Exercise is defined as any activity that requires the work of your muscles and causes your body to burn calories. There are several different types of physical activity, including walking, jogging, running, dancing, and swimming, just to name a few. Exercise in all of its forms is beneficial for both physical and mental health.
According to research studies, we should all stay consistently active to reap the health benefits that exercise has to offer. Let's learn more about the importance of including exercise in your day-to-day lifestyle.
1. It Helps With Weight Loss.
Staying sedentary and idle on a daily basis may lead to obesity and weight gain. To understand the link between weight loss and exercise, you need to understand how exercise causes energy expenditure.
You burn calories (or energy) in three ways: exercising, digesting food, and performing basic bodily functions, such as breathing and blood circulation.
If you go on a diet, you need to cut down on your caloric intake. But, this will slow down your metabolism and weight loss rate. In contrast, regular exercise boosts your metabolic rate. As a result, your body burns significantly more calories, helping you to shed those extra pounds and start feeling your best.
That being said, many research studies suggest a combination of resistance training and aerobic exercise for those who want to maintain their muscle mass and boost fat loss simultaneously (Healthline).
2. It Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles.
If your goal is to strengthen your bones and develop strong muscles, regular exercise is important.
With enough protein intake and physical exercise such, you can boost your rate of muscle growth. In actuality, what exercise does is cause your body to release certain hormones. With the help of these hormones, your muscles can effectively absorb amino acids and grow stronger with time. (EveryDayHealth)
As you get older, your body tends to lose muscle mass, making you more prone to injury. So, it's important to exercise regularly to slow down muscle loss, maintain strength, and protect yourself from injury.
Regular exercise is good for developing bone density and preventing osteoporosis throughout old age. More specifically, weight-bearing exercise (such as running) and resistance training (such as weight lifting) strengthens bone tissue for greater strength (NIH).
3. It Improves Brain Health and Memory.
Exercise is crucial to healthy brain function, especially if you want to protect your memory and cognitive function in old age.
To start, exercise boosts your heart rate, improves blood circulation, and spurs more oxygen being sent to the brain. Additionally, during physical activity, your body produces hormones that boost brain cell growth. These factors result in improved cognitive function and the prevention of several chronic diseases, such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, over time. Regular exercise can also help develop the hippocampus, a part of your brain that's associated with memory and learning (Healthybrains).
Even small bursts of physical activity may have a positive impact on your brain in the short term. According to a study published in Neuropsychologia in 2018, study participants experienced faster reaction times to tasks that required brain activity after exercise. In other words, participants' focus and attention spans were enhanced following a period of physical activity (EveryDayHealth).
In short, exercise is important for your physical and mental health. To start, set a goal and choose an activity that you enjoy doing. When you commit to exercising regularly, you'll enjoy the many amazing benefits of consistent physical activity.