In addition to weight control, consistent physical activity offers the following impressive benefits:
1. Improved Mood Even light exercise can boost your emotional wellbeing. Aerobic exercise stimulates the release of certain mood-elevating compounds called endorphins— “feel good” chemicals. These natural painkillers induce relaxation and relieve depression.
2. Reduced Risk of Heart Disease If you are overweight, you face a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, two major risk factors for heart disease. It also reduces stress, another contributing factor to heart disease, especially for women.
3. Increased Mental Acuity Memory loss can occur as a result of age, poor health, depression or medications. But unless there is irreversible brain damage, physical activity can invigorate and revitalize the mind. Aerobic exercise helps move blood and oxygen to all the body’s organs, including the brain.
4. Reduced risk of diabetes Excess weight increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Physically active people are less likely to develop this condition, and those who have type 2 diabetes can reduce their blood sugar and their need for medication with more physical activity. Exercise increases the body’s ability to use sugar for energy and thereby decreases the need for insulin.
5. Pain Relief When you exercise, your body generates pain-killing endorphins. Moderate exercise also triggers the release of natural cortisone, which helps relieve the pain of osteoarthritis. Overweight people are more susceptible to osteoarthritis. Strength training, in particular, can decrease arthritis pain and keep your body limber and flexible.
6. Increased Bone Density Osteoporosis is a debilitating bone condition responsible for chronic pain, spine problems and bone fractures for millions of people, most of them women. Bone loss is preventable and, to some extent, reversible. Resistance exercises, those that stress the bones, can help improve bone density and prevent bone loss with aging.
7. Longevity Obese people face a higher rate of mortality. Exercise may help reduce that risk. Studies of post-menopausal women have found that, in general, the more frequent and intense their physical activity, the lower their risk of death from all causes.
8. Increased Strength Regular resistance training exercises can significantly increase your strength. This has even been demonstrated even among in those over age 80.
9. Improved Quality of Sleep Lack of sleep is a common concern especially for women and it can have far-reaching effects on our health, increasing the risk for heart disease, depression and even some forms of cancer. Regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality.
10. Improved Energy Level Believe it or not, regular exercise can actually make you feel more energized and give you the vim and vigour to lead an active life.
Discover Why Exercise to Lose Weight is So Important.