It can be very hard to find the necessary motivation for a good workout. We all have lives and obligations that take up our time, and it can be very difficult to set aside the time for something that we may not even particularly enjoy. However, there are many reasons why everyone keeps telling you to exercise. Doctors, teachers, pretty much anyone who knows anything about health will preach the importance of regular exercise. In this article, we will explore the reasons why.
There Are No Shortcuts
First, it should be noted that changing your diet won’t do a whole lot of good if you don’t exercise regularly. A lot of people seem to think that they just have to eat the right things in the right amounts. In reality, exercise plays a bigger role in your overall health than dietary choices. So don’t fall for the hype when someone offers you the latest miracle diet.
If you really want to know just how essential exercise is, look at this study. It found that exercise alone makes a significant difference in how long a person will live. That is not to say that diet is unimportant, but exercise is still more important.
1. Exercise Reduces Your Risk Of Cancer
Cancer is an ever-present danger in the modern world. It seems that virtually anything can cause it and virtually any system of the body can be affected. However, healthy exercise has been proven to reduce the risk of many cancer types. A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that regular physical exercise can help to prevent thirteen different types of cancer. These include:
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Liver cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Myeloid leukemia
- Multiple myelomas
- Blood cancer
- Lung cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Bladder cancer
In many cases, the risk was reduced by as much as 20%. This certainly proves that exercise will make a big difference in the avoidance of cancer.
2. Exercise Contributes To A Healthy Heart
Studies have also shown that regular exercise helps to keep your heart strong. Sedentary lifestyles will often cause the arteries to become hardened and even blocked, causing all sorts of heart disease up to and including fatal heart attacks. Some estimates say that exercise can reduce your chances of heart disease by as much 50%.
The following study was conducted on patients who suffered from chronic heart failure. The researchers found that there was a modest but noticeable improvement in their heart health. Since this study involved patients who already had serious heart problems, and since they only did this exercise program for a limited time, we can safely assume that the benefits for a healthy person would be even greater.
3. Exercise Can Help To Prevent Diabetes
If you have diabetes in your family, this one should be of particular interest. Exercise has been conclusively shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes. This is because exercise affects the release of insulin. When you are training your body with exercise, you are also unknowingly training your body to manage its insulin levels. There is a lot of research on this subject and it all seems to agree.
4. Exercise Increases Your Emotional Well-Being
There is no doubt that exercise makes you feel good. It may not make you feel good while you’re in the middle of doing it, but you will feel good when you are done. Part of it is just the natural feeling of a job well done. However, your body also releases endorphins during intensive exercise. These work to suppress pain, focus your energy, and provide a mental state that can best be described as “focused awareness.”
Some people refer to this as a “runner’s high,” and it is the natural result of an endorphin rush. It produces a feeling of euphoria like a drug, but without the risk of dependence or overdose. Some might call endorphins the perfect drug. In addition, endorphins help to reduce muscle and bone inflammation.
5. Exercise Reduces Your Chance Of Bone And Joint Problems
Arthritis patients are often encouraged to exercise, as this helps to build up the muscles around the joints. This has the effect of reinforcing a compromised joint and helping it to heal more quickly when it is strained.
This study was conducted using 365 older patients, all of whom suffered from osteoarthritis. They found that, of the 85% who completed the trial, most had experienced a lessening of their pain and a greater ability to function in everyday life.
One interesting thing about this study is the fact that they used two different methods of physical training. One group was given a routine of aerobic exercises, while the other group was focused on resistance training. The results didn’t show a huge difference between the groups, showing that both of these exercise types are effective for this purpose.
6. Exercise Helps You Sleep Better
When you have just finished some very intense physical activity, it should come as no surprise that you are ready for a rest. However, this process goes a lot deeper than you may realize. This study used various biofeedback mechanisms to examine the sleep cycles of various people. In general, they found no difference in the rate of REM sleep. REM sleep is the deepest kind and the only kind in which the body is truly at rest. However, the research did find that those who completed a rigorous exercise routine had a much easier time reaching the lighter levels of sleep. Thus, they have proven that those who work out regularly have an easier time falling asleep, and an easier time reaching deep sleep.
As you can see, exercise is not just something that you do to correct a problem. Many people seem to see exercise as an activity that isn’t required unless you are fat, unhealthy, or generally out of shape. In reality, exercise is necessary for all people if they wish to maintain an optimal level of health. This is a perfect example of the power of prevention. Don’t think of exercise as something that you do to correct a problem; think of it as something you do to prevent a problem.
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