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
21 thoughts on “The Awesome Effects of Exercising on Your Body.”
Congratulations on the half marathon. I’m not a runner but I can imagine that must be a great feeling of accomplishment.
Like you, I was never an athlete and hated PE class in school. As an adult, I have worked out at home most of my life and I find that works best for me. When I have had times that I got out of my routine, I noticed a big difference in my mood, energy level and an increase in knee and joint pain.
Last year, I attended a talk by a doctor who said if someone told you there was a miracle drug that could have all the health benefits of exercise, you’d be rushing to your doctor to get a prescription. Yet the solution is right in front of us and so many people don’t take it. Interesting food for thought!
I notice that if I don’t do any exercise for a couple of days I get stiffness in my joints and my back starts to ache.
Fascinating what that doctor has said. I think a lot of people think they haven’t got time, yet you don’t need that much time!
That’s exactly what Dr. Wells said. He said you can focus on 1% – doing 1% more, being 1% better every day. His book is called The Ripple Effect and it’s a very interesting read.
Great post. You’re totally right about the benefits. I feel much stronger and am a lot less prone to colds, bugs etc now I run regularly.
Congrats on the half marathon; definitely a goal of mine this Spring!
Wow, good for you. I hope we can run races, soon.
Bravo for your half marathon! I agree with you that the exercise is essential. Very good post Rachel.
I get sore inner hips, right in the joint and particularly in my right side. The physio I saw when pregnant with small boy said I have a helical twist in my lower spine and that means I’m not balanced properly. I have to strengthen my core to better support my back. However, that butt pain and knee pain that you have sounds familiar.
It’s amazing that a lot of people have issues with their backs and joints. I think you do very well. 😀
Yay for you, Rachel! If I didn’t exercise, I would be overweight, in pain most of the time, and in a bad mood all of the time! Great post! 🌞
That’s me too!
Just keep running 🐠
OMG I did not know exercising reduces acne! I do it mainly for weight loss and for mental health! I’m always in such a better mood when I’m exercising vs when I’m not!
From the couch to a half marathon! That’s inspiring. Congratulations & here’s to reaching your next running milestone.
I’m trying to motivate to start running again – the results I see across my body & mental alertness are unmatched vs. other exercises.
I do cycle quite a bit & always happy on the bike as it’s great for sightseeing too!
Congratulations on your amazing achievement! This was a great reminder to get back onto my regular exercise routine (at home) — thanks!
Wow, I’m glad I’ve reminded you! 😀
Well done on your half marathon…I’m aiming to do a 10k hopefully this year but can’t imagine doing as far as you! Totally agree it’s about finding what works for you, I tried classes but disliked them, but then enjoyed yoga as it’s about going at your pace and I do enjoy running, although not been out for a wee while. But I do notice a difference like you with stiffness if I’ve not done any exercise for a while.
Fingers crossed that you get to do the 10K. The atmosphere at these races are fantastic. That’s if any are on this year!
Thanks, so true…it’s in October so will wait and see! 😬
That’s really good to hear how the gym helped you. I got plantar fasciitis (pain under heel of foot) so had to stop running but going to the gym has strengthened that so it’s not really an issue now.
Good list of reasons to exercise though I’m one of those who are wide awake if I train in the evening.
So am I!