Exercise is one of those things people always want to get more of, but why? Is exercise really that important? The answer is a resounding YES, and we will explore why exercise is so crucial to leading a healthy, happy life. We will also give some tips for getting more exercise, so read on!

Energy Booster

Do you want to exercise, but you often feel worn out and tired? Even though it seems like the effort of exercise would make you more tired, it actually improves your energy levels in the long run and can make you more awake, alert, and productive. If you are finding yourself tired after simple daily tasks such as household chores, you should be incorporating more exercise into your daily routine to improve muscle strength and endurance. Exercise helps oxygen get to your tissues and muscles, and can help your cardiovascular system perform better. A study from the University of Georgia found that sedentary adults who exercised moderately for six weeks were less tired and more energized. Harness the energy boosting power of exercise and incorporate some form into your daily routine today!

Mood Booster

Have you been feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed? Exercise can be a powerful tool to improve your mood and mental health in general. These great mental benefits aren’t reserved for marathon runners or distance swimmers, and even modest amounts of exercise have been shown to make a difference. Some studies have indicated that exercise works in some mild forms of depression as well as antidepressant medications! Exercise helps reduce inflammation in the brain, and creates new neural pathways. It also is a good use of time, and serves as a distraction for any troubling life events. Endorphins are released when you exercise that can boost your mood and energize your spirits. Exercise can also help with stress, physically relaxing your muscles and letting movement take away tension.

Concentration

Along with the mood boosting benefits, exercise can help your mind in other ways as well. Individuals who suffer from mental fog see improvement when they exercise, and the increased blood flow to the brain can help with cognitive skills. Memory, concentration, productivity, and learning can all be improved by incorporating even moderate exercise into your life.

Improved Sleep

If you are someone who tosses and turns in your bed only to wake up tired the next morning, you need to start exercising! Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. People with chronic insomnia show improvement when they exercise, and the results can be seen as quickly as after one session. If you are going to try to harness the sleep promoting powers of exercise, make sure not to exercise right before bed! All of those endorphins and released energy might counteract the sleepiness you are trying to cultivate.

Weight Control

If you are struggling with extra weight, or are at risk for diabetes or heart disease, exercise can help. Being overweight sets you up for many health risks, and exercise is a great way to keep your weight in check. Even without changing your diet, the calories you burn exercising will translate into weight loss. For the

 maximum benefit, exercise combined with a healthy diet will get you back on track with your weight. You don’t need a gym membership to reap the weight control benefits of exercise; even moderate exercise can help! Take the stairs, park at the end of the grocery store lot, or take an evening walk to get those calories

 burning. Weight gain becomes even more of a problem as we age, so starting a healthy exercise routine early is important.

Improve Self-Confidence

Obviously, if you are losing extra weight through exercise you are probably getting a self-confidence boost, but there’s more that exercise can do. Reaching your exercise goals can give you a sense of accomplishment that carries over into other aspects of your life. Even without physical change, exercise makes you feel good about yourself, and as you gain strength and endurance those feelings will grow. Self-confidence can help you with relationships, in the workplace, and with your

 overall happiness in life.

Less Sickness

In our busy lives, sickness is an unwelcome intruder. One recent study showed that people who exercised were half as likely as non-exercisers to catch a common cold. Knowing how much sickness can disrupt your daily routine, exercise can help ensure that you are more resistant to the next germs that come your way. The body’s immune system is strengthened through exercise, and can help the body quickly respond to invading illnesses.

Live Longer

Who doesn’t want to live a long, full life? Exercise can really help, and might be as effective as quitting smoking for improving life expectancy. Especially with many people having sedentary jobs, working exercising into your life can reap great rewards. Exercise for your health today, and for many years of health in the future!

Boost Creativity

The benefits of exercise just go on and on, and a recent study showed that individuals that exercise have more creativity than those who are sedentary. If you want to boost your creativity levels, or get involved in new creative endeavors, exercise may be a key factor. Give your brain an extra helping of creative power by working exercise into your daily life.

Lower Cholesterol

Exercise boosts the “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) that can decrease unhealthy triglycerides. No matter what your weight is, having high cholesterol is not good for you, and can lead to cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help your blood continue to flow smoothly, and decrease your risk of not only cardiovascular disease, but stroke, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and more. Exercise for your health, your heart, and low cholesterol!

Improve Balance

As we get older, our balance can become less stable. This can lead to falls, and having an injury when you are older can take you away from your job, and take a long time to heal. Exercising improves your balance, even if it is just through walking. Improved balance and coordination also give you the confidence to navigate crowded areas, go hiking in the great outdoors, and keep active in all of the activities you love.

Improve Socializing

If exercise takes you out of the home, whether to a gym or a trail, you have the opportunity to meet other people who are doing the same thing. Physical activity provides a great way to meet new people and engage in an entertaining way. Instead of seeing a movie, or meeting for coffee, try meeting people for a hike or a game of softball or soccer. A class can be a great introduction to other people, and working towards learning a common skill can really bond people together. If you are looking for ways to increase your social life, exercise is a great solution!

Ideas for Exercise

Maybe you want to incorporate exercise into your life, but you just don’t know how. If all that comes to your mind is a gym membership, consider these other alternatives:

  • A lunch break walk
  • A beautiful hike
  • Rock climbing
  • Dancing
  • Playing with your kids
  • Biking
  • Martial arts
  • Stand at work
  • Kayaking
  • Yoga
  • Ballet
  • Throwing a frisbee
  • Join a sports team

These are just a few ideas to get you thinking about how to incorporate exercise into your life. If you are mostly sedentary, anything that gets you moving will give you great benefits! If you are already somewhat active, choose an activity that challenges you to move more! Park farther away from your office building, take your dog for a longer walk, play in the yard with your kids, or take up a new sport! Exercise can take you out of your comfort zone and introduce you to new places, new friends, and give you a new self confidence!

If you are in Flint, our community health clinic would love partner with you to find ways to work exercise into your daily routine, and give you other great health advice. American Health Specialist is your place for primary care—call us today!