5 Research-backed Benefits of Regular Exercise

We all know that getting up and getting moving is good for our bodies. This post is meant to highlight some of the great benefits you can get from exercise.

Benefit 1: Improved mood
Elle Woods had it totally right: Exercise increases endorphins, which make people happy. But what are endorphins? Endorphins are hormones that our body releases when we are doing something that requires a burst of energy(like exercise). You may also find yourself in a better mood because you have better energy levels and are less likely to have other long term illnesses.

Benefit 2: Improved energy
Exercise improves energy by helping the cardiovascular system to function more efficiently. You may also notice improved energy because of the hormones and endorphins released during exercise. While many people think that they need to spend a lot of time at the gym to achieve this effect, experts with the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) say that to receive the benefits of improved cardiovascular function you should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times per week.

Benefit 3: Weight management
While exercise needs to be combined with healthy nutrition to have the best effects, exercise can be an effective tool to help with weight management. The basics of weight management are that you need to “burn” more calories than you take in. Exercise increases the amount of calories you burn through increased energy expenditure and increasing muscle mass.

Benefit 4: Increased Strength and Endurance
Having good strength and endurance allows you to effectively spend time with your family and friends, allows you to perform well at work, and allows you to do extra activities you enjoy. Improvements in strength and endurance lower your risk of injury and may help with other aspects of health like flexibility and decreases in pain. You may find that you are also able to try new things that you may not have been able to before like running your first 5k, completing a new pilates class, or trying indoor rock climbing for the first time.

Benefit 5: Decreased risk of long term disease
Various research studies have shown exercise plays a role in the prevention of or management of long term diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. In the article Health benefits of physical activity: The Evidence, which reviewed several of these articles, it is stated that the evidence is irrefutable that regular physical activity will prevent a majority of these diseases, and will lower your risk of dying early. It also states that the prevalence of physical inactivity is higher than any other modifiable risk factor for many of these diseases. If you have one of these diseases, exercise can be a helpful tool for conservative management of your symptoms.

Other benefits of exercise include increased confidence & improved mental clarity

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