Posted on July 22, 2014

By Murtaza Ahmed MD

When it comes to our health, exercise is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal, yet so many of us choose not to utilize it and aren’t gaining the benefits of exercise. In the modern day world we have begun to see exercise as a chore, something we must go to the gym after work or in our lunch hour to do, but this isn’t what exercise is about, it’s merely what we have turned it into. Once you unlock your potential to exercise you will see a whole new side to yourself, and I promise you will not regret it.
The first step to helping you realize why you should partake in exercise it to explain to you why it is so beneficial. So what are the benefits of exercise.

1) Exercise will give you more energy. One reason people avoid exercise is because they feel tired. They think that if they go out and exercise they will become more exhausted so choose to do something non-physical instead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Exercise actually has the opposite effect and will in fact make you feel more energetic for the rest of the day. If you feel tired on a daily basis regular exercise could actually be the prescription you need.

2) Exercise will help you lose weight. Possibly one of the most popular reasons biggest benefits of exercise and for good reason. Burning those few extra calories on a regular basis can help you tip yourself into a negative energy balance resulting in weight loss. Yes you still need to eat healthily, but combine the two and you have a recipe for shedding pounds.

3) Regular exercise means you can eat more without gaining weight. There are very few of us out there who don’t sometimes indulge in things that might not be the best for us, but once you have reached a weight you are happy at, regular exercise will allow you to enjoy some of these treats more often without undoing your hard work. It is a bit more complicated than simply burning off what you eat, and has more to do with the fact that exercise empties your bodies stores of carbohydrates stored in the muscles, which provides a sink for the carbohydrate you eat to be stored in until you use it again in the next bout.

4) There are several cardiovascular benefits to exercise. The heart will become more efficient and healthier (which is why your resting heart rate will often decrease with exercise), your lungs will improve their ability to take in oxygen and if high your blood pressure may drop, which in itself carries many health benefits. This shows the multiple health benefits of exercise!

5) Your ability to deal with everyday activities will increase. If you are sick and tired of being out of breath after climbing a flight of stairs, take part in regular exercise and you will soon find that you are more than happy to shun the lift in preference for using your legs.

6) Exercise will make you happy. Possibly the most effective treatment for depression or lifting mood is exercise. It is far more beneficial for improving mental wellbeing than any medication. This is a result of the hormones and endorphins released in the body and brain and its power to make you happy should not be underestimated.

This list contains just a few of the many reasons why exercise is so good for you. I could go on but I hope by now that you understand my point and feel ready to get involved!
Next we will look at what counts as exercise and what you should aim to be doing.

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Ruth Talton
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