Let’s talk exercise. Do you love it or are you not so keen? There are so many different types of exercise, most people (even if you are a beginner) will find some type of exercise that they enjoy.
Staying physically active is a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy and happy life as exercise is both good for our physical and mental wellbeing.
WHY IS EXERCISE SO GOOD FOR US?
Exercise and physical activity are essential for good health and well-being. Regular exercise can relieve stress, help you sleep better, and boost your overall energy and mood.
Regular exercise can also have a positive impact on our mental health. Exercise releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood. Exercise also pumps blood to the brain, which can help you to think more clearly. It increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory. It also increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This improves your memory and helps protect your brain against injury and disease.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
An inactive or sedentary lifestyle is considered a lifestyle with a lot of sitting and lying down, with very little to no exercise. When you have an inactive lifestyle:
- You burn fewer calories. This makes you more likely to gain weight.
- You may lose muscle strength and endurance, because you are not using your muscles as much
- Your bones may get weaker and lose some mineral content
- Your metabolism may be affected, and your body may have more trouble breaking down fats and sugars
- Your immune system may not perform as well
- You may have poorer blood circulation
- Your body may have an increase in inflammation
- You may develop hormonal imbalances
Having an inactive lifestyle can be one of the causes of numerous chronic diseases. An inactive lifestyle raises your risk of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
- Osteoporosis and falls
- Increased feeling of depression and anxiety
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO WE NEED?
The Department of Health recommends adults be active on most, preferably all, days every week. This can be calculated by:
- Accumulating 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity OR
- 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity OR
- an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
HOW DO YOU COMPARE?
You don't have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. The main goal of exercising should be to ensure you are moving your body every day in a way that makes YOU feel good.
Written by Emilee Bock
Nutritionist at Food for Thought Nutrition