Month: August 2014

Reasons Why We Should Exercise

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There are many reasons why we should exercise as it can improve our physical and mental health. This article backed up by health websites online will explain the main reasons why moderate exercise can make such a difference to our lives for the better.

Physical Health – if you manage 30 minutes of moderate exercise such of 5 days in a week, it will improve the chances of managing your weight[1]. Also if you combine moderate exercise along with a stable diet you will heighten your chances of weight loss[2].

According to the NHS, “exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%”[3].

It is claimed that “moderate exercise can improve your sex life”[4].

In our early adulthood we begin to lose muscle mass each year – “From the average age of 25, People experience Sarcopenia which is greek for vanishing flesh” [5], where each year a small amount of muscle mass decreases[6]. Regular exercise will help to decrease the effectiveness of Sarcopenia [7],however “Sarcopenia accelerates in its effectiveness as you get older”[8]. For instance once you reach around the age of 60 the chances of losing muscle mass or being unable to burn off energy (calories) is much more likely compared to someone who would be in his/her twenties or thirties [9]. However it is still vitally important for a young adult to participate in moderate exercise. Think about it, if you started a moderate amount of exercise starting at your early adulthood, you are much more likely to maintain muscle mass/burn of more calories once you reach 60 compared to someone who only began to use moderate exercise at the age of 60. So beginning moderate exercise in your youth can benefit you in the long term, by increasing your chances of being fit and healthy in your old age. So it doesn’t matter what your age is, you should do regular exercise to help maintain muscle strength/mass.

 

Mental Health – Scientists in the past 10 years have gathered that there is the potential of at least 7 mental benefits, if not more of pursuing moderate exercise[10].

1. Boost Brain function. Cardiovascular activity has proven to increase new brain cells such as neurogenesis and simply keeps the brain activated.

2. Helps boost happy chemicals or endorphins. Gentle exercise can help create feelings of happiness or euphoria, also reduces depression anxiety etc. It is proven that only 30 minutes of exercise can make a difference to your overall mood.

3. Improve your self – confidence /self esteem. Moderate exercise can improve people’s positive self – image, regardless of who you are.

4. Can help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, moderate exercise helps to sharpen memory.

5. Proven to help control addictions such as alcoholism and the usage of drugs (prescribed or illegal)

6. Helps to improve relaxation- People find to have better sleeping habits if exercising regularly.

7. Help to increase productivity and energy levels. So helps to make you more motivated and determined in challenging the normal daily pressures of life

Financial reasons – Yes participating in some fitness activities/ facilities can cost money. But doing moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes a day, (5 days a week) by the means of walking will cost you very little if not nothing financially [11](reference – www. Mental health.org.uk)

For many, thinking about starting exercise is the hardest part, however once you start it gets easier. From my personal experience the thought of participating in physical activity makes me not want to do it because I am simply not in the physical active mood, but in many cases I find once you begin you are in the mood of trying to get fit and facing the challenge ahead.

Endnotes/Bibliography

 

[1] British heart foundation, Put Your Heart Into Walking (2013), pp. 1 – 38.

http:// www.bhf.org.uk/publications/view – publication/view.aspx

2 British heart foundation, Exercise calorie counter (2013).

http: //www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/preventing-heart-disease/caloriecalculator.aspx.

3 National Health Service, Benefits Of Exercise (2013).

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/pages/whybeactive.aspx.

4Mayo clinic staff, “Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity”, Health lifestyle fitness (2014).

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy – living/ fitness/in – depth/exercise/art – 2004839.

5 Saga Group, Preventing Muscle Loss, (2013).

http://www.saga.co.uk/health/fitness/muscle – in.aspx.

6Saga Group, Preventing Muscle Loss, (2013).

http://www.saga.co.uk/health/fitness/muscle-in.aspx.

7 Saga Group, Preventing Muscle Loss, (2013).

http://www.saga.co.uk/health/fitness/muscle-in.aspx.

8 Saga Group, Preventing Muscle Loss, (2013).

http://www.saga.co.uk/health/fitness/muscle-in.aspx.

9 Saga Group, Preventing Muscle Loss, (2013).

http://www.saga.co.uk/health/fitness/muscle-in.aspx.

10 Sophia Breene, 13 unexpected Benefits of Exercise (2013).

http://www.greatist.com/fitness/13-awesome-mental-health-benefits-exercise.

11Mental Health Foundation, Exercise and Mental Health (2013).

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental health – a – z/E/exercise-mental-health.

 

 

 

 

 

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