The Benefits Of Regular Exercise
Dr Thanh-Tam Pham - 10/7/2020
Being active has been shown to have many health benefits both physically and mentally.
There are many types of exercise:
- Aerobic exercise: walking, running, swimming, cycling…
- Resistance training: use of weights or resistance bands
- Flexibility: Yoga, stretching..
1- Mental benefit:
Exercise has been shown to improve your mood and reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and stress.
2- It can improve brain health and memory:
It increases heart rate which promotes blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Dancing has been shown to prevent dementia as it integrates physical activity, coordination with music and social interaction.
3- It improves muscle and bone strength.
As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function which can lead to falls, injuries and disabilities.
Muscle strengthening exercises help to stabilise and support the joints preventing wear and tear, thus preventing degenerative changes in osteoarthritis.
Regular exercise is essential to reduce muscle loss and maintain strength as you age.
Weight bearing and resistance exercise help to build bone density in the younger years and help to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis later in life.
4- Exercise increase your energy level:
Regular exercise reduces feeling of fatigue and increase energy level in people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and from other serious illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis..
5- Exercise increases sleep quality and you feel more energised during the day.
6- It can help skin health:
Regular moderate exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants which help protect cells. It can stimulate blood flow to the skin and can delay the appearance of skin aging.
7- Exercise and weight loss:
Regular exercise increases your metabolic rate to burn more calories and help you to lose weight. Combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximise fat loss and maintain muscle mass and maintain weight loss.
8- Exercise can reduce pain:
Exercise has been shown to help relieve chronic pain and improve quality of life. It can also raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception.
9- It can reduce the risk of chronic disease:
Regular exercise improves Insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness, decrease blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Lack of exercise can lead to significant increase in belly fat, risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and early death.
10- It can help reduce the risk of cancer and improve immunity to fight infections:
There are evidence that exercise improves immunity and it lowers the risk of several cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer..
Exercise improves the transit time for food to travel through the digestive system and therefore decreases the gastrointestinal tract exposure to possible carcinogens to cause cancer (colon).
Sedentary behaviour (prolonged periods of watching TV, playing games, sitting or lying down…) is a risk factor for developing chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, type2 diabetes and premature death.