5 Benefits of Exercise for the Body and Mind

Everyone knows that exercise is absolutely great for the body, making you look toned and fit; but exercise also has psychological benefits which help improve life in general. Here’s five ways that exercise can benefit your body and rejuvenate your mind.

Fat Elimination

One of the main reasons why people exercise is to become fitter and lose fat. Aerobic exercise helps the body to convert fat into energy rather than it just building up resulting in a pot belly; bodybuilding helps get rid of fat and builds up muscle, resulting in a slender, lean body. Not only will this improve your performance in any physical activities you wish to do in life, muscles look much better than fat and this will help you feel good about yourself too, resulting in a more positive outlook on life. Being slimmer will also help you to maintain your youthful looks for a lot longer too.

If you are overweight, don’t be overwhelmed by the concept of becoming fit as there are many simple things you can do to help. Find out more and get tips on how to get fit in the comfort of your own home, as the first step to getting fit doesn’t mean your have to don your lycra and break the bank signing up for a gym membership.

Brain and Brawn!

Forget the common phrase “brain vs brawn”, as exercise not only gets you fit but also boosts your brain power. People who regularly work out are proven to have a better memory and are quicker to learn new things. Students who exercise at least for 1 hour a week are proven to have better exam results. Scientists have also come to the conclusion that exercise supports cell growth in the part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory and learning. Another interesting point to note is that with the increase of nutrients in the brain due to regular exercise, new brain cells (also known as neurons) are grown which support the overall health in the brain increasing its productivity.

Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in the brain which make you feel happier and remove feelings of depression. Depression is a major problem for people of all ages and can lead to illness and even suicide, when taking these serious consequences into consideration, a short amount of exercise every week doesn’t seem like all that much.

Endorphins and dopamine are two chemicals in the brain which cause a person to feel happy when they are released. Exercise allows the release of these chemicals in the brain, but also removes the ones that cause stress and depression. Regular exercise is also linked with allowing an individual to be able to control their emotions such as anger, which helps in all aspects of life. It also boosts confidence and self esteem.

Combat Dementia

When a person reaches old age, it’s normal for the body to deteriorate and the muscles to break down. It doesn’t have to happen through illness however, and with a regular exercise routine you can help prevent the danger of many harmful diseases that pose a risk to the elderly. Dementia is a serious risk in old age and can completely ruin someone’s quality life, it causes the loss of both physical and mental capabilities, which makes life in old age very difficult. The good news is however, exercise boosts a person’s ability to remember things, and therefore reduces the risk of illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevention is better than a cure, so taking up exercise or playing a sport should be something which is to be seriously considered for all people, especially those who have a high risk of suffering from dementia in old age. By helping to reduce the risks of dementia in society on a larger scale, perhaps more care can be provided to the unfortunate individuals who do suffer from this terrible brain disease.

The Real Fountain of Youth

We’ve all heard about the mythological fountain that grants eternal youth but not many people know that it’s been in front of us all this time! Even moderate exercise slows down the ageing of cells which results in a longer life (it is thought that slow ageing cells can increase your life span by up to five years). It doesn’t stop at longer life either; the increased blood flow from exercise helps carry extra nutrients to the skin which makes it healthy and provides a natural glow.

Exercise helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and not only makes you feel better, but keeps you looking younger too. It is impossible to go back in time but it is possible to slow down the ageing process through the right kind of workout. Stiff joints can be a serious problem in old age and it can get in the way of many things we wish to do, however people can still keep up with their grand kids and taking part in their favourite physical activities if they incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyle.

Exercise can also help you to get your beauty sleep. Not only does exercise allow you to fall asleep more easily, it also helps you reach the stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep which is a deeper sleep where a person experiences dreams. REM sleep is restorative and allows the body to function in the best possible way.

Metabolism slows as the years go by and people might find that they are putting on weight eating the same foods that they were eating when they were younger, except that they aren’t digesting them as quick as before, hence the term 'middle age spread'. Exercise helps burn calories and to maintain a healthy weight which will counter the effects of a slower metabolism.

Fertility

One of the great benefits of exercise is that it improves fertility. Since some people unfortunately have difficulty in conceiving, before resorting to medical intervention, it is advisable to try out a simple exercise routine. Although very high intensity exercise reduces fertility in women, no exercise at all can lead to serious lack of ovulation and lessen the chances of conception. Obesity doesn’t just affect the fertility of women, it can be extremely harmful to men also.

It can be seen from these five points that exercise is a great all rounder and isn’t just about getting fit physically. Even a small amount of exercise or taking part in a sport regularly should be an essential part of everyone’s lifestyle. Being smarter, looking younger and staying stress free; exercise seriously has some wonderful benefits.

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