If you’re new to exercising, it can be tough to know where to start.
There’re so many different types of exercises and equipment, from treadmills to medicine balls, and so many different goals that can be achieved through working out, from burning fat to increasing muscle mass.
With all of these factors at play, it can seem like too much information at once.
To simplify your decision-making process and help you find the best approach for your exercise routine.
Here’re the top 10 benefits of regular exercise.
No matter what your fitness goal or exercise equipment of choice may be.
1. Weight loss
A lot of people find that they lose weight when they exercise regularly.
Many people struggle with losing weight, and it’s a problem that health professionals are researching every day.
Exercising is one way to burn more calories, which will help you lose pounds, but your other diet and lifestyle choices can have an effect on your ability to drop unwanted pounds as well.
It’s worth noting, however, that exercising can make you hungrier because you’re burning extra calories.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry or use food as an emotional crutch while trying to lose weight with exercise.
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2. Healthier joints
As you get older, your cartilage becomes less pliable and makes it harder to move.
Exercising helps to maintain flexibility, which in turn keeps joints lubricated and healthy.
A study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that over a five-year period, women who took part in weekly exercise had significantly less pain than those who were more sedentary.
Strength training is also important as we age because it helps keep our muscles strong and independent, which also reduces joint pain.
Add resistance training to your routine 2 or 3 times a week to start seeing results.
It’s recommended that beginners start with bodyweight exercises, such as lunges and squats, before adding weights or machines.
3. Stronger, leaner muscles
Even if you’re a couch potato, exercise is probably one of your keys to success.
Building muscle helps us lose weight, and research suggests it can also help us eat less.
That’s because muscle is more metabolically active than fat.
The more lean muscle we have on our body, research has found, the better able we are to sustain longer periods of calorie-burning without needing food for fuel.
Lifting weights also builds bone density and reduces our risk for osteoporosis later in life.
Exercise helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
Regular exercise helps lower blood sugar and insulin levels in diabetics and improves circulation by increasing blood flow to tissues,
which lowers cholesterol and prevents cardiovascular disease.
4. Improved blood flow
One benefit of exercise is improved blood flow, which helps you do everything from performing everyday tasks to exercising to working out.
The blood carries oxygen and nutrients through your body, removing waste products as it goes.
When you’re sedentary for too long, your circulation begins to suffer, putting your body at greater risk for a stroke or heart attack.
A brisk 15-minute walk three times a week can help improve your circulation and keep it at its peak even when you’re not moving around.
When combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise can improve your heart health and reduce or eliminate many common diseases like high cholesterol or diabetes that could potentially shorten your life.
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5. Increased energy
We spend a lot of time sitting, which can lead to muscle tension and pain.
Exercise can help release those tight muscles and relieve stress.
Increased energy is one way that exercise benefits your physical health.
Sleep better: As adults, we often struggle with insomnia or restless sleep patterns due to work deadlines, family issues, or even stress from everyday life.
Exercise has been shown to help reduce anxiety, boost mood and make it easier to fall asleep when you go to bed.
Lower blood pressure: Cardiovascular exercise is great for weight loss as well as for lowering your blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels in your body (reducing your risk for heart disease).
Healthy immune system: Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can stimulate your immune system by causing small changes in temperature within white blood cells that fight off infections.
6. Lower stress levels
Stress is an unavoidable part of everyday life, but too much stress doesn’t just lead to headaches and fatigue.
It can also increase your risk for chronic health conditions like heart disease.
Research has shown that exercise can help reduce high blood pressure, regulate your blood sugar, relieve anxiety, and improve sleep.
If you suffer from mood or anxiety disorders, exercise is a great way to manage symptoms because it releases neurotransmitters called endorphins that boost your mood.
One study found that people who exercised regularly for about 6 months had lower levels of depression and anxiety compared to those who didn’t get any physical activity during that time period.
Additionally, getting regular exercise can promote healthy sleep cycles, and better sleep quality improves stress levels in turn.
7. Improves self-esteem and confidence
When you exercise, you get an endorphin rush that can make you feel positive and energetic about yourself.
Working out also helps build your self-esteem because it gives you a sense of control over your body and how strong it is.
Finally, regular exercise leads to better overall health, which also contributes to higher self-esteem.
You’re less likely to be overweight or depressed if you eat well and work out regularly.
In fact, exercising for just 20 minutes three times a week has been shown to improve feelings of well-being and reduce symptoms of depression in people with diagnosed depression by 60 percent (compared with those who didn’t exercise).
A study published in Applied Nursing Research showed that low self-esteem correlated strongly with obesity, and being obese reduced quality of life.
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8. Helps you fall asleep faster
Staying fit will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, according to fitness expert and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Rob Sulaver.
In fact, research from UCLA found that being more physically active can actually improve your sleep quality by 15 percent.
This means you’ll wake up less frequently throughout the night, which will not only make your mornings easier to get out of bed but also help you avoid that groggy feeling during your morning commute.
Remember: When in doubt, take a walk!
It’s a simple exercise that can make a big difference when it comes to catching those ZZZs.
9. Stay awake longer during the day
How much sleep do you need?
That depends on a number of factors, but generally speaking adults ages 18–64 need seven to nine hours.
If you’re exercising regularly and engaging in other activities (social, work, etc.).
It’s especially important to get enough rest to prevent over-tiredness or burnout.
Even just an hour less sleep per night for a week can make it hard to concentrate at work and can negatively impact your mood.
Make sure you’re getting enough rest each night!
10. Cardiovascular health is everything. Start exercising today!
Cardiovascular health is absolutely everything.
In fact, it’s one of those things you never think about until it’s gone.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in America, and that’s not including all those people living with heart conditions.
The earlier you start exercising, however, the better off your cardiovascular system will be.
Start today with some simple exercises to get your body moving, or consider getting a piece of exercise equipment to help speed up your progress.
No matter where you start from (or how far), any step taken toward cardiovascular health is a great choice.
Remember: If a healthy heart is important to you… then get moving!
Exercise isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it.
If you’re just getting started, that’s great.
Your first workouts can have lasting health benefits even if you never get very strong or fit.
And no matter how experienced you are, there’s almost always room for improvement.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, run a faster marathon or simply get healthier, try adding in some new exercises and aim to work out every day.
Soon enough, you might be amazed at how much better life feels when you make exercise a daily habit!
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