You know that exercise is good for you, but that doesn’t change the fact that some days it’s difficult to find the time and motivation. Maybe you’re torn between hitting the gym after work and going home to see your family. Or maybe you just had a really long day and would like to rest. Whatever your reason is for wondering, “Why is it important to exercise?,” we’ll cover some benefits of physical activity to help you get your motivation back.
AP Wellness Training & Consulting offers personal training and nutrition coaching in the Bay Area to help you build healthy habits and meet your fitness goals. My personal training services provide accountability and a structured plan to keep you on track. Combining nutrition, physical activity, and emotional wellness will keep you looking and feelings your best for many years to come.
Benefits of Regular Exercise
The benefits of regular exercise are not limited to your strength and physical appearance. Regular physical activity will help you live a long healthy life and feel better on a daily basis. Here are some of the benefits of exercising for at least 150 minutes per week:
1. Helps with Weight Management
If you’re looking to manage your weight, exercise is a key component. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you’ll burn. You can use this to your advantage by exercising at a level that’s appropriate for you and fits into your schedule. In addition to burning calories, working out also helps to build muscle. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. So as you build muscle through exercise, you’ll increase your metabolism. This helps you manage your weight better in the long-term.
2. Boosts Your Mood and Brain Function
According to a review published in Brain Plasticity, exercise triggers a complicated response in your brain that includes releasing neurochemicals and building new neurons. These neurochemicals include endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in the body. Other noted benefits include improved memory, cognition, and stress resistance.
3. Helps Prevent and Manage Chronic Diseases
Chronic disease is defined as a condition that lasts one year or more and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Some examples of chronic diseases include heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and kidney disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), regular physical activity can help prevent or manage many chronic diseases. For example, exercise can help to control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in people with heart disease, and reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
4. Improves Sleep Quality
If you’re struggling with sleep, exercise may be able to help. The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity on most days of the week for better sleep. Regular exercise has been shown to help adults fall asleep faster and sleep longer. Exercising right before bed, however, can have the opposite effect because your body’s releasing mood and energy-boosting endorphins.
5. Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles
As we age, our bones and muscles naturally start to weaken. This process is called sarcopenia and can lead to a higher risk of falls and fractures. Exercise, however, can help to slow down the effects of sarcopenia. Weight-bearing exercises that force you to work against gravity, like walking, running, and weightlifting, are particularly beneficial for bone and muscle health. These types of exercises help to stimulate the growth of new bone and muscle tissue, which can keep your bones and muscles strong as you age.
6. Can Help You Live Longer
One of the most significant benefits of exercise is that it can help you live longer. A large-scale study that followed over 122,000 adults for a period of roughly eight years found that those who exercised regularly and had good cardiorespiratory fitness had the lowest risk of mortality. These findings were consistent across all age groups.
7. Can Boost Your Energy Levels
If you’re feeling tired, exercise can give you a much-needed energy boost. While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when you’re body is already feeling tired, the physical and mental benefits of exercise can help to increase your overall energy levels. Exercise increases your cardiovascular fitness, which helps your body to better deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. This, in turn, helps your muscles to function more efficiently and can lead to increased energy levels.
Start an Exercise Routine with AP Wellness Training & Consulting
If you could use more energy in your life or just want to maintain your good health, it’s time to start a regular exercise routine. You can renew your gym membership, take up running again, or if you want customized support tailored to your goals, check out personal training. There are great trainers nationwide who’d be happy to help you meet your fitness goals. AP Wellness Training & Consulting offers personal training based in San Francisco, but I also have online options nationwide.
To get started on your own, download my free template for a 30-minute bodyweight workout that you can complete at home.