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.