Surprising benefits of Exercise

There are plenty of compelling reasons for us to start moving, the age is immaterial. Exercise is medicine. A pill doesn’t replace exercise.

Below are just some of the surprising benefits of exercise:

You may feel happier

Studies show that exercise make people feel better and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise triggers the release of hormones in the brain such as serotonin, endorphins and dopamine that dull pain, lighten mood and relieve stress.

Exercise will make your skin look better

Aerobic exercise improves up blood flow to the skin, delivering oxygen that improve skin health and even help wounds heal faster. That’s why when people have injuries, they should get moving as quickly as possible, not only to make sure the muscle doesn’t atrophy, but to make sure there’s good blood flow to the skin. Train long enough, and you’ll add more blood vessels and tiny capillaries to the skin, too.

Exercise is great for the brain

Studies have suggested that exercise is the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists don’t yet know why exercise changes the structure and function of the brain, but it is believed that exercise improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels, triggering the growth of new neurons and repairing and protecting brain cells from degeneration.

Exercise may help you live longer

Exercise may even lengthen lifespan. Studies have suggested that moderate intensity exercise may slow down the aging of cells.

As humans get older and their cells divide over and over again, their telomeres (the protective caps on the end of chromosomes) get shorter. To see how exercise affects telomeres, researchers took a muscle biopsy and blood samples from 10 healthy people before and after a 45-minute ride on an exercise bicycle.

They found that exercise increased levels of a molecule that protects telomeres, ultimately slowing how quickly they shorten over time, suggesting that exercise could slow aging at a cellular level.

Amazing things can happen in a few minutes

Research suggests that it doesn’t take much movement to get benefits. Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario tested how effective a 10-minute workout could be, compared to the typical 50-minute workout.

The 10-minute workout consisted of three 20-second intervals of all-out exercise, followed by brief recoveries. Over a three-month period, the study compared the short workout against a standard one and the workouts resulted in identical improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one workout was five times longer than the other.

Exercise can help you recover from a major illness

Even very vigorous exercise can be appropriate for people with different chronic conditions, from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure. A recent analysis of more than 300 clinical trials discovered that for people recovering from a stroke, exercise was even more effective at helping them rehabilitate.

Your fat cells will shrink

The body uses both carbohydrates and fats as energy sources. But after consistent aerobic exercise training, the body gets better at burning fat, which requires a lot of oxygen to convert it into energy. One of the benefits of exercise training is that our cardiovascular system gets stronger and better at delivering oxygen, so we are able to metabolize more fat as an energy source. A result, your fat cells shrink, and so does inflammation.


18 Mar, 2020

4 thoughts on “Surprising benefits of Exercise

  1. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It makes so much sense and we shouldn’t be surprised to read about any of the benefits of exercise.

    The inevitable ‘lock-down’ here in the UK means we have no excuses for not getting our gym kit on, finding some videos on YouTube and getting fit while were at home.

    1. Yes, I used to go to the gym, but given my issues with cerebral palsy it makes it harder for me to exercise.

      I go for walks and sometimes do step, but I must admit I have struggled with floor exercises and the bike doesn’t seem to help in the same way it would someone without the condition. It didn’t seem to make a difference.

      I do think it’s important we all get moving, it’s not healthy to sit for hours. For those like me who deal with a disability, it is obviously harder to exercise.

  2. Exercise helps reduce anxiety that’s often trapped inside of me playing games and raising hell.

    So I took a long walk just yesterday to clear my head and to show my belly another way of life. I will not deteriorate any further.

    1. Thanks Tim. Walks are good for clearing our minds and helping us find clarity, it doesn’t have to be a long walk.

      As you say, ‘I will not deteriorate any further’ – the human spirit has a way of fighting back and it does, even in our lowest moments.

      I’m also an example of that.

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