5 convincing reasons to start working out NOW!
According to the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York, “Exercise is the only known intervention that can have lasting effects on function after a spinal cord injury, both in promoting neural recovery and in reducing secondary complications. There is no “magic pill” that can replace all the benefits of exercise.”
So, if you do not currently have a fitness regimen, what are you waiting for?
Working Out Enhances Your Mental Well Being
As Elle Wood argued in Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.”
And she’s right…physical activity stimulates the brain chemicals known as endorphins that leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. These boosts in endorphins are also linked to combating depression and boosting confidence and self-esteem. Additionally, it’s been shown that regular aerobic activity promotes better sleep by helping you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. And as counter-intuitive as it may seem, working out regularly will give you more energy as your fitness improves.
Regular Activity Is Good for Your Cognitive Health
Your brain IS part of your body and working out helps with brain health and memory while also lowering your risk of age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular exercise has been shown to grow the size of the hippocampus (the part of the brain vital for memory and thinking skills) as well as decrease insulin resistance and reduce inflammation, creating optimal conditions for growing new blood vessels in the brain and keeping those brain cells alive. As little as 120 minutes of aerobic activity per week is enough to combat the brain fog that many folks experience as they age.
Getting Fit Will Help You Live Healthier Longer
This one is really a “no-brainer”, but it has been so well documented in health studies that it’s worth repeating. Regular exercise has been proven to prevent, mitigate, or manage common health issues such as stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type II diabetes, and cancer. The CDC recommends both cardio/aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening and states that, no matter what one’s current fitness level, health status, or demographic, everyone can benefit from physical activity.
Movement Keeps Your Joints Supple and Skeleton Healthy
There’s a reason “motion is lotion” is played on repeat among many physical therapists because the more you get your body moving, the more natural lubricants are released into your joints keeping them healthy and active. A stretching regimen included in your workout routine may also improve flexibility, reduce spasticity, and combat chronic pain. Exercise also helps with circulation to the muscles and bones, while weight bearing exercise has been shown to reduce bone loss. Recommended exercises for healthy joints include low impact, high repetition type movements. Remember to always seek medical attention if you are experiencing joint pain while working out.
Exercise Helps to Maintain Healthy Weight, Build Strength and Improve Lung Function
Whether your goal is to lose a few pounds, build muscle tone or just breathe easier, making exercise part of your daily routine is a sure-fire way to get there. Are you a foodie who loves to eat? Working out regulates appetite and speeds up metabolism to burn more calories. Wanna reduce the risk of falls and making transfers safer and easier? Strength training will help you be safer with activities of daily living. Need to breathe easier? Cardio (aerobic) workouts increase lung strength and mitigate the risk of respiratory infections. And there are other secondary benefits too, including improvements in bowel program, fewer UTIs, healthier skin and (shhhh…improved sexual function).