It seems like everyday there is a new article or study that is published that shares with us another benefit of exercise. The aim of this article is to summarize some of the more important benefits of exercise and why you should start an exercise program as soon as possible.
Probably the most popular reason people exercise is to lose weight or maintain the body shape they currently have. A major benefit of exercise is that it increases the body's metabolic rate. Not only does your body become more efficient at burning calories during exercise, but the body also adapts to have a higher metabolic rate at rest, increasing the amount of calories that are consumed even when we are sitting around and watching the television. Remember, the simple weight formula is that our weight balance is equal to the calories we take in minus the calories that are burned. The more exercise we do, the greater the chance of losing more weight.
Another benefit of exercise is the profound effect that it has on the mind. Exercise not only increases blood flow to the brain, increasing alertness and memory capabilities, but it also causes the relief of endorphins and the neurotransmitter, serotonin. There is evidence to show that exercise can decrease one's stress levels, reverse or decrease depression and anxiety, improve sleep, and produce a general improvement in overall mood. There have now been studies released to show that elderly patients who suffer from Dementia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease may substantially benefit from an exercise program by slowing the progression of brain degradation.
Exercise is fantastic at preventing disease processes from taking hold of the body. There is a growing pile of evidence that exercise can decrease the probability of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and even gum disease. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the physiological reasons for these effects, but it is important to note that 80% of people will die from either cancer or heart disease. Regular exercise can greatly reduce the chances that we will succumb to one of these diseases, or at the very least, prevent these disease states from occurring earlier in life. Exercise can also help to boost the immune function of the body.
If one has been afflicted by a disease there is good chance that some regular exercise may be able to slow, stop, or even reverse the progression of the disease. Exercise has been shown to reduce blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, and the tendency for blood to clot in the blood vessels. All of these features are extremely helpful in slowing or reversing heart disease and the chances of a stroke. If afflicted with osteoporosis, exercise can work to strengthen the bones and increase bone density.
Some of the other benefits of exercise are:
- Increase the efficiency of the digestive system which is thought to reduce the incidence of colon cancer
- About a 50% reduction in the risk of a women developing endometriosis
- Increase balance and coordination
- Increased lung capacity
Everybody has different a different motivation when beginning an exercise program or finding motivation to continue one. This list should give you more than enough reasons to get started.