The Many Health Benefits of Exercise

Author: Alyce Cimino   Date Posted:12 September 2017 

We all know it, but how many of us actually do our 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day? Often it is due to a lack of time or wanting to spend those treasured 30 minutes elsewhere or just not finding the right exercise routine that works for you – There are however many benefits of reaching those 10 000 steps and getting your heart pumping daily.

BOOST HAPPINESS AND MOOD

There are many benefits that we are able to enjoy from exercise and improving our mood is a big one. Regular exercise naturally helps boost the production of the ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brain – endorphins. Endorphins help to trigger happy feelings also known as a ‘runners high’ while also interacting with the receptors that help to reduce our perception of pain. Excersice also helps our mood, it has been shown that people who exercise tend to experience depression less than inactive people.

Exercise naturally supports our daily and long term stress response, helping to reducing cortisol and adrenaline. When we experience long periods of stress our cortisol increases. High levels of cortisol can lead to long term health complications such as poor immunity, hypertension, metabolic conditions and loss of libido, which is why exercise can be so beneficial for our health.

Exercise can also have a wonderful social aspect, joining an exercise group can help create friendships, provide us a sense of belonging and boost our self-esteem. All of these can help to boost our mood and motivation towards exercise. Getting out and about can also help with our daily Vitamin D absorption, helping to improve general immunity!

SLEEP TIGHT

Went for a big walk during the day and found you were able to sleep better at night? You are not alone! Exercise during the day and away from your bed time, helps with our overall sleep quality. It is suggested this may be due to the increase and decrease of bodily temperatures, as well as helping the body to use energy effectively. As we mentioned above, there is a link between exercise and how we naturally respond to stress, addressing stress and reducing it can also help to improve our general sleep quality.

HEART LOVING

One of the major benefits of exercise is its role on our overall cardiovascular health. Exercise has been found to lower blood pressure, while working to strengthen our heart muscles and improve overall heart health. Exercise helps to get blood moving and flowing around the body, this movement can improve circulation and work on moving toxins out of the body.

Another benefit of exercise is its role on total cholesterol. It has been found that exercise can provide an overall improvement in cholesterol levels! Further enhancing our cardiovascular health.

 

BODY LOVING

It goes without saying that exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and waist line, by working on reducing overall body fat. Exercise also helps to improve general muscle tone and muscle strength as well as helping to strengthen and build bones. This links back into our emotional health, for when we feel good we tend to be happier in ourselves and our relationships.

PICK ME UP

On one hand exercise can help us sleep and on the other it can help boost our energy! Exercising in the morning and mid-morning can help to boost our energy levels throughout the day, as well as help relax into the evening.

NATURAL DETOX

Exercise naturally helps to improve circulation, when our blood moves around the body freely and smoothly, it means that our body is also able to clear toxins easily. Our lungs get a special mention here, during exercise our heart rate and breathing rate increase. By increasing our breath we are naturally increasing the ability for our lungs to breath in fresh air and expel toxins.

 

Wanting a little inspiration? Why not give these exercises a go:

Exercise

Why it’s great

Tai chi

Tai Chi is very gentle on the body and great to support moods and stress levels. Tai Chi works on balance and flexibility. Perfect for people with sore knees and joints due to slow movements.

Swimming

Swimming can be a high cardio exercise that is gentle on our joints due to the weightlessness of the water.

Pilates

Pilates can be done in the comfort of your own home or under the care of an instructor. Pilates can be gentle on the joints while supporting overall health and wellbeing.

Weight bearing exercise

Under the care of an instructor, weight bearing exercises can support our general bone health and strength, reducing the likelihood of fractures and brakes.

Yoga

A gentle and achievable exercise that helps you bend and twist into different positions. Each pose supports different parts of the body, working to support organs, bones and general health.

Gentle walk in nature

Getting out and about into nature helps to recharge the body and get fresh air into our lungs. Being out and about also helps with our daily Vitamin D levels.

Lawn bowls / golf / tennis

A fun way to get social and stay active by joining a group and staying active together.

 

* Always consult with a health professional before starting a new health routine. Speak with an experienced Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist before exercising with pre-existing injuries. Not all exercises are safe during and post pregnancy. 

Written by Alyce Cimino

Alyce Cimino (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified Naturopath with a passion for nutrition, food as medicine and helping others achieve their health goals towards a happy and healthy lifestyle. Alyce believes health begins with delicious whole foods and in her spare time you can find her in the kitchen creating something deliciously healthy or at the beach enjoying the sunshine and ocean.

Alyce has a love for herbal teas, but all teas are better with a little raw cheesecake on the side.


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