Why Exercise is Good for You

We all know that exercise is good for you.

But WHY is exercise good for you? Here,  The Mayo Clinic tells us why and I also share my thoughts on each bullet point.  Yeah, I know this is a lengthy post but it’s definitely worth the read.

  • Exercise controls weight.  DUH.  I don’t need to explain this one, do I?  OK, when you do something physical, like running, swimming,, biking, lifting weights, a Zumba class etc- you expend energy and the more calories you burn.  Yeah for burning calories!  Exercising can help you lose weight or maintain your weight.  Also, strength training/lifting weights is a must- your muscles burn calories long after your session is over….I have an entire post running through my head on this : ).
  • Exercise combats health conditions and diseases.  Yes and yes.  Sign me up. I had a physical finally recently.  While I still have a few pounds left to lose to be considered a *healthy* weight, after speaking with my doctor about my exercise program, she said that I was exactly where I need to be.  Sure, yeah it would be great to lose those extra 10 lbs, BUT because I exercise regularly and have been for some time, then I am in actuality in GREAT shape.  Awesome blood pressure, heartbeat, cholesterol….the whole bit.  She told me that exercise counts for BIG points in how your body is doing.  Also, the Mayo Clinic had this to say (and I quote I hope they don’t mind, I just had to share because there is no way I could paraphrase these words):  Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.
  • Exercise improves mood.  I could write a novel on this one alone.  Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.  This is so true.  My husband has been known to push me out the door to go run when he notices me in a foul mood.  Also, for me, exercise is an excellent stress reliever.  Bad day?  stressed?  Overwhelmed?  Mad at the world/people/certain situations?  Go exercise, take it out there, and tell me that you don’t feel better afterwards.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait.
  • Exercise boosts energy.  The Mayo Clinic says “Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores”.  You’re gonna have to trust me on this one, but it’s true.  Granted, in the beginning, if your just started an exercise program, you might feel like dying, you might feel more tired, etc.  BUT, just keep with it and you will notice an improvement in your energy level over time.  Pinky promise swear.
  • Exercise promotes better sleep.  Ahhhhh, sleep- I love to sleep and truth be known, I rarely have a difficult time falling asleep or staying asleep, unless one of my kids is waking me up.  The Mayo Clinic says “Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep”.  I can attest to the last part of this sentence- if I exercise too close to bedtime, then forget about falling asleep quickly.  My body is energized by physical activity so I have to do it earlier in the day.
  • Exercise puts the spark back in your sex life.  Um, yeah.  I bet all of our husband’s would like us to exercise more for this reason alone : ).
  • Exercise can be fun.  Really, it can.  Would I lie to you?  Find a physical activity you enjoy and just do it.  Enjoy the outdoors, invite a friend to join you or make new friends in a class at the gym  Your body and spirit will thank you.
What do you think?  Agree or disagree?  Are you exercising already and if so, what’s your favorite type of exercise?  If you have a personal story about exercising and how it’s helped you in any particular way, then please feel free to share.
I, for one, know that exercise is here to stay in my life, for the rest of my life.  I am too important to me NOT to keep moving.
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