence and self-esteem. You derive self-confidence both from looking great by being toned and fit, and from knowing that you put in the work and effort to get there.
Increases your energy levels – Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. It helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently by circulating blood through your heart and blood vessels. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you’ll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.
Helps you manage your weight – Needless to say, when you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. When you burn more calories than you take in, you lose weight. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during your lunch break, or just moving around more can help add to your exercise output.
Promotes better sleep – Regular exercise helps you fall asleep faster and into a more deep sleep. Sleep is brought on by chemicals released in your body which are a by-product of your body burning sugar for fuel during the day. The more sugar you burn through exercise and physical activity, the more of these chemicals are released, thus helping you sleep better and deeper. Regular exercise also improves the transition between the cycles and phases of sleep and they become smoother and more regular. Ultimately, your productivity, mood and concentration are greatly enhanced when you are well-rested.
Other Benefits of Regular Exercise
Helps maintain and increase muscle strength, improves balance, coordination, reaction time and flexibility; can even improve mental concentration.
Prevents muscle decay. Inactive people lose muscle fiber at a rate of 3% to 5% every decade after age 30 which amounts to a loss of 30% of muscle fiber by age 60.
Reduces incidence of many illnesses.
Research suggests that regular exercise can reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 50% and may considerably reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Relieves symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and therefore reduces the need for medication.
Helps control hypertension, high blood cholesterol and diabetes.
Reduces the risk of accidental injury and shortens the recovery period from accident and illness.