The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Here are a dozen reasons to encourage you to start moving now.
1. Better Mood: Exercising makes you feel happier. When you work out, your brain produces endorphins – ‘feel-good’ chemicals. You’ll feel better within a few minutes, but the effects of regular exercise last longer.
2. More Energy: when you exercise regularly, fatigue goes away and you find yourself with the energy to do more.
3. Good Night’s Sleep: Get regular exercise to help you sleep soundly. The harder you exercise, the more likely you are to have a good night’s sleep.
4. More Confidence: You just walked a mile or completed your first 5-kilometre run. Success like that boosts your self-esteem and makes you believe you can conquer anything.
5. Less Stress: Exercise calms your body and brain by reducing the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Stress and anxiety are reduced, especially after aerobic exercises.
6. More Productivity: Want to be more efficient at work? Take a break and exercise. Studies show that people who move around in the middle of the day are more productive when they get back to work. They are also happier and get along better with others.
7. Weight Control: Exercise and diet work together to keep your weight healthy. Whether you want to lose some inches around the waist or just avoid putting on extra pounds, good exercise is key.
8. Long Life: According to the American Heart Association, each hour of exercise adds 2 hours to your life. Regular exercises count, even if you're not a hard-core fitness buff.
9. Strong Bones and Muscles: Your bones and muscles get stronger when you work out, especially weight-bearing exercises such as weight-lifting, tennis, walking and dancing; these help build bones and protect your balance and coordination as you get older.
10. Healthy Heart: It's no secret that exercise is great for your heart. Regular workouts lower the risk of heart disease, improve blood cholesterol levels, control and even prevent high blood pressure.
11. Boost Brainpower: Various studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can stimulate the creation of new brain cells and improve overall brain performance. Studies suggest that working out increases levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) – a protein which is active in areas of the brain that are vital to learning, memory, higher thinking and decision-making.
12. Less Pain: For those diagnosed with arthritis, regular exercise can help ease the pain and make daily activities easier. Try non-impact exercises like swimming; they can be easy on sore joints.