If you have kept an eye on the general news in the past couple of years I am almost certain you would have come across more than one promotion for the benefits of exercise. When a worthy topic surfaces it usually spreads fast across our modern and diverse media channels. The benefits of exercise came into the limelight again in a strong way in response to rising awareness of a worrying obesity pandemic.
Related article: Why Exercise Is So Important For Your Health
Risks of not exercising
One of the key messages has been the risk of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles as a result of prolonged periods sitting at office desks or behind the wheel of our cars. Remaining in the sitting position for long periods of time has the more obvious and negative influence on body posture while the not so obvious risks are worsening blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even risk from some types of cancer.
Inactivity plays a role in almost every chronic disease there is.
… as quoted in a previous article.
Some of the benefits of exercise
Besides countering the negative effects just mentioned above exercise has the amazing ability of making us feel generally good all-round. Moving the body makes our hearts pump blood faster and causes a release of chemicals also referred to as feel-good hormones.
Related article: The Happiness Effect
People who suffer pain can also find relief from some forms of exercise thanks to the release of the body’s natural painkillers which also reduce pain sensitivity.
However, some pain might be normal as a result of exercise and it is useful to understand the differences so not to lose motivation. When our bodies get a good workout we actually suffer a series of micro traumas in our muscles and sometimes these hurt for days after exercising. This can be quite a normal process and the body will heal by itself but some forms of pain are sure signs of something more serious indicating the need to stop exercising.
Proper amounts of exercise
Another benefit of exercise as a therapeutic activity is that you really don’t need to be doing too much to receive the benefits. In fact, exercising too much can have negative consequences on long term health.
The general recommendation for average amounts of exercise for all people is just 30mins a day, 5 days a week. That’s not too much to squeeze into our busy lives.
For an inspiring short video by Dr Mike please be sure to watch (if you haven’t already)
The single best thing we can do for our health
Enjoy your next workout,