Why Exercise is Essential for Good Health (and a few surprising benefits!)

by Kathryn Oats | Jan 27, 2015

Brunette Stretching - we know exercise is good for us, so why don't we do it enough? Read more.

Yeah, yeah we have heard it all before, everyone needs to exercise, we should get out more etc,etc.  We all know it helps lower our blood pressure and cholesterol, helps keep our weight within acceptable range and keeps our bones strong as we age.

So how come we still sit on the couch and don’t follow through with the very thing that is essential to our health and well-being?

At this stage there are literally millions of articles researching the benefits of exercise for every possible condition, so here a few reasons to start moving more and making exercise an essential part of your day.

  1. Reduce stress..pretty straight forward!
  2. Boost happy chemicals. Exercise releases endorphins. Just 30 minutes/day can boost your overall mood.
  3. Improve self-confidence. Physical fitness boosts self-esteem and improves positive self-image regardless of age, weight, size or gender.
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors. Increasing your vitamin D absorption can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depressive symptoms.
  5. Prevent cognitive decline. Working out boosts the chemicals in the brain that support and prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for memory and learning.
  6. Alleviate anxiety. Moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise (intervals particularly) can markedly reduce anxiety and improve sleep patterns.
  7. Boost brainpower. Various studies have shown cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance.
  8. Sharpen memory. Exercise increase production of cells in the hippocampus responsible for memory and learning
  9. Help control addiction. The brain releases Dopamine the “reward” chemical in response to any form of pleasure be that food, drugs, sex OR EXERCISE. Short exercise sessions have demonstrated a reduction in cravings for addicts.
  10. Increase relaxation. A moderate workout can be the equivalent to a sleeping pill.
  11. Get more done. Those who take time for short exercise sessions ( 30 mins) on a regular basis are much more productive and have more energy.
  12. Tap into your creativity. A heart pumping gym session can boost creativity for up to 2 hours afterward.
  13. Inspire others. Studies have shown most people perform better when paired up with a work out buddy.
  14. Have healthier muscles and joints and bones. 70 year olds were put through a weight- training programme and produced results similar to their 20 year-old counterparts in strength and lean muscle mass! Now there’s a great reason to pump some iron!

So get outdoors, find something fun or new to try and reap the many rewards of regular exercise.

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