Health Benefits of Exercise
The body is designed to move. All body systems run more smoothly when the body is put into motion. With exercise, the body's heart will beat stronger as if it is 20 years younger, lungs will have more stamina to keep up with activities of daily living, and muscles will have the strength to continue to live a productive life. Other health benefits include an increase in joint flexibility to help to control blood pressure, a lift in mood and production of hormones that fight depression, a reduced heart attack risk, and feelings of satisfaction and independence. Research shows that with exercise, chemical substances in our brain called endorphins and enkelphins are released into the bloodstream and results in a more positive outlook on life.
What happens if we don't exercise?
Picture your body as a car that is not driven for a long period of time or a house on an acre of land not lived in. A car's vital parts, when not driven, start to run less optimally. A house not lived in will have cobwebs, a musty smell, and terrible curb appeal. This is what happens when we do not exercise. A lack of exercise/moving allows muscles (heart, lungs, legs) to become weaker, allows a negative attitude to creep in, and allows us to be unable to perform those activities deemed "activities of daily living."
What constitutes as exercise?
What is exercise? Is exercise running five miles five times per week? Is it running sprints at the track? Is exercise walking on a treadmill or performing the elliptical? The answers to these questions are YES. Is exercise walking at the mall five times per week? Or walking to the nearest stop sign at your house and back? Or walking up and down your stairs a few times? The answers to these questions are YES. Exercise is MOVING on purpose.
When is the Best time to exercise?
Exercise can be performed anytime of the day. If time is the biggest obstacle, you could exercise 5 to 10 minutes 2 to 3 times per day. For example, walk to every room in your house 3 times in the morning then do it again in the afternoon. Another example might be to take 2 books and squat as far as you can 10 times or lift the books over your head 10 times. Perform 5 to 10 sets of 10.
3 Types of Exercise
Flexibility- As the body ages, ligaments, tendons, and muscles become stiff. When we do flexibility exercises, like stretching, we can help slow down the stiffness.
Strengthening- Strengthening exercises involve movements designed to build or maintain muscle. You can perform strengthening exercise with weights, bands, body weight, etc.
Cardiovascular- Cardiovascular exercise is exercise that strengthens your heart and lungs. It allows them to do their job more efficiently.