Many people equate regular exercise with good health, but for different reasons. For most of us, achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is our number one reason for establishing a regular exercise regimen. What you may not know is that other benefits of regular exercise could be even more impactful on building a healthy lifestyle. Here are 7 of our favorites.
Improved Mood. Exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormones that help stabilize and improve our moods. One Harvard study indicated that exercise is just as effective as prescription antidepressants for men and women experiencing the blues.
Reduced Chronic Pain. Those endorphins released in exercise that help improve your mood can also increase your pain tolerance. Having a dedicated workout routine has been shown to reduce chronic pain over just six weeks of working out three times a week.
Increased Energy Levels. That tired feeling you get right after a tough workout is a wake-up call for your body. The more you demand from your body, the more energy you’ll have as it gears up to meet the challenge.
Lower Blood Pressure. Steady-state cardio (like walking or swimming) lowers blood pressure by changing the flexibility of blood vessels. We especially like indoor cycling for low-impact, steady-state cardio training.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels. Regular movement helps the body become more efficient with its blood sugar-insulin release dance, thanks to increased insulin sensitivity. As a bonus, weight loss is a natural side effect of regular movement that will also improve blood sugars and A1C over time.
Fewer Colds. Reduce your risk of catching seasonal colds by 25-50 percent with just four sessions of walking each week. Your immune system gets a much-needed boost with regular, moderate exercise.
Stronger Bones. Regular weight-bearing exercise moves your muscles around. Muscles are connected to your bones, and bones respond to that repeated push-pull by growing dense and getting stronger. Stronger bones are more resistant to fracture.
At Mercy Fitness Center, we understand the many benefits of regular exercise and offer programs and classes that are built around your personal health goals. Learn more about our Medical Fitness and Clinical Integration programs to find an individualized pathway that offers the support you need to help you meet your goals. Our fitness professionals are here to help, so don’t feel like you have to do it alone. Let’s go!