Benefits of Exercise
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. You don’t need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise, just take the stairs instead of the elevator or park the car a bit further away and walk to work/school/beach.
Combat health conditions and diseases
Exercise can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, back pain, asthma, heart disease, arthritis and falls.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals (endorphins) that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
Studies have shown that exercise can even alleviate symptoms among the clinically depressed. For this reason, docs recommend that people suffering from depression or anxiety (or those who are just feeling blue) pencil in plenty of gym time. In some cases, exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant pills in treating depression.
Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
Promote better sleep
Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep.
Boost Brainpower & Sharpen Memory
Cardiovascular exercise has been shown to create new brain cells (aka neurogenesis) and improve overall brain performance. Studies suggest that a tough workout increases levels of a brain-derived protein (known as BDNF) in the body, believed to help with decision making, higher thinking, and learning.
Prevent cognitive decline
It’s unpleasant, but it’s true — as we get older, our brains get a little… hazy. Aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t “cure” Alzheimer’s, it can help the brain work against cognitive decline by boosting the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.