Benefits to Exercise

Benefits to Exercise. As Pratt and Matthews note, your health and vitality are determined by four basic factors – personal peace, nutrition, adequate sleep, and yes, exercise. Exercise is essential to good health.

Yet, we are increasingly sedentary. Studies have shown that while the Paleolithic man burned almost 1000 calories a day and consumed about 3000 calories a day, the average citizen of the affluent Western societies consume approximately 2100 calories a day and burn only about 300 calories a day! Research shows that those who are sedentary may lose almost 30 percent of their muscle mass over the course of their adult lives. This causes a loss of strength, balance, and inevitably leads to physical decline.

Benefits of Exercise

As Pratt and Matthews note, here are the enormous benefits of exercise:

Exercise Benefits

Exercise produces a brain that is more plastic and adaptive to change; those physically fit will experience less age-related brain-tissue shrinkage, and thus be better able to retain and enhance their cognitive function.

Exercise Benefits

  • Exercise can make your heart stronger
  • Exercise burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight; exercise is similarly essential for keeping off lost weight.
  • Exercise helps to control your blood sugar and thus helps to manage or prevent diabetes.
  • Exercise improves blood circulation, and along with that a wealth of health benefits.
  • Exercise decreases blood pressure.

Benefit of Exercise

  • Exercise increases your cognitive ability, and helps you to focus and remain alert.
  • Exercise before or after a meal diminishes the postprandial rise in potentially harmful triglycerides, a type of fat.
  • Exercise boosts the immune system.
  • Exercise reduces back pain.

More Benefits to Exercise

  • Exercise lowers your risk of getting upper respiratory infections.
  • Exercise relieves arthritis.
  • Exercise lowers your risk of dying prematurely.
  • Exercise makes you stronger and more flexible.
  • Weight-bearing exercises in particular make your bones stronger.
  • Exercise increases your level of endorphin; these brain chemicals increase your sense of well-being, improve mood and fight depression.
  • Exercise prevents cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Here’s a full list of the diseases and conditions that exercise helps prevent: stroke, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, coronary artery disease, heart disease, type II diabetes, depression, dementia, chronic lung disease, arthritis, cataracts and macular degeneration.

Indeed, one interesting study demonstrated that physical inactivity was an even greater risk to health than smoking. One in five deaths of those over age 35 in Hong Kong could be attributed to lack of physical activity.

Motivation to exercise

Even though you know know all the benefits to exercise, a lot of the motivation to exercise still comes from your determination and peseverence. Most people who begin an exercise program drop out within the first six months, primarily because their short-term motivation has degenerated. Making exercise a priority and a regular routine will help you make sure that you do not give yourself excuses not to exercise.

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