Fighting Fit – What are the benefits of exercise, apart from losing weight?

Fighting Fit – What are the benefits of exercise, apart from losing weight?

Everyone wants to have a regular exercise regime in their life but a lot of us find excuses as to why not to do so. Here’s why you really, really should exercise.

By John Balfe - 9 Jan 2019

This time of year is a boom time for gyms. Memberships will be as high as they will be all year long, as masses of people take measures to to work off some the Christmas season’s excesses.

It is certainly worth remembering, though, that there is a whole lot more to be gained by introducing a new exercise regime into your life than simple weight loss, as it can have a positive impact on your numerous different areas of your life.

You will boost your natural immunity

This time of year is notorious for people picking up a host of bugs. Colds, flus and even shingles can be more common after a period of excess, such as Christmas, but exercise can help boost your natural immunity for when you’re stuck beside that guy with the sniffles on your morning commute to work. It will improve your overall heart health, boost your body’s response to insulin as well as strengthening your muscles to avoid joint pain.

You will feel like a million bucks

Ever hear of the runner’s high? Well, that’s a real thing. A good exercise session will flood your system with naturally occurring endorphins which are evolution’s way of offering you a reason to keep going back. Don’t pass it up.

Your energy levels will improve

On these dark January days it can be hard to get enough Vitamin D in your system in order to help power your body. Your blood flow will improve with regular exercse, which will make your nutrient delivery system more efficient. Pro-tip: A high tempo session and lower tempo session will essentially deliver the same results when it comes to this.

You will sleep better

If, like your writer, you value your time spent sleeping about as much as anything this could be reason enough. If you’re tired of waking up tired, regular exercise will help you achieve that beautiful, restful, deep sleep that we all crave. The time of day for your exercise will have an influence on this though, so if you do a high energy session at 10pm, don’t expect to be asleep by midnight.

Your sex life will improve

Another one of those ‘this is reason enough to exercise’ situations. The endorphins you release while working out promote the release of sex hormones. That, coupled with the lower levels of stress and you looking and feeling better, well, that’s a recipe for success in the bedroom.

So will your memory

Don’t worry, we all sometimes walk into a room and immediately forget what it was wanted to do in there but when you start leaving your keys at home three or four times a week, perhaps it’s time to take some measures to address your cognitive ability. Per the University of British Columbia, regular exercise can improve the capacity of your hippocamus, which has an influence over your verbal learning and memory.

You will get more stuff done

Regular exercise has shown to have a positive impact on your ability to concentrate, learn faster — all factors which will greatly improve your productivity.

Your skin will improve

The improved delivery of oxygen around your system which comes in tandem with regular exercise makes it easier to deliver nutrients to your organs, including the biggest of them all: your skin. Furthermore, it can help boost the production of collagen — the protein which promotes the elasticity and strength of your skin.

Oh yeah, you’ll get stronger too

Sun’s out, guns out. That pretty much explains this particular benefit of exercise.

 

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