Maybe you’re already breaking your New Year’s resolution of getting fit. Before you stop altogether, check out the awesome effects of exercising on your body.
I have found over the last few years, how much exercise affects me both physically and mentally. And I would recommend it to anyone.
4 minutes read.
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A little Bit of History on Exercise
Around 600 BCE, Greek and Spartan soldiers engaged in exercises like lifting heavy rocks and doing construction work to increase muscle strength, running long distances to increase speed and endurance and competing in wrestling matches to refine their fighting skills.
In 65 BCE, the Roman politician, Cicero, is quoted as saying:- “It is exercise alone that supports the spirits and keeps the mind in vigour.”
People from those times and well into the 20th century got their daily exercise from their daily routines like walking everywhere and carrying their belongings with them. I walked to school every day, carrying my school bag.
It was established in 1953 by Dr. Morris that there is a link between a sedentary lifestyle and a higher risk of heart disease through his study on bus drivers and bus conductors.
Awesome Effects of Exercising on your body.
- It improves brain performance. Cardiovascular exercise helps to create new brain cells and the production of brain cells responsible for learning and memory can be increased. Done regularly, it can improve goal setting, organization and discipline.
- It boosts the immune system. After a session, our bodies produce more antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses. The more often we exercise, the longer those antibodies circulate in our systems.
- It helps to burn fat. The more muscle mass we have, the more fat our bodies burn while we rest.
- It helps to prevent ageing. Inflammation is reduced in the body by exercising. A recent study on older people who have exercised all their lives have defied the ageing process. They had the immunity, muscle mass and cholesterol levels of a young person; compared with others of a similar age and younger adults who don’t exercise regularly.
- Helps to reduce acne. When exercising, sweat releases dirt through our pores which reduces acne and breakouts.
- It helps you to sleep. However, be aware. Exercising in the evenings could actually disrupt sleep for some people.
- Research has shown that it can improve mood and reduce anxiety.
Implications for your Health if You Don’t Exercise.
Despite what some people may think, exercise does not make you thin. However, a lack of it could cause long term implications for our health such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes, increased risk of osteoporosis, (weight-bearing exercises can help to reduce this), back and joint pain and increasing the risk of developing depression and anxiety.
So, we must exercise. We’re not designed to sit all day. The key is finding exercise that suits us individually. This could be going to the gym, playing sports, gardening, walking, local Zumba classes, dancing around our living rooms with our pooches and exercising to videos on YouTube.
Exercise and Me.
I was the original couch potato. I was hopeless at sport at school. I’m uncoordinated and cannot run fast. The only physical activity I was any good at, was swimming and I’d win a gold medal in holding books and turning the pages!
As the years went by, my lower back ached. I did various jobs which required me to sit on my backside for hours at a time. The only exercise I did during those times was going out on infrequent walks.
My other half, on the other hand, is obsessed with sports/exercise and is a regular gym-goer. I had no interest in gyms whatsoever.
About 12 years ago, I started to run and found to my greatest surprise that I love it! But, I got carried away, ran for miles and developed piriformis syndrome or PS; literally a pain in my ass! I persevered and it worsened and my right knee ached ominously.
About 6 years ago, I started a physically demanding job. My back ached even more and my PS became so bad at times, I had to hold on to the bannister when going upstairs.
I decided, at last, to go to the gym; something I thought I’d never do. Over time, I noticed my knee rarely aches, I hardly get any back pain and I only experience a slight pain in my bum when it’s cold.
Nowadays, I’m stronger, have more energy, more confidence, eat more healthily, (I’ve lost about 20 pounds) and enjoy running without the aches and pains. In fact, I ran my first 26-mile marathon last October! Check out my medal, below.
So, Do you exercise? What exercise do you enjoy? Feel free to tell me in the comments below.
Realbuzz.com, athletics.carleton.ca, everydayhealth.com, sciencedaily.com, medlineplus.gov, mayoclinic.org, wikipedia.org, exercise.com