Twelve Reasons You Need to Exercise, Part 2
My last post outlined six reasons you need to be moving more. Here are six more!
There are so many factors that contribute to the way our hormones operate. Everything from the food we eat, to what we breathe, to the toxins in our food containers and body care products have an effect on that delicate balance. Exercise positively affects our hormones by helping to regulate estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, while aiding in balancing insulin levels as well.
Increased blood flow and sweating both are huge contributors in helping the body to eliminate toxins. The skin is our largest elimination organ; it makes sense then, that sweating would go a long way in carrying off those nasty little toxins that are hanging out in our bodies! Meanwhile, better blood flow takes more nutrients to the cells, which enables them to also do their part in disposing of waste and keeping the body clean.
More Restful Sleep and Reduced Stress
These two go hand in hand. If you are not sleeping well, then chances are, you are feeling more stressed than you should be. At the same time, If you are feeling a bit more stressed than normal, you are probably also not sleeping as well. Exercise helps to ease both symptoms by promoting deeper, more restful sleep, as well as giving you a greater feeling of peace and happiness (remember the happy hormones we talked about?).
Better Brain Health
There have been study results that have linked regular exercise to a sharper mind and memory. Part of this is because of better focus that we experience when our blood to brain flow is optimal. But there are also long-term benefits to the hippocampus (the portion of the brain that is responsible for emotions, the autonomic nervous system, and memory).
Because cardiovascular disease is caused by something being wrong with the heart, one of the best ways to guard against it is by strengthening the heart. The other benefits of exercise that we have already touched on, increased bone density (which can go a long way in preventing osteoporosis), lower levels of body fat (which can decrease your “bad” cholesterol while increasing the “good” cholesterol), and better blood flow all have other benefits for our health long term.
Muscle growth was probably one of the first things you thought of when you read the title of this post! While big muscles are definitely not the most important result of exercise, a fit, toned body gives us a lot more than just good looks! It is a good indicator of what is happening inside: The body functioning well and doing its job of protecting us and keeping us healthy.
In conclusion, exercise is not just an option. It is necessary for good health. For you, it may mean just getting outside and walking every day. It may mean getting a gym membership and actually using it. It may even mean getting out of bed a half hour earlier so that you can go for a run before work. Whatever it means for you, make the necessary changes and do it. And do it consistently! Beating yourself up with an intense workout once every three weeks is not going to cut it. It’s better to do something quick and easy consistently, then something crazy but only once in a while. So get out and do it! Your body and brain will thank you!