Some people mistakenly believe that if they are not overweight, they don’t need to exercise. This isn’t the case. Exercise provides benefits besides weight loss, but you need to do it regularly. Sometimes knowing the benefits of regular exercise provides you with the motivation you need. This information can help the person whose idea of physical activity is getting up from the desk to grab a snack as well as the seasoned athlete who might be feeling burned out.
Boosts Your Mood
Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals, which help combat mild to moderate depression and give you a positive feeling. People sometimes first hear about this exercise benefit from runners who often speak of a “runner’s high.” Endorphins diminish pain, almost as morphine does, according to WebMD. But, unlike morphine, endorphins don’t lead to addiction. If you are trying to boost your general mood or help ease depression, you need to exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes, three times a week, but four or five times a week is even better.
Improves Your Sex Life
People who exercise regularly feel sexier. Not only will you look better; you will feel energized. In other words, you "won’t be too tired." But besides just being excited to show off your toned self, regular exercise can make you feel aroused, according to MayoClinic.com. If your honey is having difficulties in this area, encourage him to exercise, too. Men who exercise regularly have fewer erectile dysfunction incidents than men who do not exercise.
Keeps Your Weight Down
The combination of consuming fewer calories and burning calories through physical activity is the perfect weight loss recipe. Even if you do not need to lose weight, regular exercise helps you maintain your ideal weight. The more intensely you exercise and the more often you do it, the more calories you burn.
Exercise increases your overall endurance and energy level. If you notice you become winded after going upstairs, for example, try starting a regular exercise program. When you do so, you build muscle strength and endurance, which allow you to do more without being out of breath. Regular exercise also delivers oxygen to your tissues, which helps your heart and lungs function better, leading to more energy for you.
Reduces Risk for Some Diseases and Conditions
Regular exercise can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, some cancers and osteoporosis. As you age, you’ll appreciate your good health even more. Women who do not exercise are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease, according to the IDEA Fitness Journal. Diabetes from obesity and inactivity affects younger people all the time. Regular resistance training and aerobic exercise can protect against type 2 diabetes. Your risk of having a stroke is 20 percent lower if you are moderately active and 27 percent lower if you are highly active, according to IDEA. Regular physical activity has been correlated with lower incidences of colon and breast cancers. Regular exercise also stimulates bone growth, which helps prevent osteoporosis, a disease characterized by bone loss.
Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.