Exercise is an important part of getting and staying healthier. We’ve all heard this message in one form or another over the years. However, many of us still don’t really understand how exercise impacts our health or even what it takes. When we think of exercise, many of us envision hours spent every day in a gym lifting weights or doing cardio to trim down or to build large muscles so we can look “sexier”.
But the fact is that by simply being active 20-30 minutes per day, whether by taking a stroll around the block or by working in a garden, we can enjoy health benefits that impact far more than our outward appearance. Not only can we improve our awareness, we can also improve both our physical and mental health in a number of important ways. Here's a quick overview of just how exercise or staying active can help you with getting and staying healthier:
Improves Your Awareness:
Exercise or increased activity is great for getting in touch with your body to assess your physical strengths and weaknesses. The more active you are, the more aware you become of specific pain points, areas of relative weakness and any balance issues that need to be treated, strengthened or simply monitored. Remember, awareness is the first step to improvement.
Boosts Your Metabolism and Burns Additional Calories:
Our metabolism is what determines how efficiently our body burns fuel (i.e., the food we eat). The more active we are, the faster our metabolism will be, the more efficiently our body will burn our food and the more total calories we’ll burn. Obviously, the less active we are, the slower our metabolism will be and the fewer total calories we’ll burn. Engaging in regular physical activity each day will help keep your metabolism revved up and will help you to burn more calories each day. This will help to keep your weight in check and help you avoid gaining those extra pounds that can lead to a variety of health concerns.
Improves Your Cardiovascular Health:
Being active helps get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. And it doesn't matter if it's from going for a walk, playing tag with the kids or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. When done on a regular basis and at a sustained level, this type of activity is can help to improve your cardiovascular health. Improving the functioning of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system can help to support a more active lifestyle and can go a long way to preventing heart disease and other related conditions.
Improves Your Muscle Tone and Muscle Mass:
As we age, we naturally begin losing both muscle tone and muscle mass. Not surprisingly, the more inactive we are the faster this takes place and the smaller and weaker our muscles become. By exercising or staying active, we able to ensure a steady and higher level of blood flow to our muscles which helps to maintain both size and strength. This is extremely important, especially as we age, for protecting our bones and joints and for allowing us to continue to perform daily tasks without risk of injury.
Keeps Your Muscles and Joints Flexible:
A loss of flexibility and increased stiffness in our muscles and joints is another by-product of the again process. With reduced flexibility comes reduced range of motion, balance and mobility. This can lead to an increased risk of injury. By staying active, especially if that includes some simple stretching, you can help to slow this process and maintain elasticity in the muscles and tendons that support your joints.
Reduces Your Stress:
There’s no doubt that life can be stressful. It’s also clear that stress, especially if it’s sustained over an extended period of time, can negatively impact our overall health and wellbeing. However, just as exercise is good for our physical well being, it’s also good for our mental health. Even for short periods of activity can boost our dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels, which boosts focus, attention and helps to reduce anxiety, depression, and feelings of negativity.
Encourages Healthier Choices:
The more active we are, the more energy we have and the better we feel both physically and mentally. This also makes us more likely to make healthier food choices. These choices, ultimately, create a snowball effect of increased activity, improved health and wellbeing and continued healthier choices.
Boosts Your Confidence:
Being active can have a profoundly positive effect on your confidence. It can be from a short stroll , trying a quick yoga video, or even a few strength training activities. Even a small amount of physical activity can help you feel better about yourself. And it can prove to you that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
As we get older and take on more stress, our bodies naturally become less efficient. Combine this natural decline with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and our overall physical and mental health is affected. The good news is that we can do something about it. Just a little bit of exercise in our daily routine, we can enjoy significant physical and mental health benefits. And these can make a big difference when it comes to getting and staying healthier.
If you need help with improving your physical and mental wellbeing through exercise or increased activity, Physiomed can help. Contact us today and let us show you why, at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.