Health Benefits of Exercise to Quality of Life
You have heard of the abstract health benefits of exercise that are supposed to come to you sometime in the future: stronger bones, lower BMI, better cholesterol and blood pressure levels, less risk of cancer and diabetes and even more years added to your life.
But for most people, these health benefits of exercise aren’t tangible enough to get them to participate in regular exercise. A New York Times article says that while most people value these goals,” a vast majority of Americans – two thirds of whom are overweight or obese – have thus far failed to swallow the ‘exercise pill.’
Instead, psychologists at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan said that it is time to stop thinking of future health, weight loss and body image as the main motivators for exercise and focus on the current health benefits of exercise.
“[Exercise] has to be portrayed as compelling behavior that can benefit us today,” says Michelle L. Segar, part of the research team at the University of Michigan. “People who say they exercise for its benefits to quality of life exercise more over the course of a year than those who say they value exercise for its health benefits.”
So are there any reasons for pulling yourself off the couch and getting up and moving?
Here you will see some of the immediate health benefits of exercise so that you will be more motivated to lace up the old tennis shoes and do what is healthy for your body.
Believe it or not, but sitting in a chair in front of a computer all day can sap your energy much faster than going on a morning jog.
Researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD and co-director of the University of Georgia exercise psychology laboratory, in Athens, said in a news release that “a lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise. But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.
For the majority of the population over forty, and sometimes earlier, cognitive function slowly declines due to a decline in the production of human growth hormone, a hormone which helps repair damaged cells and build new ones.
By performing high-intensity workouts, you can stimulate your body to produce and secrete more HGH that not only helps stimulate the production of lean muscle mass and quicken your metabolism, but can give you an immediate surge in brain function.
Since higher levels of human growth hormone can greatly increase the health benefits of exercise, a lot of research has gone into supplements that can trigger your body to produce and release more of its own stores of HGH.
Although many people initially start working out because they believe that losing some weight and getting in better shape will help them feel better about themselves in the long run, recent research shows that exercising outdoors will give you an immediate boost in your self-esteem.
A multi-study analysis looking at people who both exercised regularly and those who didn’t showed that when they exercised outside, the mental health benefits they saw were huge. “Every environment improved both self-esteem and mood for the participants,” says co-authors Jo Barton and Jules Pretty, researchers at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex.
Although the long-term benefits of exercise are definitely real, if you struggle with motivating yourself to exercise, you might benefit from focusing on the short-term health benefits of exercise instead.
According to an article by Patrick B. Massey M.D. exercise not only offers a broad range of benefits for people of all ages and improvements of nearly all medical conditions, it can even improve many symptoms of the elderly institutionalized with Alzheimer’s.
Repeated studies over the past several years have demonstrated that even our cognitively impaired elderly, who commonly succumb to Alzheimer’s and institutionalized care, can show dramatic health improvements from regular exercise.
The health benefits of exercise cited included the normalization of previously erratic sleep patterns plus nearly universal and significant reduction of agitation and reduced use of psychoactive medications along with their side effects. As if to emphasize the point, for some little-understood reason, patients with the highest initial agitation scores often showed the most dramatic improvements.
In a recent study at St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, 50 severely cognitively impaired nursing home residents participated in a supervised exercise program for three weeks.
The exercise sessions mostly involved walking, along with some light weightlifting and ball throwing and typically lasted only about 20 minutes. They conducted these brief exercise classes only three times per week.
The residents experienced decreased agitation, improved sleep and decreased use of medication after this light but regular exercise regime. Did I mention they only kept this up for three weeks?!
Researchers concluded that the quality of life of even severely cognitively impaired patients can quickly and substantially improve with very simple programs of regular exercise. The participants also showed enthusiasm to participate and compliance with the program was very high.
The elderly looked forward happily to their exercise classes so the un-measurable benefits of a more joyful and life-engaging attitude also seem to increase with regular physical activity.
What can we imply from such dramatic results?
If even such a simple and undemanding exercise program as this can yield such rapid health benefits for elderly patients with cognitive impairments, then how many of these degenerative symptoms might stem largely from of a lack of exercise in the first place? How many of us passively embrace a progressive decrease in regular physical activity as we mature?
