Exercise offers a range of health benefits. You’ll hear about the immediate ones all the time from your doctor. They can include improved weight loss efforts and support for your metabolism. They’re all great and certainly reasons to work out, but what about in the future? Can you improve your health long term by adding exercise to your daily routine?
The simple answer is yes. There are various long-term benefits to doing exercise. Some of these benefits stick around even if you fall out of your routine, although sticking to an exercise regime is the best for your overall health. Don’t ignore all these benefits.
There’s no time like the present to start exercising. This is also a case of there’s no time that’s “too late” to start. You can gain benefits as soon as you increase the amount of activity you do.
How Much Is a Good Amount?
Before looking at the lifelong benefits of exercise, many people want to know how much they should do. Just how much is the right amount?
This will depend on your initial goals. If you want to lose weight, health experts recommend that you do 60 minutes of exercise a day. This doesn’t all need to be in one sitting, but it’s the best amount to boost your metabolism and support your muscles and bones for weight loss.
If weight loss isn’t your goal and you just want to improve your health, doctors recommend that you add 30 minutes of exercise into your day. This is moderate activity, so not just a stroll around the block. You want to get the heart rate up and try specific types of exercise.
At least twice a week you want to focus on strength training. This could be using weight machines or bodyweight exercises. You can also try yoga, Pilates and other similar types of exercise. The aim is to work on improving the strength and tone of your muscles. The other sessions can be cardio based, whether running, swimming, HIIT classes or other similar exercises.
Many people struggle to get the recommended amount. There’s this belief that there just isn’t enough time in the day. This just isn’t right. You don’t need to do the 30-60 minutes of exercise in one go. You can split the sessions up into 10-minute bursts throughout the day. Some will split it into 5 or 15 minutes, depending on their needs. You can do exercises at your desk at work, go for a walk at lunchtime or even dance around the house like a lunatic to get your cardio workouts in.
With such a busy lifestyle, people are looking for ways to split their workouts up easily. Therefore, there are many 5-10-minute style workouts available through apps and online. The 7-minute workout is one of the most popular.
Now that you know the types of exercises to do, it’s time to look at those lifelong benefits of exercise. Just how can exercising now help you in the future?
Avoiding the Lifestyle Diseases
One of the biggest problems right now is the growing concern for lifestyle diseases. With more people choosing sedentary lifestyles, they are increasing their risk of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Diabetes is on the rise and other chronic illnesses have become concerns for doctors. More and more people are using medications to fight off illnesses that were barely considered decades ago, because of the change to the lifestyles.
Exercising can help to keep many of the lifestyle diseases at bay. By improving your muscle and bone strength, it’s possible to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other age-related conditions. You support the structure of your body, so it works for you in the future.
Diabetes and some chronic illnesses can also be controlled through exercise. When you do more cardio, you increase the blood flow to the body. It’s possible to reduce the levels of inflammation and boost the digestive system, so you gain more nutrients from your meals and keep your bowels working properly. Your immune system gets the support it needs to keep the health in check.
With weight loss comes other help. Many lifestyle diseases are linked to obesity. You can reduce your risk of developing conditions and even help to reverse some. Studies have shown that it’s possible to reduce the amount of medication taken for Type II diabetes because of an increased exercise regime.
Improve the Hormonal Health
Everything you do will affect your hormones. In some cases, this can be in negative ways. Exercise can help to support your hormonal health, boosting the amount of happy and positive hormones in your body. It’s easier to release the chemicals like serotonin and endorphins, so your body gets the natural feel-good and painkiller hormones.
But that’s not all. Women find exercise helps to relieve some pre-menstrual pains and problems. You can boost your energy levels and help to reduce the dips in the mood because of the changes in hormones in the body. While exercise is the last thing you’ll want to do, you can find that you release the endorphins to help deal with menstrual cramps. And you don’t need to do a lot of intensive exercise for this. Strength training and yoga are all positive ways to improve your hormonal health.
Supporting your hormonal health will help in the future. A disruption in your hormones can open you up to various health problems, including a higher risk of cancer. There’s also the risk to your mental health, your weight and to your natural oil production. By keeping a regular exercise pattern, you can limit many of the lifestyle diseases mentioned above, while keeping your hair and skin looking glossy and luxurious.
It’s possible to reduce the risk of various female cancers, especially breast and ovarian. This is important as you get older when your estrogen levels change considerably.
