Technology has made our lives easier, but with a down-side: less physical activities. From driving everywhere to performing chores with machines, or entertaining ourselves with TV & computer screens without moving an inch — there’s fewer reasons to stay active.
Less manual work/activities that require little to no physical effort means burning less energy; this has a negative impact on the body.
Whether it’s to get fit, shed some weight, or improve your well-being, exercising is important, and it offers physical & mental benefits!
Let Qilo walk you through the rewards of exercise that extend past lowering the numbers on the scale.
The Benefits Of Exercising
Let’s start from scratch, what qualifies as exercise?
Exercise is said to be any form of movement that puts your muscle to work and requires your body to burn a certain number of calories.
From jogging to swimming, dancing and biking, whether you’re strength training or weight training, exercises are bodily activities (there are three primary categories — aerobic, anaerobic and flexibility training) that come with numerous benefits especially if you’re consistent.
Exercising reduces the risk of heart diseases, helps with weight loss, aids the control of blood sugar and insulin levels in the body, strengthens bones and muscles, and so much more.
The long-term effects of exercise improves a person’s fitness, health and general wellness — physically and mentally, and anyone who’s stuck to a workout plan has enjoyed these rewards.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
It’s recommended that adults should ensure they’re getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity (this could be a brisk walk) each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (jogging or running counts).
If you’re feeling up to it, doing as much as 300 minutes of moderate activity or 150 minutes of vigorous activity offers even more health benefits in the long run.
For people who might seem daunted by the amount of minutes, it’s helpful to remember that a workout plan can be spread across multiple days.
A great idea is to identify and select specific times across the week that work best for you (early in the morning or late in the evening, for example) and build momentum at your own pace.
Exercising and Physical Health
Exercising is essential when it comes to living a long and healthy life, and there’s enough research to back this up.
So how does exercising benefit your physical health?
- Exercise helps with weight management, and not just weight loss:
Losing those excess pounds is great, but keeping them off successfully (and permanently) is almost impossible if you’re living an inactive lifestyle.
Start off with at least 30 minutes of exercising everyday, and at least 5 days a week.
Adjusting your calorie intake by rationing what you eat and drink is also vital when you’re exercising for weight management or weight loss.
To burn off excess calories that might otherwise have been stored as fat, a healthy eating plan must go alongside regular physical activity.
- Exercising does an incredible job building (and strengthening) your bones and muscles:
These two constantly work as you move around daily, and the more active you are, the stronger they become (more cells are built this way). Stronger bones and muscles means better balance, coordination and flexibility (which helps lessen rigidity, stiffness & even chronic pains like arthritis!).
- Exercising can significantly increase your energy levels:
This is because physical activities can cause oxygen and nutrients to circulate, helping your cardiovascular system function even better, and a healthy heart and lungs makes an energetic system!
- Exercising can improve the health of your skin:
Post-workout glow? It’s a real thing! That’s because there’s an increased flow of blood which also helps flush out waste from your system — a win for your skin on the outside, and your system on the inside.
Exercising and Mental Health
There’s substantial scientific evidence that exercising has immense benefits that go past the physical, and as your mental health is just as important, here’s some reasons why you should definitely get some exercise this week:
- Exercising leaves you feeling happier: Running for as little as 15 minutes in a day or walking for about an hour has been proven to aid the reduction of depression. Those feel-good chemicals? They’re released with physical activity i.e. exercising, and they do a fantastic job elevating your mood!
- Exercising can greatly aid memory retention and brain health: A sharper memory and thinking? Science says even moderate-intensity exercise can improve your thinking capacity and retentive abilities in only six months. This happens when chemicals released stimulate the production of new blood vessels and brain cells.
- Exercising helps you relax better: Whether in the day by reducing stress, anxiety, ADHD symptoms etc, or at night-time by improving the quality of your sleep, the production of endorphins while you exercise is how this happens!
- Exercising increases your self-esteem: We’d like to consider this one a no-brainer — who wouldn’t feel more confident with a trim, healthier-looking body? Definitely a big win.
Four Fitness Success Tips
Making exercise a habit can have tremendous results even with moderate levels of exercise, but consistency can be the hard part for most people.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your fitness goals, here’s how:
- Find a workout/exercise partner, or an accountability partner with whom you workout, or who keeps you on track.
- Keep records of the progress you’re making. This is a great way to measure your achievements and can also be a motivating factor too.
- Find ways to make exercising as fun as possible — with music, with fun physical activities etc. Exercising does not have to feel boring or monotonous!
- Find ways to get more active while carrying out everyday activities. This might mean driving around less, taking breaks from the computer to walk around, using the stairs more often etc.
If you’ve been looking for some inspiration to pick up an exercise regimen or to keep at a routine, Qilo trusts that we’ve helped you find some.
Think of the benefits attached to exercising — no pain, no gain!