Physical exercise includes planned, structured, repetitive activities that transform body parts. Physical exercise is done by lifting weights, sports, running, cycling, etc. In short, any physical activity outside the usual routine of the day is considered exercise.
Physical exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but leaves a significant impact on your mental health too.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Regular physical exercise is the most beneficial for your health.
In a report by NCBI, researchers have proved that inactivity can lead to more than 40 chronic illnesses in the body.
Regular exercise enhances your muscular health along with facilitating mental relaxation. It also increases your immunity and helps in weight loss. People suffering from cardiovascular issues and high cholesterol also benefit from regular exercise.
In this article, we will delve deep into regular exercise’s mental and physical health benefits.
Mental health Benefits of regular exercise
Regular exercise improves your mental health in various ways. It is the best stress reliever and increases the amount of norepinephrine in the body. Norepinephrine is a chemical released by the brain that helps manage stress. Let’s talk about more mental health benefits of exercise:
1. It helps in treating depression and anxiety.
Moderate to vigorous Physical activity is an excellent source of reducing anxiety. It also aids in treating depression. The best part of treating depression through physical exercise is that it has no side effects. However, treating depression with anti-depressant leads to various long-term side effects.
Regular exercise promotes various positive changes in the brain, like neural growth, and decreases inflammation which helps in feeling calm and relaxed. It also helps release an adequate endorphin that provides energy and you feel good. Exercise also offers a quiet time to break out from negative thoughts.
2. Promotes better sleep
Exercise provides instant benefits to your sleep cycle. It helps increase sleep efficiency, enhance sleep quality, and reduce daytime tiredness.
Even a small exercise session in the morning or daytime can lead to a better sleep cycle. People prefer nighttime exercises like yoga and gentle stretching to enjoy deep and sound sleep. Regular exercise also helps in treating insomnia.
3. Enhances the functioning of the brain and reduces dementia
According to research, it is proven that regular exercise helps treat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in adults. For people over 50 years of age, exercise is the best boost to the condition, like processing speed, learning new skills, etc. Along with cognitive manifestation, regular exercise helps prevent neurodegenerative health issues in older people.
4. Helps in dealing with ADHD, PTSD, and Trauma
Regular exercise is the easiest and most effective way of treating ADHD symptoms. It also improves concentration and memory and alleviates mood. Physical activity instantly enhances the release of the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These chemicals help in increasing focus and attention. The exercises help to relieve the symptoms of ADHD in the same way as Ritalin and Adderall but with no side effects. Focusing on your body and how it feels during exercise can help your nervous system stay active and begin to come out of stress. It helps in relieving the symptoms of PTSD and Trauma.
Cross-movement exercises which engage both legs and hands, like walking, running, swimming, and dancing, are the best for treating ADHD, PTSD, and trauma.
5. It helps in reducing stress
Stress leads to pounding in the chest and feelings of discomfort, muscle cramps, and headache. It also results in insomnia, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhea, etc. Regular exercise is the best way to escape this stress cycle and enhance the connection between mind and body. The release of endorphins helps in physical activity and relaxes muscles.
6. Other mental health benefits
There are various other mental health benefits:
- Enhances memory- Endorphins also help improve your concentration power and make your mind sharper. It stimulates the growth of new cells and prevents the aging of the mind.
- Boosts self-esteem – Regular activity fosters a sense of self-esteem and makes you feel strong and powerful. You will start feeling good about your appearance and live a happy and satisfied life.
- More energy – When exercise becomes your daily routine, it increases your heart rate, enhancing the body’s energy level. If you wish to exercise at night, you must choose yoga or gentle exercises.
Physical health benefits of Regular Exercise
Along with mental health benefits, regular exercise has various physical health benefits too. People who exercise regularly stay safe from serious health issues like heart attack, weak bones, sexual problems, etc. Here we have listed some of the benefits of regular exercise on Physical health:
1. Reduces cardiovascular disorders
Regular exercise helps in maintaining heart health. It regulates cholesterol levels, Blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. A study proved that an average adult performing 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week stays safe from all heart-related disorders.
2. Beneficial in Diabetes management
For people who are suffering from Type 2 diabetes or at risk of getting it, regular exercise can help in:
- Controlling the Blood glucose level
- Reduce cardiovascular risks
- Promote weight loss
- It makes the person fit
- Delay type 2 diabetes occurrence.
Similarly, for people who are suffering from Type 1 diabetes or at risk, regular exercise plays a vital role in:
- Promoting a healthy cardiovascular system
- Makes strong muscles
- Enhance insulin sensitivity
As per the report of ADA, all diabetic people should be prescribed physical activity and exercise to maintain their glucose level and overall health.
3. Reduces cancer risks
According to the report of the National cancer institute, people involved in more physical activity stay safe from colon, stomach, esophageal, breast, bladder, kidney, and uterine cancer.
4. Increase bone strength
Regular exercise helps maintain healthy bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis-related bone issues. You can perform moderate to vigorous exercise and aerobics to improve your bone health. According to the study, 90 minutes of weekly exercise can promote bone health. Walking and dancing particularly benefit the bones.
5. It helps in building strong muscles
For older adults, it is essential to perform regular exercises to maintain healthy muscles. Most people notice loose muscles in their middle or old age. To keep your muscles tight and healthy, you must perform regular exercise.
6. Increases the life expectancy
Researchers have proved that people who exercise regularly live longer because they avoid many diseases. You must perform Moderate-to-vigorous exercises for a better life expectancy.
7. Maintains weight
Many people can be seen as either underweight or overweight, which may be due to any health disorder or unhealthy lifestyle. These issues can be cured with regular exercise. Although maintaining weight through exercise may take some time, it happens organically.
While doing regular exercises, you burn many calories, and different exercises burn different amounts of it. If you do 1-hour training daily, you can burn the following amount of calories:
- Hiking – 365 calories
- Gardening – 300 calories
- Running – 590 calories
1. It helps in reducing chronic pain
There is a myth that exercise leads to muscular pains, but according to research, it is proven that regular physical activity can help reduce chronic pains.
2. Helps in preventing risks of falling in older people
Older people over 70 years are more prone to falling and damaging their bones. Regular exercise helps them maintain their posture and prevent falling accidents.
3. Regular exercise increases the energy level.
People who perform regular exercises, especially those suffering from diseases, experience a boost in their energy level. Doing regular exercise for 6 weeks helps in reducing the feeling of fatigue. The more you exercise, the more your heart pumps the blood, resulting in increased delivery of oxygen in the body, making muscles stronger.
4. Reduces risks of chronic diseases
Regular exercise helps people to live safely from many chronic diseases like:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart disease
- High Cholesterol
5. Make your skin healthy
There are various factors that harm your skin in many ways. A harsh atmosphere and dust result in making your skin unhealthy. Due to oxidative stress, the antioxidants in the body cannot repair the skin. However, regular exercise enhances blood flow and repairs cells.
6. Promote better sex life
Researchers have proved that regular exercise helps in boosting sex drive. Regular exercise helps strengthen the heart, enhance blood flow, and tone muscles, which improves sex life. It helps in getting more sexual pleasure and increases sexual frequency.
Exercise is a cure for almost every problem developing in your body. It makes your body fit and enhances your life expectancy. Regular exercise also helps produce adequate hormones to regulate normal body functions and give you a healthier and happier life.
Spending hours daily for exercise is unnecessary, but a decent amount of time for regular exercise can make a big difference. If you aim for 150 minutes of regular exercise per week, you will be safe from many chronic diseases.
Moderate exercises include walking, cycling, and swimming while running comes under vigorous exercise.