May 16

Benefits of exercise

Even though you have probably heard many times that exercise is good for you and that you should do it, it can sometimes be challenging to find time for exercise on a daily basis. Here are six reasons why you should make exercise a high priority in your daily schedule.

  1. Disease prevention

Exercise combined with a healthy diet is the prescription for preventive medicine. Regular exercise can help prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and cancer.

  1. Weight control

Exercise can help you lose weight and keep your current weight because exercise burns calories. More intense exercise burns more calories. If you have difficulty setting aside a block of time for exercise only, you can be creative in how you incorporate more exercise into your daily routines. For example, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, or carry your groceries to your car for some weight-bearing exercise rather than using a shopping cart.

  1. Mood

Exercise is a natural antidepressant. When we exercise, the body releases endorphins, which are feel-good-chemicals. Exercise also reduces stress. When we exercise, we usually feel and look better, which improves confidence and self-esteem.

  1. Improved sleep

Studies show that people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and have deeper sleep. If you have insomnia, consider adding exercise to your daily routine rather than taking sleeping pills. Make sure that you exercise during the day and not right before bedtime to avoid feeling too energized to fall asleep.

  1. More energy

Regular exercise improves muscle strength and endurance, which is why with time, tasks such as climbing stairs or lifting heavy bags become easier. You then have more energy left over for easier tasks that require less effort. Your heart and lungs also work more efficiently with regular exercise, so you get less tired when doing things that in the past left you out of breath.

  1. Fun

Exercise is supposed to be fun. If you exercise but don’t enjoy what you’re doing, then it’s time to find something that you like so that you’ll actually do it or do it more often. Try taking some exercise classes at your local community centre that you have never tried before to find something you like. Exercising with a group can be motivating as well as making you more accountable. With the warmer weather, try to spend more time outside by walking, cycling, gardening, or any other outdoor activity you enjoy.

Now that you know the benefits of exercise, there are no more excuses! Make sure that you make exercise a regular part of your day.

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