Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but very few people understand why.In a nutshell, regular exercise helps people live longer, healthier lives. In fact, exercise can improve quality of life quite dramatically and has many more benefits that are often overlooked.
What are the Main benefits of Exercise?
Today’s modern lifestyle is hectic and pressurized. At the same time, most work is sedentary rather than physical, creating a generation of inactive people. Finding time for exercise can seem impossible. Stress, lack of motivation and depleted energy levels all seem like great reasons not to work out. But these are exactly the reasons that you should be exercising.
- Working out actually increases energy levels by distributing oxygen and essential nutrients to the entire body.
- After a workout, the body releases endorphins into the brain and nervous system. Endorphins create a “feel good” sensation that lifts your mood and helps combat stress.
- Exercising helps with weight loss by using up energy that would otherwise be stored as fat.
- Regular exercise improves sleep, meaning more energy the next day.
- Several studies show that working out regularly can improve physical and mental health. Just 30 minutes of physical activity a day is all it takes.
- Research shows that working out regularly can help prevent certain conditions, including heart disease, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, type-2 diabetes, obesity, depression and high blood pressure.
Getting Started on a Workout Program
Incorporating workouts into a busy lifestylecan seem complicated and it is important to choose the right type of exercise for your age and fitness level.The two most important age categories when considering which exercises to do are young children and people who are over the age of 65 years. For all other age groups, a balanced mix between aerobic exercises and strength training is the best way to stay active.
Training for Juniors
While making sure children stay active it is important to remember that they should be learning motor coordination through movement. Playing football, hockeyor basketball are great ways to achieve this, as exercises like running, sliding and jumping teach muscle coordination. At the same time, weight lifting is not beneficial to young children and should not be started until the end of the growth phase.
Training for Seniors
For people over the age of 65, the focus when exercising should be on maintaining flexibility and mobility. Low-impact aerobic exercise should form the basis of a workout for seniors. Stationary bicycles and elliptical trainers are both ideal for this. Golf is also a great way for seniors to stay active.
In addition to the aerobic exercises to keep joints mobile, people over the age of 65 should also include some strength training. Muscle mass is important for stability and endurance and strength training will help ensure that muscle mass is maintained.
Whatever your age or fitness level, the important thing is to get moving. For more advice on how to create your workout routine, have a look at the article “Tips for creating an exercise regime” on the Canadian health blog.