08 Dec What’s the big deal?
We’ve all heard “exercise is good for you,” but what does it actually do that’s so good? Where to begin… Exercise:
Helps prevent diseases: Keeping your body strong and healthy will help your immune system fight off viruses and can help prevent long-term diseases. (You can check out the Immune System Post to learn more.)
Improves mood: Dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine are all elevated after exercise. These are the feel good neurotransmitters of your brain. Exercise also releases endorphins in your brain that also boost your mood. In addition, exercise boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Provides a mental boost: Exercise causes the growth of new brain cells and stimulates neural (nerve) connections. Your prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for things like decision making, impulse control and creativity, increases in size and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) is stimulated – a protein that is responsible for keeping your brain healthy.
Releases stress: Exercise is one of the best known, and healthiest ways, to relieve stress, thereby improving your mental focus and mood.
Controls weight: To reach and maintain a healthy weight, eating right isn’t enough — people need to exercise. Exercise burns calories and builds muscle. Muscles, in turn, burn more calories.
Increased physical abilities: With exercise, you can gain better coordination, balance, strength, and endurance, enabling you to do more in your everyday life.
Strengthens muscles and bones: Exercise strengthens bones and muscles and reduces the risk of osteoporosis (you know, porous bones that cause older people to shrink and bend over as they age). In particular, weight training is excellent at increasing bone density.
Enhances balance and flexibility: Being flexible and having good balance are two key factors in preventing injuries. They are the foundation for improved overall athletic functioning and should be part of an exercise regime.
Improves stamina: Stamina is another word for endurance. Improving stamina means you can do your favorite activities for longer, outlasting your competitors.
Improves cardiovascular health: exercise improves your heart health, letting you lead a longer, fuller, healthier life.
Yeah, exercise is that good! There’s just no way around it: exercise helps every organ, cell and organism in your body. Find out the three main components of exercise that you need to focus on in the next post….
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