You know that regular exercise can improve and maintain your overall health, but do you know why? 

You’ve seen ads for gyms and equipment on TV, billboards, and in magazines — you may also feel a bit of pressure from those around you to start working out. It’s commonly accepted that you should incorporate exercise into your life, but it can be difficult to push yourself to do it.

You don’t need to work out for hours a day or purchase an expensive gym membership to reap the benefits of physical exercise. You can easily form a fun routine that compliments your physical abilities and your lifestyle. 

Exercise helps keep your mind and body in shape, and this is more important as you age. Exercise can help prevent several diseases, elevate your mood, and even improve your memory — it’s an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

With a bit of discipline and the desire to improve yourself, you’ll be well on your way to a healthy life. When you learn just how much physical exercise can change you inside and out, you’ll be eager to begin your fitness journey.

Here are 5 ways that exercise can improve your overall health to inspire you to get started!

1. Weight Loss

One of the main reasons people begin exercising is to lose weight. You may have found yourself giving into temptations when it comes to food lately. Or you have a health condition that makes it harder to stay at a healthy weight. 

You’ve probably considered losing a couple pounds at some point or another, especially as lockdowns kept us inside more.

But you don’t need to head to the gym right away for an intense workout. As long as you exercise daily in some capacity, you’ll notice your body beginning to thank you. 

Consider walking around the block a couple of times in the morning, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator. If you’re looking for an activity that’s a bit more fun, try swimming or yoga.

Exercise can even help treat constipation and maintain healthy digestion. This allows your body to process the nutrients in your food most efficiently, aiding with weight loss.

2. Decrease Your Chances of Developing Chronic Diseases

Exercise is also a great way to help prevent the risks of developing several chronic diseases and health issues. Physical activity can lessen the chances of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and many kinds of cancer.

People diagnosed with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease or a stroke later in life than those without the illness. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. 

Regular exercise allows your muscles to absorb more oxygen from your blood and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. This improves your cardiovascular health, decreasing the chances of health issues like heart disease and diabetes. 

Luckily, if you incorporate working out into your lifestyle, you’re doing your part to keep your body healthy and happy for years to come.

3. Get Better Sleep

When was the last time you had a good night’s rest? 50-70 million Americans have a sleeping disorder, which can ultimately lead to mental, emotional, and physical issues down the line. If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, you know just how badly lack of sleep can affect your day.

Exercise naturally supports healthy sleeping habits. According to The Sleep Foundation, exercise can reduce the amount of time you need to fall sleep, and decrease how much you lie awake at night.

Exercise doesn’t only help you fall asleep — it can help keep you stay awake too. Physical activity gives you a natural boost of energy, which is why it’s recommended you exercise a bit after waking up for the day.

If you’d like to lessen anxiety before bed, work out 1 to 2 hours beforehand — this allows you to unwind and fully relax. If you exercise right before heading to bed, you may be too energized to sleep.

4. Improve Your Mental Health

The benefits of working out aren’t limited to your body, either. Exercise is a great way to stay on top of your mental fitness as well. Working out produces a rush of endorphins to your brain, increasing your mood, energy, and overall sense of wellbeing.

Exercise can also help improve your self-esteem and self-image as your body and mind benefit from your routine. If you’re like most people and would like to improve your health and physique, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet will get you there. 

In a study focusing on several women diagnosed with depression, it was reported that incorporating any kind of exercise greatly decreased feelings of depression. Likewise, a review of 19 studies has shown that those who stopped exercising experienced a decline in their mental health a few weeks later.

5. Develop Memory and Cognitive Function

Exercise not only helps maintain your physical and emotional wellbeing, it can also help improve your memory and cognitive functions. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, and this promotes blood flow and oxygen to your brain. This can stimulate hormones that cause brain growth, improving your ability to think, solve problems, and learn. 

Physical activity can also greatly reduce your risk of developing dementia, with one study showing that those who were inactive were twice as likely to experience cognitive decline than those who weren’t.

How Often Should You Exercise, and How?

Most adults should get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise a week. You can break this up into 30-minute sessions, and incorporate a variety of activities. You can easily build exercise into your daily routine, and can take things at a pace you’re comfortable with.

Here are a few easy ways to get a bit of exercise into your day:

  • Go for a run with your dog
  • Have a dance session
  • Skip the elevator and use the stairs
  • Go swimming with friends
  • Visit a rock climbing gym
  • Play a sport of your choice
  • Ride your bike around town
  • Visit the gym with a friend

Your options are endless, and you can easily customize your workout routine to suit your unique needs, abilities, and interests. 

Change Your Life For the Better 

Working out can be a dreaded topic for many, but it can benefit your physical and mental health in so many ways — it’s also easy to get started. 

Remember that your workout routine is specific to you and your needs. Go at your own pace, and try not to compare yourself or your abilities to others. Listen to your body, set achievable goals, and you’ll begin to notice changes inside and out.

You have one body, and you know just how important it is to take care of it. Maintaining your physical, mental, and emotional well-being will set you up for a happy and healthy life.

Another important part of staying healthy is checking in with your doctor on a regular basis. When you need a bit more support, myCallADoc will be there to provide you with compassionate, high-quality care. 

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