It seems clear that two primary reasons people exercise are to become physically fit or lose weight. Although these are both venerable goals, exercise can have other health benefits that make engaging in physical activity even more advantageous than one previously thought. Here are three:
1. Exercise Boosts Energy Levels.
In discussing this fact, the MayoClinic explains why it is the case. In essence, exercise transports oxygen and nutrients to the body’s tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy. Thus in addition to developing a slimmer and shapelier physique, exercise gives you more energy to perform other tasks like grocery shopping or washing the car.
2. Heart Disease And Stroke Prevention.
According to NutriStrategy, exercise can play a role in preventing heart disease and stroke. This is the case because daily physical activity strengthens the heart muscle, lowers your blood pressure, raises your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Additionally, physical activity improves blood flow and increases your heart’s working capacity. All of these things play a role in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy and preventing heart disease and stroke.
3. Ability To Manage Stress.
In his discussion of the correlation between stress levels and exercise, 2006 Fitness Educator of the Year Len Kravitz cites the research findings of Hassmen, Koivula & Uutela regarding the matter. The findings indicate that people who have reached substantive levels of fitness through exercise are more capable of managing stress than those who are less physically fit. Moreover, Kravitz notes that the findings of the researchers indicate that higher levels of physical fitness are associated with lower levels of stress. Ultimately then, those who exercise and become physically fit are 1) better able to manage stress than non-exercisers and 2) less likely to have a great deal of stress.
As an avid exerciser, I find myself pleased with the physical results that come from subjecting my body to cardiovascular activity four to five times a week. Yet knowing that this physical activity can prevent degenerative diseases and enable me to combat stress makes exercising an even bigger priority for me. And I think it should be for you, too. Good luck!