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The invisible benefits of fitness.

In the past decade obesity has been the biggest enemy of our health and well-being overall. The lack of exercise is becoming a big deal in the world especially in the United States. The majority of adults in the United States and Canada are obese or overweight (Tjepkema, 2006; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001), and excess weight is expected to overtake smoking as the leading cause of death in the United States (Mok­dad, Marks, Stroup, & Gerberding, 2004). According to the U.S. Surgeon General (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001), the cost of obesity has topped $100 billion annually, and sedentary lifestyles are partly to blame—indeed, less than one­third of adults engage in the amount of physical activity recom­mended for maintaining health. During their leisure time, many people choose not to engage in any physical activity at all (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2005). People choose not to exercise for a number of reasons, such as lack of time (Booth, Bauman, Owen, & Gore, 1997), money (Reichert, Barros, & Domingues, 2007), or energy (Salmon, Owen, Crawford, Bauman, & Sallis, 2003). We propose that another reason why people may not engage in exercise is that they fail to fully appreciate how much they will enjoy it.

So, technically physical activity and exercise aren’t the same thing because exercise is a more planned form of physical activity. In an article from CNN about fitness it is said that in the latest research about benefits of exercise, they came into the conclusion that sometimes not exercising is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. So that’s one of the main reason why is important to be more active through the day.

1. Exercise controls your weight.

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. To understand the effect of exercise on weight reduction, it is important to understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure.

Your body spends energy in three ways: 

  • digesting food
  • exercising
  • maintaining body functions like your heartbeat and breathing

While dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which can delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which can burn more calories to help you lose weight.

2. It can increase your energy levels.

Exercise can be a real energy booster for many people, including those with various medical conditions. One older study found that 6 weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 people who had reported persistent fatigue. Furthermore, exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses.In fact, exercise seems to be more effective at combating CFS than other treatments, including passive therapies like relaxation and stretching or no treatment at all.

Another benefit from the increase of energy levels is that if you are looking for changing your routine by being more productive we recommend you to add and 30 minutes of extra cardio in the morning, which will make you sharper in other activities.

3. It helps your brain health and memory.

Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. To begin with, it increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells. Plus, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these diseases. Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging — combined with oxidative stress and inflammation — promotes changes in brain structure and function. Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s vital for memory and learning, to grow in size, which may help improve mental function in older adults.

4. It helps you with sleep quality.

With regard to sleep quality, the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep. Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep. Many studies on the effects of exercise on sleep have reached similar conclusions. One review of six studies found that participating in an exercise training program helped improve self-reported sleep quality and reduced sleep latency, which is the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. Another older study showed that 16 weeks of physical activity improved sleep quality and helped 17 people with insomnia sleep longer and more deeply than the control group. It also helped them feel more energized during the day. What’s more, engaging in regular exercise seems to be beneficial for older adults, who are often affected by sleep disorders. You can be flexible with the kind of exercise you choose. It appears that either aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can both improve sleep quality.

5. It makes you a happier person.

It has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression. Additionally, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. Furthermore, exercise has been shown to reduce stress and improve symptoms of anxiety. Interestingly, it doesn’t matter how intense your workout is. It seems that your mood can benefit from exercise no matter the intensity of the physical activity. In fact, a study in 24 women who had been diagnosed with depression showed that exercise of any intensity significantly decreased feelings of depression. The effects of exercise on mood are so powerful that choosing to exercise (or not) even makes a difference over short periods. One review of 19 studies found that active people who stopped exercising regularly experienced significant increases in symptoms of depression and anxiety, even after only a few weeks

6. It makes your skin healthier.

Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the cell damage caused by compounds known as free radicals. This can damage the structure of the cells and negatively impact your skin. Even though intense and exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can actually increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells. In the same way, exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.

Lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Regular exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, heart health, and body composition. It can also decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In contrast, a lack of regular exercise — even in the short term — can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. That’s why regular physical activity is recommended to reduce belly fat and decrease the risk of developing these conditions.

In conclusion, exercise offers incredible benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health from the inside out. So this is a sign for you to start exercising as soon as you can because you are going to transform your life and yourself.

Source: pubmed, Mdpi nutrients, pubmed.ncbi, Pubmed 2, pubmed 3, dr. Mike hansen, pubmed 4, pubmed 5, pubmed 6, pubmed 7, pubmed 8. Study by——Matthew B. Ruby, Elizabeth W. Dunn, Andrea Perrino, Randall Gillis, and Sasha Viel University of British Columbia, pubmed 9.