By now we all understand that getting regular exercise is good for us. But how much should we be getting, and exactly how great is physical activity? A doctor’s goal is to make sure that every patient is leading a healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk for chronic and serious health problems. By eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly you can greatly reduce your risk for diabetes, heart disease and more.
Exercise can help you lose weight
While this is an obvious benefit and one of the main reasons people turn to exercise it’s still important to recognize. If you are overweight or obese, chances are good that your doctor has talked to you about the importance of losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight for your health.
By participating in regular physical activity you can jumpstart your metabolism and shed pounds safely and effectively. Exercise can include everything from a weight lifting session at the gym, taking part in a spinning class or even taking a brisk 30-minute walk around the neighborhood.
Exercise protects against chronic disease
Your general medicine doctor would much rather help you design a life that includes regular exercise to reduce certain health risks rather than just treating these problems when they arise. By exercising regularly you can lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol while boosting good cholesterol and even keep the heart strong and healthy. Exercise is a great way to prevent and even manage:
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
Exercise can improve your mood
Another reason people turn to exercise is because it’s a quick and easy way to get those endorphins flowing. Whether you’ve had a stressful workday or you’re feeling a little under the weather, enjoying a walk in nature or a sweaty workout session at your favorite group fitness class can help stimulate the happy chemicals in your brain to help reduce anxiety, boost your mood and help you feel better.
Exercise helps you gain more energy
Do you find yourself struggling to get through the day? How many cups of coffee have you already had this morning? Most of us battle with fatigue and exhaustion, so you might think it’s counterintuitive to drag your exhausted self to the gym; however, getting regular exercise can help you fight your daily slumps and even boost your energy levels.
Exercise helps with your sleep
Along with stress and fatigue, most Americans also complain about their sleep…or lack of sleep. Poor sleep is an epidemic; however, exercise can help combat insomnia and improve sleep quality. Even just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day can help people see immediate benefits. Just remember not to work out too close to bedtime; exercise at least 1-2 hours before going to sleep to prevent trouble falling asleep.
At the beginning of your fitness journey? Not sure where to start? Your doctor will be able to create a workout routine to help safely ease you into working out regularly. If you already have certain conditions it’s important that you talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.