Regular exercise has several beneficial effects on the body that develops overall health, well-being, and longevity. It improves the function of the body’s cardiovascular system, respiratory system, metabolism, cognitive function and also helps in healthy aging.
The main types of exercise are
Aerobic Exercises: Cardio or aerobic exercise such as running, biking, swimming, cycling, brisk walking, etc. These exercises involve large muscle groups and help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
Anaerobic Exercises: Resistance training such as lifting weights, sprinting, interval training. These exercises help in toning muscles and increasing bone strength. Flexibility
Exercises: Balance and flexibility exercise such as yoga, tai chi. These exercises stretch and lengthen the muscles.
What are the benefits of exercise to the Cardiovascular system?
Regular exercise lowers chances of developing serious heart disease and vascular disease including:
- Exercise improves the overall cardiac function
- Exercise reduces the blood pressure in case of hypertension
- Exercise improves the overall vascular function.
- Exercise helps to prevent atherosclerosis
What are the benefits of exercise to the Respiratory system?
Regular exercise helps to prevent chronic lung disease including:
- Exercise improves lung capacity.
- Exercise increases the blood flow to the lungs, allowing the lungs to deliver more oxygen into the blood.
What are the benefits of exercise to the Musculoskeletal system?
Exercise increases the
- The size and strength of the muscle fibers.
- The strength of the ligaments and tendons.
- The number and density of the capillaries that supply blood to the skeletal muscles.
- The number and the size of the mitochondria in the muscle tissue, which allows the muscle to burn more energy.
What are the metabolic benefits of exercise?
Regular exercise greatly improves the overall metabolic function including:
- Exercise increases the muscle’s ability to burn fat more efficiently.
- Exercise reduces triglyceride blood levels.
- Exercise increases the HDL cholesterol often called good cholesterol.
- Exercise reduces insulin resistance thus helps to prevent type 2 diabetes in people who are at increased risk for this disease.
What are the psychological benefits of exercise?
Some of the psychological benefits of exercise including:
Better mood: The body releases a number of feel-good hormones during exercise, improving the overall mood.
Managing stress and anxiety: Exercise also helps to lower the levels of stress-related hormones in the body.
Better sleep: Regular exercise aids with overall sleep quality.
What are the risks of not exercising?
A sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of the following health problems:
Cardiovascular disease: Daily physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke by strengthening the heart muscles, lowering blood pressure and increasing the heart’s working capacity.
Type 2 diabetes: Regular physical activity can help to prevent and control type 2 diabetes by reducing body fat.
Osteoporosis: Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation and may prevent many forms of bone loss associated with aging.
Obesity: Physical activity helps to reduce body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and improving the body’s ability to use calories.
High Blood Pressure: Regular physical activity can reduce blood pressure in those with high blood pressure levels. Physical activity also reduces body fat, which is associated with high blood pressure.
What is a recommended regular exercise program?
Here are some recommendations to get started with a regular exercise program:
- Aim to include 30 – 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
- Find other people to exercise with for support and encouragement. Consider joining an exercise group or class, such as a dance class, hiking club, or volleyball team.
- Keeping track of progress may help set goals and stay motivated.
- Make everyday activities more active for e.g. consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Should I check with a doctor before starting an exercise program?
It is a good idea to see a doctor before starting a physical activity program if:
- A person is aged over 45 years
- Physical activity causes pain in the chest
- A person has spells of severe dizziness
- Moderate physical activity causes breathlessness
- A person is at a higher risk of heart disease
- A woman is pregnant
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