One of the most common pieces of advice for anyone looking to lose weight or improve their health is to exercise more. Apart from weight loss and improving cardiovascular fitness, exercise has a plethora of benefits. However, it’s so easy to find excuses for not working out when you are busy with work and life. Today, we will discuss reasons exercise is important and why it should be an essential part of your life.
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Why is it Important to Exercise?
Helps you maintain or lose weight and can lower the risk of disease
One of the most important reasons for exercising regularly is to maintain or lose weight. By keeping active and finding an exercise routine to suit your needs, you will be able to keep a healthy weight for your height and build. Exercise also reduces your risk of some diseases, including high blood pressure and type 2 Diabetes. These two reasons alone should be motivation to incorporate exercise into your life!
Improves the mind as well as the body
While many associate exercise with looking good, it’s also essential for feeling good. Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that release a positive feeling into the body. This can be especially important for anyone suffering from anxiety, depression or high-stress, and can increase self-esteem and confidence. Setting goals and targets within your exercise routine can also help give you a feeling of accomplishment.
Good for your bones and muscles
Exercise can help with the process of aging by building stronger bones and muscles. Alongside a proper diet and protein intake, exercise will help you retain and build muscle over time. As you age, you are likely to lose muscle, so continuing to exercise throughout your life is essential to maintaining this and will keep you mobile for longer.
Increases Energy Levels
After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing you want to do is work out! However, exercise can actually have the opposite effect and boost your energy levels. Studies suggest that people suffering from fatigue felt an improvement after incorporating an exercise routine into their life. This is also true for people suffering from long-term illnesses, where exercise can help to improve their energy and quality of life.
Helps with sleep and relaxation
A regular exercise routine can help you sleep better at night and switch your mind off to relax. This is true of many types of exercise, and yoga in particular is an excellent option for this. If you struggle to switch off at the end of a busy day at work, an hour of exercise can help your head calm down. The energy that you use whilst exercising will help you drop off to sleep much quicker at night in order for your body to recuperate.
What are the four major exercises?
Research has shown that a well-rounded fitness routine should incorporate all four major types of exercise. The four major types of exercise are endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
Each type of exercise offers distinct benefits and contributes to overall physical health and well-being.
Endurance exercises, often referred to as aerobic or cardiovascular exercises, focus on increasing your heart rate and breathing. These activities include running, swimming, cycling, brisk walking, and dancing. The primary goal of endurance exercise is to improve your cardiovascular health by strengthening your heart and lungs.
Benefits of Endurance Exercise:
- Enhances cardiovascular health by increasing heart and lung capacity.
- Boosts energy levels and stamina.
- Aids in weight management by burning calories.
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Strength exercises, also known as resistance or weight-bearing exercises, target muscle groups to build and tone muscle. Examples include weightlifting, bodyweight exercises (e.g., push-ups and squats), and resistance training with bands or free weights. Strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and strength, especially as you age.
Benefits of Strength Exercise:
- Increases muscle mass and strength.
- Enhances metabolism, supporting weight management.
- Improves bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
- Enhances functional strength, making daily activities easier.
Balance exercises focus on improving stability and preventing falls, which is particularly important for older adults. These exercises involve activities such as yoga, tai chi, and stability exercises like standing on one foot. Balance training helps maintain equilibrium and coordination.
Benefits of Balance Exercise:
- Reduces the risk of falls and related injuries, especially in older adults.
- Enhances stability and coordination.
- Supports better posture and alignment.
Flexibility exercises, also known as stretching, are designed to improve the range of motion of your joints and muscles. Activities such as yoga and static stretching routines help increase flexibility. This type of exercise can aid in relaxation and muscle recovery.
Benefits of Flexibility Exercise:
- Increases joint mobility and range of motion.
- Reduces muscle tension and the risk of injury.
- Improves posture and overall comfort in daily activities.
Incorporating all four types of exercise into your fitness routine promotes a comprehensive approach to health and well-being. A balanced regimen that includes endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises can improve your physical fitness, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, enhance overall mobility, and contribute to a higher quality of life. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider or fitness professional to design a fitness plan that suits your individual needs and goals.
These are just some of the benefits of a regular exercise routine. Exercise should be an essential part of everyone’s life, and a few sessions a week can transform your mind and body. Make sure to choose a form of exercise you enjoy and you’ll quickly see results!
If you are still apprehensive about going to the gym to work out. See my post about how to create your very own home gym.