Improve Your Mental Health
As mentioned, exercise can help to boost your mental health. It’s possible to keep depression and anxiety at bay. The release of the happy hormones has proven successful for those diagnosed with various mental health problems, which is why exercise is commonly recommended. You will usually naturally feel happier and more energetic after a burst of exercise because of the right chemicals released in the brains.
Exercise has also shown positive effects on stress-related disorders. When you release more positive hormones, the negative ones are reduced. You can get rid of the burst of cortisol and adrenaline in the body, helping to reduce muscle tension, lower blood pressure and support the health of the heart and brain. This gives you the long-term health benefits, as your muscles and heart aren’t affected by the higher levels of blood pressure and cholesterol circulating through the body.
And then there are the mental benefits. Remember that exercise can help to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It’s possible to improve your cognitive functions, boosting your mental clarity and memory. You feel more like yourself, rather than in a haze. Brain fog becomes a thing of the past and you can boost your concentration levels.
Protecting your brain in earlier years is important for the future. You can work on protecting the cells to reduce the number of broken connections later. You’ll also gain more emotional support and confidence, as you build mental strength.
Exercises like yoga also help to boost the inner strength. You become one with your body, helping to lower the stress levels. It’s easier to tackle problems at work or in life because you have the mental clarity to do so.
Slow Down the Aging Process
We all look for ways to remain young forever. The idea of aging can be depressing for many. There are all these stories of age-related diseases, of bones, creaking, of struggling to do your normal tasks. Many people have fears that they will be just a fraction of the person they are today.
Exercise is one of the ways to help slow down the process of aging. It’s not a miracle cure but exercising in your younger years can offer benefits for the years to come. Even if you stop exercising, you start off with good intentions and will help to offer some support for the future. With exercise, you can make your body younger than you are biological.
Some of the benefits are noticed on the surface. Your skin will be brighter and clearer. You can boost the oil production to get rid of dry skin conditions and the sweating process helps to release the toxins within the skin. Then there’s the boost to the blood circulation, which offers physical benefits to your skin.
Your cell turnover rate is improved. Rather than accumulating dead cells and not replacing them, you get newer and healthier cells regularly. Your skin instantly looks better, but your whole inner health is supported. Therefore, you’re at a lower risk of age-related diseases. The newer cells literally make you younger than you really are.
Support Your Heart Health and Blood Pressure
The reduction in your blood pressure has been briefly mentioned, but it’s a lifelong benefit within itself. When you exercise, you keep the blood flowing. The heart works more. This is important since the heart is a muscle. The better you use it, the healthier it remains. By exercising more, you can keep your blood pressure at a healthier rate, which will help to reduce your risk of various heart problems.
On top of that, studies have shown that exercise helps to keep the cardiac rhythm in check. This helps to prevent fat globules accumulating and your heart remains healthier. You boost the blood flow to help keep heart attack risks at bay.
There are stories of runners who suffer heart attacks and other heart problems, but these are in the minority. In some cases, there were underlying issues that exercise couldn’t fix. There are also cases where people have exercised too much. If you stick to the recommended amount, you should see more lifelong benefits for the heart.
The Financial Benefits of Exercise
While it’s common to focus on the health benefits of exercise, there are also financial benefits to doing more exercise. Since you’re improving your health and reducing the risk of health problems, you’ll find that you’ll spend less money on treatments, medical procedures, and medication. It’s possible to keep money in your pocket while keeping your health in check.
Financial stress is a burden for many. The idea of racking up millions of dollars of debt because of a medical problem is scary for many. While exercise doesn’t solve all the issues, it can certainly help.
But don’t you spend the money on a gym membership instead? This is only if you want to. There’s no need to join a gym to gain all the exercise benefits. You can do home workouts, buy small bits of equipment to use by yourself or just get out and go for a run outside. There are cheaper exercises classes, or you can find a friend to powerwalk with you to improve your fitness levels. There’s no need to shell out money for something you don’t really want!
These financial benefits can add extra lifelong benefits to the mental health. You reduce one of the main causes of stress, helping to reduce the risk of various stress-related health problems.
Start Exercising Today for the Benefits
Exercise doesn’t just offer you an instant benefit to your health. You gain lifelong benefits. It’s possible to reduce the risk of various health problems, helping to support your brain, your muscles, and your bank balance. Now is the time to look at your options. No matter your age, you can improve your overall health by adding more activity to your day. There’s no need to join a gym or try to fit it all in one go. Find a routine that works for you and support your lifelong health.