Exercise Burns Fat, Boosts the Immune System and Much More
***Article Updated: Added coronavirus/COVID-19 – April 2020
Exercise Burns Fat, Boosts Immune System and Much More!
Exercise has always been encouraged by health care experts as an optimum means of staying healthy and fit. Physicians, health enthusiasts, and doctors recommend incorporating regular exercise to take advantage of the many health benefits it provides. Though exercise is now becoming more prevalent in society, there are many components of it that remain to be understood.
There are different types of exercises for different body parts. Cardio, yoga, calisthenics, weightlifting, etc. Regardless of type, exercise plays an imperative part in maintaining the health and shape of the body.
In this article, we examine how exercise not only affects your body, but also your mind.
Let’s look at the benefits of exercise:
Weight Loss: This is possibly the most widely known function and benefit of exercise. Increased physical activity burns fat and calories from the body, which helps with toning and eventually decreases body weight. Fortunately, not all exercise needs to be intense. Switching to healthier everyday activities such as taking the stairs, walking, cycling to work, or walking while speaking on the phone, can help the body burn calories more regularly.
Improves circulatory functions and cardiac health: Exercise helps eliminate bad cholesterol (LDL) and promotes high levels of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. Removing bad cholesterol enables better circulation of blood throughout the body. Moreover, efficient exercise helps the heart beat efficiently, which also supports cardiac health.
Improves immune system health: The importance of exercise for immune system health continues to be underrated. With regular exercise, bacteria can be eliminated from airways faster, improving one’s breathing through lungs. Exercise improves the immune system’s ability to locate and remove pathogens. It helps the body create more antibodies and important T-cells that are necessary for fighting off viral infections (e.g. coronavirus/ COVID-19), pathogens, and foreign substances. Regular exercise reduces stress, and, in turn, this provides a much-needed boost to the immune system because chronic stress weakens the immune system.
Boosts energy levels: Exercise increases energy levels and the body’s stamina, thereby allowing you to have more energy throughout the day. Regular exercise also increases muscle strength, helping you perform daily chores with more ease (e.g. carrying grocery bags from the supermarket, shoveling snow, carrying children, etc.).
Increases metabolism: Exercise also improves the overall metabolism of the body, similar to how it boosts energy levels. For most people as they age, their muscle mass starts declining, causing metabolism to slow down. Therefore, it becomes vital to engage in some form of regular exercise. Exercise increases muscle mass and strength, which both help increase metabolism. Increased metabolism aids in losing weight and prevents you from gaining unnecessary pounds.
Relieves stress: Working out is the best way to ease emotional and mental stress. Studies reveal that a simple 30-minute walk can calm the mind. When you work out, you help release stress and calories.
May keep cognitive problems at bay: There are some health conditions that cannot be avoided in some people, but with regular exercise they may be delayed. These include health problems such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s. A study noted that high intensity exercise may delay the advancement of Parkinson’s and may slow down the deterioration of motor symptoms. The whole idea behind the concept of delayed onset of certain neurological diseases is that the release of hormones following exercise keeps the brain healthy and may protect it against diseases, especially between 25-45 years old.
Mood enhancer: With regular exercise, not only is your body more efficient at regulating hormones, but you may also get the potential mood-boosting effects that come with physical activity. For example, exercise increases serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your appetite, mood, and sleep.
Endorphins are natural mood enhancers that increase with regular exercise and physical movement. Many doctors recommend some form of exercise to patients suffering from depression. It has been shown to be just as effective at helping ease depression symptoms as anti-depressants.
Boosts self-confidence: Exercise boosts self-confidence because of the overall positive effects it has on the body and mind.
Boosts brain power and memory: Several studies suggest that people who work out regularly have stronger brainpower than those who do not. Similar to the rest of our body, the brain can get lazy. Thus, exercising is an ideal way to keep it active. Regular exercise results in higher mental concentration and better problem-solving skills. You also enhance your memory as a result of having increased concentration. Exercise promotes the development of cells in the hippocampus region of the brain.
Improved sleep patterns: An exhausted body rests well. Exercise increases the body temperature, which results in a hyperactive state. When this temperature drops back to normal, the body signals the brain to go to sleep, and the exhaustion from the workout allows you to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
Aids addiction recovery: Short workout sessions can help people recover from addiction. Exercise works as a healthy distraction and can help keep the mind stable, elevate the mood, and reduce undesired urges of the body.
Keeps the creative juices flowing: Many studies reveal that a 30-minute walk proves effective in finding an out-of-the-box solution for a problem that you may be facing. Exercise may help you think more creatively about things.
Enjoy the outdoors: If you opt for workouts such as walking, strolling, jogging, or other exercise sessions in parks and grounds, you can enjoy the outdoors in an entirely different way. Nature is the best therapy, and fresh air helps you rejuvenate your body and mind. Additionally, you get adequate amounts of Vitamin D from sun exposure, which is necessary for the skin and bones to grow on a healthy basis.
The benefits of exercise are endless, and this article has named a few of the many ways that exercise can help your body. By exercising regularly, you can get into shape, ease depression symptoms, improve sleep, improve cognition and memory, and so much more. This should inspire and motivate you to exercise on a more regular basis, and we hope that you use this article as a means to take care of your body more effectively.
What are you waiting for? Plan your next work out and let us know which method of exercise you prefer most!
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