Perhaps regular physical exercise, at any age, remains far more important for our health, well-being and mental powers than we’ve yet to realize. More of us have come to embrace regular exercise as a core component of maintaining our good health and preventing our physical, mental and psychological decline.
How many of us have just been thinking about it more without actually changing our habits?
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It has been well advocated that in order to be healthy and fit, we have to take regular exercise.
By performing exercise in a regular basis, it will promote well-coordinated body function and will prevent you from acquiring serious illnesses. If you want to live long enough, then engaging in regular exercise may help you enjoy long healthy life. There are numerous health benefits that this activity can give you.
To help you get enlightened, read the following facts.
1. Regular exercise strengthens your heart and minimizes the force exerted by your arteries which results to lower blood pressure. Health benefits of exercise can as well promote good body circulation as the heart pump blood and is ejected and distributed to all parts of the body.
2. Exercise greatly controls the complication of type II diabetes mellitus. The number one intervention of this disease is weight loss that can be achieved through compliance of regular exercise and recommended diet. Mainly, the effect of exercise in type II DM involves increasing insulin sensitivity that results to gradual weight loss.
3. For older persons, experiencing aerobic activities can help enhance physical health, weight reduction, and much healthier eating patterns. Also, by doing this, elders may notice better feeling, improved sleep and plausible energy.
4. In pregnant women, exercise can prevent more fat storage in the body that will help them obtain positive outlook and over-all well being. Also, it has been proven that exercise can also ease the process of labor and delivery with less complication to expect. The great result of this can also be extended to the baby.
5. Mental health can also be affected in great manner when you perform exercise. There are studies which believed that physical activity and routine body movements in exercise can bring not just physical wellness but also, maintain mental health of every person.
These are just only few of all recorded health benefits that exercise can do.
Take time to free your self for some sensible activities such as this in order for you to be physically and mentally fit. Remember that regular exercise should not be neglected if you want to have a healthier life.
Tragically, it would seem that too many of us, exercise is regarded as the enemy and as something to be willfully evaded and resisted at any and every opportunity possible, which is a very disconcerting perspective to adopt because exercise is our friend and ally.
There is a plethora of positive health benefits of exercise associated with exercise and so it is imperative that we do make and take the time to ensure that we actually get perform the requisite amount of exercise recommended by the experts.
The following is intended as a concise overview of the various health benefits associated with exercise, as well as a consideration as to how exactly they help us keep the weight off.
Whenever we exercise, this prompts the brain to then increase the production and secretion of the hormones commonly known as endorphins which are the natural feel good painkilling agents of the body which help to produce sensations of euphoria and contentment.
Given that opiates are synthetically produced to provide an artificial sense of exactly the same results that endorphins do, this is all the more reason to work out!
Exercise also helps to keep off the excess weight because it helps to raise our mood and stave off depression. How many of us reach for a tub of ice cream or a big bag of potato chips whenever we have had a rough day with the kids, a fight with our spouse, or trouble at work?
Many of use rely upon food as a sort of emotional crutch and numbing agent, to block out unhappy feelings and put them to rest.
However, by being able to raise our mood directly with exercise, this means that we need never let our stressful lifestyle compel us to pile on the pounds with binge eating.
The fact that we will also draw the attention and praise of others who recognise our new physique and compliment us on it is also a major boost to the self-esteem.
The metabolism is the process whereby calories are turned into energy for the remainder of the body and so the more we work out, the faster our metabolism works at. The less active we are conversely, the slower our metabolism works at.
As we exercise and slowly but surely begin to convert the percentage of fat mass around our body to muscle mass, this also means that we will keep the excess pounds from piling up. The reason for this is quite simple: our body will have to burn a higher amount of calories to sustain and maintain muscle tissue rather than fat tissue.
With that in mind then, once you reach a certain level of achievement with regards to your muscle mass you will find that your body is more forgiving about what you eat and how often. Of course, this does not mean you have full license to then binge on junk food all the time!