- Regular exercise is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health, as well as for overall well-being. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of premature death by 28%. Conversely, sedentary behavior increases the risk of death by about 60%.
- Exercise and being active is not just about losing weight or building muscles. It’s a holistic way to maintain overall well-being. Exercise can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles and bones, prevent chronic diseases, improve mood, reduce stress and anxiety, boost self-esteem, and improve overall quality of life.
- Finding time to exercise is a challenge for many people but it’s important to prioritize being active. Fortunately, there are many ways to fit exercise or activity into a busy schedule.
Did you know that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of premature death by roughly 28%? In fact, just 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, in sessions of just 10 minutes or more, can have a significant impact on your overall health. Unfortunately, with work, family, and social commitments all vying for our attention, many of us often struggle with making physical activity a priority. If you’ve been struggling with finding time to exercise or get more active, here are some key things you should know that could help to change your life for the better.
Prioritizing Exercise To Improve Your Health & Quality of Life
Exercise is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Not only is it good for our physical health, it also helps to improve our mental health and our emotional well-being.
1. Physical Benefits
Regular exercise is widely regarded as essential for maintaining good physical health and preventing chronic diseases. Here are a few specific examples of how being more active can impact your physical health:
- Improved Cardiovascular Health: Exercise can improve cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure, and reducing your risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking or cycling, five days a week can lower the risk of heart disease by 30%.
- Stronger Muscles and Bones: Exercise can help build muscle mass and strengthen bones, which can help prevent osteoporosis and related fractures. Resistance exercises, in particular, such as weight lifting and bodyweight exercises, are particularly effective in building muscle and bone strength.
- Chronic Disease Prevention: Regular exercise can help prevent a variety of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and stroke. Studies have shown that physically active people have a lower risk of developing these diseases than do those who lead a more sedentary life.
2. Mental Health Benefits
Regular exercise not only benefits our bodies, it also has a positive impact on our mental health. Research shows that those who exercise regularly have a 30% lower risk of depression when compared to those who don’t exercise at all. Here are a few specific mental health benefits that come with regular exercise or activity:
- Improved Mood: Exercise can improve mood by releasing endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. This is why many people feel a sense of euphoria or a “runner’s high” after exercising or being active.
- Reduced Stress & Anxiety: Exercise can help reduce stress & anxiety by improving the way our body responds to stress. Regular physical activity helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increases the production of endorphins, which helps to reduce feelings of stress & anxiety.
- Improved Self-Esteem: Exercise can also improve our self-esteem and body image by helping us feel better about our physical appearance and our capability. When we feel better about our body, we often feel more confident and optimistic about life in general.
3. Quality of Life Benefits
In addition to improving our physical and mental health, regular exercise also enhances our quality of life. Here are a few specific ways that being more active can impact our quality of life:
- Improved Sleep: Exercise has been found to improve sleep quality, duration and overall sleep patterns. It can help reduce insomnia, and make us feel more refreshed and energized upon waking.
- Increased Energy: Regular physical activity can increase our energy levels and reduce our feelings of fatigue. This can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from chronic fatigue or other conditions that cause low energy levels.
- Enhanced Well-Being: Regular exercise can also contribute to overall life satisfaction and well-being. When we feel good about our physical health and abilities, we tend to have a more positive outlook on life. We also tend to feel more in control of our health and overall well-being.
Tips For Fitting Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule
Finding time for exercise or activity can be a challenge for many of us. However, it doesn’t take much time to begin receiving the physical and mental health benefits of being active. Here are some practical tips to help you fit exercise into your busy schedule:
- Schedule Exercise as a Regular Part of Your Day: One of the most effective ways to make exercise a consistent part of your routine is to schedule it like an appointment. This can be first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or in the evening.
- Look for Opportunities to Fit in Short Bursts of Exercise During the Day: If you can’t find a large block of time to exercise, try to fit in shorter periods of activity throughout the day. For example, take a 10-minute walk during your lunch break. Or, do a few quick exercises during commercial breaks while watching TV in the evening.
- Workout at Home: Many very short but highly efficient workouts can be done at home, with no need for gym equipment. This includes bodyweight exercises, yoga, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
- Combine Exercise with Other Activities: Combining exercise with other activities you enjoy is a great way to ensure consistency and even enjoyment. For example, take up cycling instead of driving as a way to commute to work or for running errands.
- Find an Exercise or Activity Partner: Having an exercise or activity partner can help you stay accountable and motivated. Plus, it can make the time spent more enjoyable.
5 Key Ways To Make Exercising or Being Active More Productive & More Interesting
Making exercise or being active more productive or more interesting is an effective way to help ensure greater consistency. Here are 5 proven tips worth considering:
- Find an Activity You Enjoy: When it comes to consistency, the key is finding an activity that you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle. This could mean going to a gym, organized sports or even practicing yoga or going for walks.
- Mix Up Your Routine: For some of us, doing the same workout or activity over and over can get boring. If you find yourself getting bored, consider mixing up your routine from time to time.
- Listen to Music or a Podcast: Listening to music or a podcast during your workout can help make the time fly by and make the workout more enjoyable. In the case of a podcast, it can also make you more knowledgeable or productive, depending on the topic.
- Track Your Progress: Using a fitness tracker or logging your progress manually in a journal help you to see how far you have come and keep you motivated.
- Challenge Yourself: Challenge yourself to be as consistent and as productive as possible with your exercises or activities. The mind often quits before the body does so pushing yourself can be a good thing. Of course, it’s important to speak with a health professional before beginning any new exercise program. And you should always listen to your body. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Exercise & Being More Active
Q1: What is the best exercise to do daily?
Answer: There is no one “best” daily exercise. What’s best for you will depend on your individual needs and goals. That said, a well-rounded routine that includes both cardiovascular exercise and strength training is generally recommended.
Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling or swimming can improve your overall fitness. They can also help with weight management and boost your heart and lung health. Strength training exercises, such as weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, can help build muscle, increase bone density. They can also help improve your overall body composition. Additionally, stretching and yoga-type activities can increase flexibility and balance.
Q2: Is 30 minutes of exercise a day enough?
Answer: 30 minutes of exercise per day is a great start and can provide many health benefits. However, to achieve optimal health, 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or a combination of both, along with muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week is recommended.
Q3: How can I exercise every day at home?
Answer: Exercising at home is a great way to make physical activity a part of your daily routine, regardless of the weather or time constraints. To exercise every day at home, it’s important to set aside a specific time each day, just like you would for an appointment. Also, find an activity you enjoy and that fits with your lifestyles, such as bodyweight exercises, yoga or stretching.
Prioritizing Exercise & Physical Activity for a Healthier & Happier Life
Getting regular exercise or being active is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. It’s also important for improving your overall sense of well-being. Despite our busy schedules, there are plenty of ways to fit exercise into your daily routine. The key is to find something that you enjoy and that works for you. Whether it’s short and intense, or longer and more moderate, finding your sweet spot and setting realistic goals will make exercise a regular and more enjoyable part of your life.
If you need help with losing weight and improving your overall health and well being, contact us today and let our team of highly skilled Naturopaths, Nutritionists and other health professionals show you why, at Physiomed, Healthier Starts Here.