We’re taught that any healthy lifestyle should include regular exercise. Exercise is important. When we exercise, the body will go through many changes and functions. There are many other incredible benefits to exercise besides weight loss or physical appearance.
“It’s easy to put off doing today what you’ll wish you had done tomorrow.”
With the challenges of 2020, lockdown showed that being outdoors can make a massive difference in health. I started to enjoy taking walks. Walking is an excellent form of physical activity for anyone. It is simply a way to move the body while enjoying the beauty of nature. Take a stroll around local neighborhood streets, at the park, or even on your lunch break. Walking requires minimal equipment, it can be done at any time of day, and you can move at your own pace. You can start slowly and find ways to fit more physical activity into your life. There are many benefits associated with getting out and about on your feet. If you haven’t exercise in a long time, maybe walking can be one way to get started.
It’s good for your mental health. Exercise can help to sharpen brain function. The benefits of physical activity can boost your memory skills, cognitive function, and concentration as you age, plus help you sleep better. Plus, you will be more focused and productive throughout the day. Walking can improve your mental health to reduce anxiety, stress, and negative mood. Regular exercise can produce changes in the parts of the brain that increase brain sensitivity of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. It will help to alleviate low self-esteem and social withdrawal.
It’s good for your heart. Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow helps to raise oxygen levels in the body. Being physically active lowers your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Exercise can lower your blood sugar level to help your insulin function better. Walking at least 30 minutes a day can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and reduce the risk of stroke. The risk may lower even further by increasing the duration or distance you walk per day.
It’s good for your bones. Exercise can lessen the loss of bone density as we age. Doing aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activity at a moderate level can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age. Walking can help strengthen bones and improve balance. It can help to lubricate and strengthen the muscles to protect the joints, such as your knees and hips. This may provide benefits for people with arthritis by reducing pain.
It’s good to support gut health. Exercise can help you maintain your weight over time. The exact amount of physical activity needed varies significantly from person to person. To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is essential to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure. Your body spends energy in three ways: digesting food, exercising, and maintaining body functions like your heartbeat and breathing.
Both diet and physical activity play a vital role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Walking can help reduce body fat and burn calories. Burning calories can involve several factors:
- Terrain (walking uphill)
- Your weight
Getting to and staying at a healthy weight requires regular exercise and a healthy eating plan,
not a diet.
It’s good to boost your energy Exercise tends to increase the natural hormones (endorphins) that contribute to energy. Going for a walk when you’re tired may be more effective than grabbing a cup of coffee. Walking stimulates the production of hormones to help elevate energy levels and reduce fatigue. Walking increases blood flow that contains oxygen and nutrients for fuel to reach muscles in the legs and the brain.
You can choose an activity that you’ll enjoy. There are various strategies to exercise as an enjoyable and social part of your lifestyle. Start with an activity you enjoy doing. Invite friends or initiate meeting colleagues next time. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes.
As we get older, it is imperative to keep our bodies moving. There are different types of physical activities to support physical and mental health. Physical activity does not have to be vigorous or done for long periods to improve your health. The goal is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Try to break it up into three 10 minute intervals.
Remember to have fun!
What’s your favorite benefit of exercising? I’d love to hear from you!
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