Exercise is any physical activity that enhances fitness, wellness, and overall health. It boosts your mood, keeps you fit and mentally healthy.
Exercises can be categorized mainly into the following types:
- Resistance training (weight-lifting)
- Cardio and aerobic exercise (biking, running, swimming etc.)
- Flexibility and balance exercise (yoga)
Dancing, hiking, and long walks too are kinds of physical activity that can benefit you. It is entirely up to you, based on your health, to decide the form of physical activity you would like to take up and engage with every day. It is advised that you warm up, start slow, and intensify your exercise gradually with time, through the week. Professionals will also encourage you to have an exercise plan that can help you to explore new activities and exercises each day. This will keep your physical workouts interesting.
There are numerous advantages to exercise. Some of these are as follows:
- Helps control weight
Regular exercise helps prevent weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. Engaging in physical activities helps you burn calories that your body would have otherwise stored. The intensity of the exercise is directly proportional to the calories you burn, which means that the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn.
It is not necessary to enroll in a gym to exercise regularly. You could exercise in the nearby park or jog along the road in the morning. The idea is to perform an intense activity outdoors or indoors to burn those extra calories. You could exercise during the day as well in small ways, for example, by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or by doing household chores.
- Improves your mood
Aside from keeping you physically fit, exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that elevate your mood and make you happy and cheerful. It is especially useful when you are going through a stressful day. Regular exercise not only makes you feel good about yourself but also boosts your confidence and self-esteem. All these benefits put together help you stay strong and motivated with your work and other facets of life, not just for a day but every day.
- Helps you sleep better
If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night or are suffering from insomnia, regular exercise can help you. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and also promotes deep sleep. Exercise not only heals and repairs your body better during sleep but also helps you wake up fresh to take on the new day with renewed vigor.
- Helps combat health conditions
Various diseases can be managed better with proper and regular exercise. Some of these diseases are:
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
Regular exercise boosts the ‘good’ cholesterol in your blood (high-density lipoprotein) and decreases triglycerides that harm your health, thereby greatly assisting in reducing cardiovascular risks. Exercise also improves cognitive functions and quality of life.
- Helps slow down the aging process
Studies have shown that regular exercise and a fit body can increase your lifespan by an average of five years. It not only keeps diseases at bay but also limits aging at the cellular level in the body.
- Increases energy
If you observe that you are easily tired and exhausted, regular exercise in combination with the right diet can help you improve your stamina, muscle strength, and endurance. This would help you keep going through the day with better energy, thereby improving your work efficiency.
Essentially, exercise helps the blood deliver oxygen and the necessary nutrients to all the parts of the body and helps your heart and the cardiovascular system work effectively. Therefore, with a healthier heart and lungs, you will feel less tired and can work more.
- Improves your sex life
If you feel too tired and out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy, then regular exercise can not only improve your energy levels but also help you lose those extra pounds. This would help you feel more confident. Some studies show that regular exercise has shown to also improve and enhance arousal in women, while men are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
- Exercise is a social activity
Exercise can also be categorized as a social activity, as it takes you outdoors and helps you to meet new people as you run and jog and engage in activities that cheer you up. Exercise can be done along with your spouse, friends, and family. In this regard, exercise cannot be confined to squats and planks. Even dancing, hiking, and playing outdoor games are forms of exercise that help you both burn calories and enjoy it.
Exercising or regular physical activity in any form not only helps you burn calories but also improves sleep, boosts self-confidence, improves mental health, and helps you stay active and cheerful throughout the day while helping you avoid a lot of health problems. It is recommended to spend at least 150 minutes a week on moderate activity or 75 minutes a week in intense, vigorous activity. Performing strength training alongside your regular exercise regimen would also improve your muscle strength and cardiovascular health.
It is always good to exercise regularly, but if you want to meet specific needs or are undergoing treatment for an illness or a disease, then you should consult with your doctor first before proceeding with any physical activity.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What intensity of exercise should I do?
Depending on your age, physical strength, and any illness that you may suffer from, the suitable intensity of exercise can vary. Exercise does not always have to be vigorous and strenuous. In fact, most benefits come from moderate-intensity exercises. Based on your current state of physical fitness and health, you could do light activities such as walking, stretching, and gardening. You could also engage with moderate activities such as brisk walking, cycling, dancing, and swimming, or vigorous activities such as running, aerobics, and intensive cycling. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to you.
- Is it necessary to exercise everyday?
While it is always beneficial to spread your exercise regimenthrough the span of the week, if you find yourself free only during the weekends, it is much better to do it then than not do it at all. Some studies also show that those who meet their physical activity recommendations during the weekends enjoy similar benefits as compared to those who performed physical activity during the week or spread out across the week.
- Which is the best exercise?
There is no such thing as the best exercise. Any physical activity that engages your muscles, lets you breathe fresh air, and helps you stay cheerful is good exercise.