4 Physical Health Benefits of Exercise
The chances are very good that most of you reading this know about the two most common physical benefits of exercise: losing weight and building muscle.
Those two benefits, while important, seem to be the only things people focus on when it comes to exercise.
But, there are actually numerous other physical benefits associated with exercise that don’t get talked about enough.
It Can Help Your Immune System
One of the key benefits of physical exercise is how it can actually help improve your immune system.
It’s fair to say that no one wants to get sick.
The common cold, flu, etc., make you miss work and prevent you from spending time with your family.
Physical exercise can help improve your immune system in a few different ways.
For starters, physical exercise causes your body temperature to rise, which can in turn help prevent bacteria from growing.
Likewise, exercise has been shown to help increase the circulation of white blood cells, which means that they can detect and attack potential viruses quicker.
Exercise Gives You More Energy
Another very useful physical benefit associated with exercise is increased energy levels.
This might be a bit confusing at first, after all, exercising uses energy, so how can it boost your energy levels?
However, it makes perfect sense.
Exercising regularly causes your brain to produce more energy than it normally would.
Your brain is able to sense how much energy you’re using and produce more to compensate for the extra lost energy.
On the other hand, if you don’t exercise, then your body lowers its production of energy because it realizes that it’s a waste of resources.
Exercise Helps You Sleep Better
Sleep is the foundation upon which your body’s health is built. If you don’t get enough sleep, every part of your body suffers.
You won’t feel well, you’re more likely to get sick, your muscles will hurt, etc.
So, getting a good night’s sleep is important. Again, exercise can be a great way of burning off excess energy and that makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
Exercise Makes Digestion Easier
Finally, let’s talk about a very overlooked benefit of exercise, how it can aid digestion.
Exercising regularly not only makes your stomach digest food easier (which can prevent stomach aches and the feeling of bloating), but it can also make your digestive system work a lot more efficiently, which reduces the chances of things like constipation.
How Much Should You Be Exercising Every Week?
Whether you prefer to head to the gym or stay home and work out at your own pace, exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
But, getting active doesn’t have to involve a dedicated workout session every day.
In fact, it’s better for your mind and body to go out and just try to be come active with the help of fun sports and hobbies–horseback riding, hiking, golfing, or even a walk at the park are ideal.
But, no matter how you choose to be more active, do you know how often you should be participating in these activities?
A lot of research has been done to figure out just how active us humans should be and at what point we can achieve the optimum state of health for our bodies.
Here’s the scoop.
What’s Your Activity Level?
Deciding how often you should work out is a very personal decision.
Not only does it depend on your health and fitness goals, it also depends on your current state of health.
A younger person with little to no extra fat will be able to workout for longer than an older person with extra weight on them.
You should consider your current state of health so you don’t push yourself too hard.
Additionally, you should consider how active you currently are in your day to day life.
A stewardess or teacher, for instance, is going to be more active in their daily life than a person working a desk job. Once you determine your normal activity level, that will help you set a baseline.
If you live a sedentary life sitting most of the day, you probably need to deliberately incorporate more activity than a person who has a slightly or moderately active lifestyle.
Always Count On A Rest Day
No matter what activity level you decide to make your standard, it is paramount that you incorporate a rest day into your routine.
As an example, if you have big health and fitness goals and you are choosing to workout at the gym 5-6 days a week, you absolutely need to use that 7th day to rest.
Your rest day can still be active, but you need to refrain from intense cardio or weight lifting sessions so that your muscles can repair themselves and get stronger.
Long periods of working out without any rest days is asking for trouble–including injuries!