Whether you’ve been a fan of exercising or not, one way or another you’ve already heard someone claim that working out – or any physical activity for that matter – is beneficial to your health.
Our bodies were built to move. Hundreds, even thousands of years ago, people didn’t have gyms or workout machines to help get them in shape. They relied on good, old physical work to help strengthen their muscles, build their stamina, and improve their endurance.
Over time, we’ve evolved to become more sedentary. We’re glued to our chairs far longer than when we stand on our feet. We’re accustomed to a period of rest every now and then, a period which, unsurprisingly, involves even more sitting and lying down.
It is now, more than ever, that including physical activity to our daily lives is important.
Why Physical Activity Matters
Leading a lifestyle that basically revolves around our gadgets significantly lessens the time we could possibly be spending on physical activity.
As our bodies do less of what it is meant to do (real, physical work), we end up with a slew of health risks such as:
● Gaining unnecessary weight
● Losing muscle mass
● Increasing the likelihood of developing heart disease and diabetes
● It will affect your blood pressure
● Fat levels will rise
While these disadvantages sound pretty scary, an easy way to prevent them from happening in the first place is to simply get moving!
Benefits of Exercising Regularly
The benefits we’ve come up with here at Rec Xpress are mainly felt by those who maintain a certain amount of physical activity every week. The more regular your workout schedule is, the more chances of reaping the benefits of regular physical activity.
If you can’t find it in your schedule to squeeze in a workout, make sure to do some sort of physical activity daily. This could mean walking to work (if possible), taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing more household chores.
The key is to get your heart pumping and to be consistent with the amount of physical activity you’re engaging in.
No surprise here. Being physically active helps you control your weight, and even lose some if you’re doing it right.
Physical activity uses calories as its fuel. We get our calories from the food we eat. The more we exercise, the more calories our bodies burn.
Having a tough day at work or school? Go for a quick workout. Letting go of all of that steam is one reason why working out can help combat stress. Exercising is also known to increase norepinephrine, a chemical known to affect the brain’s response to stress.
By now you’ve probably heard of this happy chemical. Endorphins are known to give a person a natural high and a sense of euphoria.
For this reason, many doctors have prescribed patients suffering from depression or anxiety to hit the gym. Even if you’re not depressed or anxious but you’re feeling down in the dumps, getting some physical activity will do wonders.
Affects your cognitive health
Aging may be a privilege but the downside of growing old is that our memory tends to become vague, hazy, clouded… you catch the drift.
Exercising, especially between the ages of 25 to 45, can help lessen the chances of Alzheimer’s developing. Apparently, scientists have discovered that the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning, increases in size because of regular exercise. This affects brain health, ultimately making a mark on mental functions in older adults.
Dopamine, the chemical responsible for feelings of being rewarded in response to pleasure such as exercise, sex, food, drugs, and alcohol. Some people get hooked on dopamine, readily available through drugs and alcohol.
If you’re on the path to quitting an addiction, exercise can help you control your urges. There have been instances when smokers quit cold turkey and replaced the urge to light up a cigarette with a quick workout routine. It worked!
Your skin will thank you
Laugh lines. Crow’s feet. Jowls. All dreaded, telltale signs of aging. These wrinkles and other skin conditions connected to aging are caused by toxins found in our bodies, among other things.
Sweating is your body’s way of getting rid of toxins. Exercise can serve as an antioxidant, delaying the signs of premature skin aging. On the plus side, your heart pumps faster, also bringing oxygen-rich blood to other parts of the body, including the skin. This is why we leave the gym with a healthy, rosy glow on our faces.
Because exercise can help you relax, you’ll have better chances of falling asleep.
In terms of the quality of sleep, there have been studies of improved quality over a period of several weeks of exercise. It has also been noted that people suffering from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders have had better sleep quality and sleep longer.
Mother nature beckons you
Now you have an excuse to go out. Physical activities like walking or running outside is enough to qualify as a form of exercise. Head to the local park and jog through the trails, or set aside sometime during the weekend and head out to nearby national parks to enjoy the great outdoors.
If you’re craving that burst of creativity (and energy), exposing yourself to mother nature can help get those creative juices flowing.
Rent a canoe, swim in the lake, ride a bike… whichever activity you choose, what matters is you’re getting your heart pumping. Exposing yourself to vitamin D and sunlight can also decrease depressive symptoms.
Getting physical can help in the bedroom – Women who exercise regularly experience enhanced arousal while men who hit the gym are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction.
Become social and make new friends
The more frequently you hit the gym, the more chances of developing friendships with other gym goers.
Physical activities can also help foster healthy relationships among family members. Getting children involved allows them to realise that exercise is beneficial to their health, even when they’re all grown up.
Rec Xpress wants you to live an active and healthy lifestyle, one that will allow you to enjoy whatever life has to offer. Drop by any of our five locations to ask more about our $11/week rate. We are more than happy to be your partner in health and wellness.