Hey Angels and Alphas,
It’s a fact – regular physical activity can do wonders for your health. Everyone knows that staying active is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy.
It’s not surprising that regular exercise is becoming a go-to for many people looking to manage weight, reduce stress, enhance sleep quality, slow the aging process, strengthen the immune system, and more!
But how exactly does this happen? And what role does exercise play in the prevention of certain diseases? How can we make sure your training regimen is beneficial to the health problems we might be having?
Today, we’re going to talk about all of this (and more.) Let’s break down the benefits of physical exercise on the different aspects of your health – from mood, to immunity, to disease. This way, you’ll gain a clear picture of what you should be doing (and what you shouldn’t) in order to maintain your physical health and well-being. Let’s get started.
First things first, exercise is a natural mood lifter.
Regular physical activity relieves stress, anxiety, and anger. Remember that “feel good” sensation you get after having a productive workout? Doesn’t it feel like a happy pill with no side effects?
Most people only notice this after they’ve been training for a while, and once they start getting those dopamine and serotonin releases during and after each workout, training becomes a regular part of their life.
After all, there’s nothing like going to the gym, having a productive workout, and walking out of there feeling like you’ve done your body a huge favor.
Exercise keeps you physically fit and strong.
Without regular physical activity, your body slowly starts losing strength, stamina, and its ability to work optimally. Not only does exercising increase muscle strength and physical ability, but it also enables you to function more productively in your day-to-day activities.
Naturally, everyone knows that physical exercise improves our mood and keeps us physically able.
Being more active has been proven to help you:
- Boost levels of good cholesterol
- Improve blood flow
- Lower blood pressure
- Manage weight
- Prevent bone loss
- Live longer
- Boost energy levels
- Manage stress and tension
- Enhance sleep
- Improve body image and self-confidence
All of these, when added up, will definitely result in less medical expenses, interventions, and medications, and there’s nobody that can argue that.
But what about immunity? How does exercise help us prevent, or even deal with, disease?
Exercise strengthens the immune system, allowing it to work more productively.
You might be asking – how do activities that wear us out give us an immunity boost?
While we don’t have the time to go into the full scope of exercise immunology (which is actually a wholly new area of study,) we can do our best to take some practical takeaways.
Experts conclude that exercise increases the production of new neurons in your hippocampus, known as the memory part of the brain. It also enhances the production of glial cells, the most commonly-found cell type in your central nervous system.
These cells then help your body protect and support the proper function of neurons. When we’re exposed to physical training, our respiratory rate and depth of breathing increases, which allows more oxygen to be absorbed into the blood (and more carbon dioxide to be removed.) This helps your body flush out bacteria that cause colds and flus out of the lungs and airways. It also allows for better circulation, creating a much-needed change in white blood cells and antibodies (your body’s immune system.)
According to researchers from the University of North Carolina, people who performed five or more days of exercise every week experienced almost 50 percent fewer days with symptoms of URTI – upper respiratory tract illness. And when they did catch a cold, their symptoms were 30 percent less severe! That’s huge! (Source)
Exercise is widely accepted as therapeutic and preventative medicine for a variety of cardiovascular and metabolic conditions.
Exercise has been regarded as preventative medicine that reduces the risk of a massive variety of diseases, including cardiovascular, metabolic, and chronic diseases. Most of which, however, are related to sedentary and unhealthy living.
In term, the overwhelming benefits of physical exercise have been shown to significantly reduce the severity of diseases that would usually accompany an unhealthy lifestyle. Exercise has a therapeutic benefit on a plethora of conditions such as hypertension and insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, type-2 diabetes, obesity (and think just how many health problems arise from this alone), endothelial dysfunction, and more.
Regular training has also been shown to improve vital clinical markers in certain cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunctions. Overall, this makes it pretty clear that exercise can be used as a therapeutic or even preventative medicine to alleviate most, if not all, lifestyle diseases.
What type of exercise should we do?
The types of exercise most commonly researched in disease prevention are aerobic exercises such as walking and jogging, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and resistance training.
Some studies show that either form of exercise results in a reduction of body mass index in overweight and obese adults. Other studies have pointed to the fact that moderate endurance training and interval sprinting have a positive effect on heart rate variability (HRV). Both HIIT and aerobic training have been used to create improvements in HRV in pretty much everyone – young overweight individuals, diabetes patients, and adults. Not only that, but they’ve shown the improvements in immune system function we talked about earlier.
One study even showed that 12 consecutive weeks of HIIT have shown to improve cardiovascular function, physical fitness, maximal oxygen capacity, and body composition.
Basically, what this says is what you already knew – all exercise is good exercise.
In our day to day lives, we can tackle a lot of challenges that ultimately lead to illness and disease. The flu, viruses, even sitting at your desk too much, can all increase our risk of diseases. Lucky for us, exercise helps us tackle all of them.
Exercise is a powerful stimulus that can prevent and reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction, and even common diseases like the flu. Therefore, exercise is indeed the best medicine. It’s a medicine that improves our quality of life and makes us unconditionally healthier.
Every type of exercise is beneficial to your health. HIIT, in particular, is recommended to people with time constraints, and when HIIT is combined when resistance training, it yields an overwhelming amount of health benefits.
Therefore, we should all focus on incorporating regular exercise into our daily lives. Our bodies will thank us for it.