7 Exercise Benefits You Should Know About

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There are umpteen reasons why exercise should be a major part of your lifestyle.

But, if you’re like most people, you have 101 other reasons why it never seems to happen!

If this is you, stop right there–note down at least 5 reasons why you think exercise is beneficial to you personally.

Without a doubt most of us know that exercise is crucial, but will you actually put that knowledge to use and hit the gym today?

If you’re sitting on the fence on this one, here are 7 exercise benefits to convince you….

1. Exercise improves your mind
Scientific studies have shown regular exercise helps keep the brain alert and focused, and it’s also thought to improve the memory.

2. Exercise keeps your heart strong
Exercise, coupled with a healthy diet, is really important in for maintaining a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level.

In turn this greatly reduces your chance of having a heart attack.

3. Exercise keeps your bones strong
Regular exercise maintains bone strength by slowing bone loss, and improving muscle strength. 

For postmenopausal women it is also helpful in slowing the rate of bone loss. And in fact, if you already have osteoporosis, exercise will improve strength, balance, and posture to prevent falls.

Find out more about exercise and osteoporosis.

4. Exercise may help prevent cancer
A recent study has shown that men who exercised, for at least 30 minutes per day (moderate to high intensity), halved their risk of dying prematurely from cancer–mainly gastrointestinal and lung cancer.

One of the researchers, Dr Kurl pointed out, “We found a 50% reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer.” They add, physical inactivity over a person’s lifespan may be a “key factor in the initiation of cancer development.”

5. Exercise increases stamina and strength
When you exercise regularly, your muscles develop and naturally your strength begins to increase.

To improve your stamina and strength, add distance running, strength training, and interval training to your weekly exercise routine.

6. Exercise improves your mood
Research suggests taking at least 30 minutes of exercise, three to five days per week, may significantly improve depression symptoms

It’s thought that exercise raises the level of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain, and may also boost those feel-good endorphins, release muscle tension, help you sleep better, and reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

All of these benefits can improve symptoms of depression.

And, the good news is even if you can’t face a full-on workout, smaller amounts of activity are also beneficial in the short term.

7. Exercise burns calories
Working out at a pace which gets your heart beating encourages your body to burn unwanted calories.

Exercise also revs up your metabolism, and builds muscles, so you’ll be burning calories even when you sleep.

There are so many benefits to be gained from exercise. So, no more excuses, Just Do It!

What are the main exercise benefits for you? And how do you overcome apathy to exercise?

Image credit: BeverlyLR

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips August 18, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Good post Mel. All valid points and it really makes you wonder why some people refuse to exercise. When you list the benefits like this it seems stupid not to.

Reply

Melanie August 19, 2009 at 8:17 am

Hey Tom,
It’s so easy to conveniently forget the benefits though, isn’t it?

Reply

Ruth August 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm

Exercise is my happy pill :-)
Seriously, when I don’t exercise, I tend to wallow a lot longer in hopelessness, feeling overwhelmed and negativity. Not like I never get those feelings ever, but when I’m exercising, it’s like I feel a lot more in control of my life.

Just going for a walk helps clear the brain and can do wonders if you are feeling low, stressed, overwhelmed, sad….

Thanks for reminding us of other long-term benefits of exercise.

Reply

Melanie August 21, 2009 at 8:45 pm

Hi Ruth,
I find this to be so true also, going out for a walk is one of the best ways to clear your head from all the stuff that gets clogged up in there!!

Reply

Cathy in NZ August 22, 2009 at 1:52 am

Finding a way to add exercise into my life right now was difficult until one morning I discovered that if I caught an even more express bus into the city and getting off at the first ‘in city stop’ I could walk from there to Uni….it doesn’t take long and it’s either flat or downhill.

Later, when I had that underway I started walking the reverse option in the late arvo which meant I had an uphill option followed by an even flat walk. I don’t necessarily get an express bus home though.

It is possibly only 20mins total but it’s enough! Somedays I think I won’t walk the reverse as I’m quite tired from the rabbit warren of the Uni but I walk on the opposite side of a road (where I could get another service home) and before I know I’m at the overbridge waiting for the next bus out West :-)

Combining that with portion control I seem to be staying at an even weight balance…ok, I have at least a couple of treats per week/food….but I am aware of balancing out other parts of fuel intake to compensate.

Today/Saturday I needed to get some groceries so I decided I would have some lunch at the Mall. I finally decided on a Mediterran type salad from Muffin Break. Everyone around me was eating a huge muffin and one lady commented that mine looked quite tasty. It wasn’t a large bowl but it was very nice a mix of roasted vege and raw veg with some ?feta bits. (I do eat their muffins)

Reply

Melanie August 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

Cathy,
It all sounds perfectly under control! It’s so great that you’re keeping on track. I love your idea of getting the express bus into the city, what a great idea, and so much better than sitting in a stuffy bus for the whole journey. Hope uni is going well too–I’m sure the walking helps to clear your head from all that information overload too!

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