Exercise: 6 benefits of regular physical activity
You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sleep, find out how exercise can improve your life. Check out these six ways exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.
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Exercise improves mood
Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including:
- Metabolic syndrome
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Many types of cancer
It can also help improve cognitive function and lower the risk of death from all causes.
Exercise boosts energy
Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.
Exercise promotes better sleep
Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.
Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life
Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and increase your confidence, which may boost your sex life.
Exercise can be fun…and social!
Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. They give you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.
So take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends or family.
2019. The Mayo Clinic