By Staff of Forum Health Las Colinas
You may know of some benefits of exercise for your health and wellness. Of course, there’s weight loss and weight maintenance. Yet, there are so many more benefits. To quote Dr. Mark Hyman, “If exercise could be put in a pill, it would be the biggest blockbuster medication of all time.” Here are ten more benefits that you may or may not be aware of (some of them may surprise you!):
1. Reduces Stress
Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones — such as adrenaline and cortisol — in your body. Additionally, exercise stimulates the body’s production of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood elevators.
2. Improves Mood and Relieves Depression
In addition to producing endorphins, exercise also changes parts of the brain that regulate anxiety. With exercise, you can increase sensitivity to serotonin and norepinephrine, hormones that can relieve feelings of depression.
3. Improves Sleep Quality and Duration
Exercise can help not only help you relax, but it can improve your sleep quality. The energy loss that happens when you exercise will stimulate your body to restore itself during sleep. And studies show that sleep not only improves the quality of sleep but also helps you fall asleep faster.
4. Promotes Brain Health and Improves Memory
Exercise increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also cause the hippocampus — the area of the brain responsible for memory — to grow in size. Most importantly, regular exercise may help protect mental function as we age.
5. Helps the Body Manage Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
When you exercise, you increase your insulin sensitivity which makes it easier for your muscles to take up glucose and use it for energy — both during and after your workout. In essence, exercise can lower your blood sugar level and help your body’s insulin work better.
6. Reduces Risk of Heart Disease and Other Chronic Diseases
Regular exercise boosts HDL cholesterol and reduces triglycerides — which decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Exercise can also reduce your risk for colon, breast, and lung cancer, among others. And regular exercise can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.
7. Builds and Maintains Muscles and Bones
When you engage in regular exercise — especially strength training — you produce hormones that help your muscles absorb amino acids. This type of weight-bearing exercise can also help build bones, which is particularly important as you get older to prevent osteoporosis and improve balance and coordination.
8. Boosts Energy
When you exercise, you’re delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. You’re also helping your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. By improving your heart and lung health, plus strengthening your muscles, you’ll have more sustained energy throughout the day.
9. Helps Relieve Pain
Exercise has been shown to reduce the chronic pain associated with various conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, and more. Additionally, exercise can increase pain tolerance and make daily activities easier.
10. Improves Skin
As you can see, regular exercise has major benefits for your health and wellness. And it doesn’t have to be a lot: Just 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can make all the difference in your health, wellness, and longevity!
Additional Pillars of Health and Wellness
Exercise — as important as it is — is just one pillar of health. Three more vital pillars are:
- Nutrition: What you put into your body has EVERYTHING to do with how healthy you are overall. Proper nutrition can reduce inflammation to help your body heal itself naturally.
- Sleep: Lack of sleep can lead to a host of chronic health conditions, from chronic fatigue to depression to weight gain and much more.
- Stress Management: Stress is a major cause of a weakened immune system, so practices such as mindfulness and other stress-relieving activities are crucial.
No matter how much exercise you get, if one or more of these pillars is out of balance, you can’t achieve the wellness you truly desire. That’s where we come in.
We can help you achieve a healthy, vibrant life
If you feel like you just don’t have the time or energy to exercise because of other conditions or situations — such as nutritional deficiencies, sleep issues, or chronic stress — come in and see us. We can thoroughly identify and treat any physical issues that may be causing difficulty for you.
Often we find that hormonal imbalances, gut health issues, nutritional deficiencies, and food sensitivities can all contribute to feelings of depletion, signs of an underlying illness, and more.
The human body is a miraculous thing, and once steps are taken to restore you back to health, you will start to feel better quickly and will be on your way to a better quality of life filled with vitality and greatly improved health and wellness!