Exercise is crucial for daily health. It takes care of your health on all levels. It is best for your physical health, but also benefits your mental health and spiritual health. Exercise can control your weight, prevent diseases, improve your mood, boost your energy, help you get better sleep, and bring you joy by gaining friends as well 1.
Dr. Joseph Mercola says that exercise helps your glucose, insulin, and leptin levels, in turn preventing chronic diseases 3. Your muscles will grow, your heart will be more fit to pump blood to the muscles being used, and your brain will function better because exercise will create new brain cells which can boost your memory and learning 3.
Exercising is easy and fun for everyone. Most people think they have to train like a professional athlete to benefit from exercising, and this just isn’t true. In her book, The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How WE Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer, New York times bestselling author, Gretchen Reynolds, addresses the issue of exercise.3
This article explains that even exercising or moving around for 20 minutes will benefit the person who doesn’t work out at all. Just by standing for 20 minutes you are going to burn calories and start to become healthier. The experiment that was done for 20 minutes a day showed that 72 percent of those involved had improved time management, 79 percent had reported improved mental performance, and 74 percent said they managed their work better. When you exercise for only a short time, you will feel better in all areas of your life. The exercise keeps you active and mentally focused.3
The most commonly known saying for exercise is “runners high.” This is your body releasing endorphins that are a type of neurotransmitter to help relieve pain and stress.4 Exercise also releases dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin which play a role in regulating your mood. Serotonin boosts your mood and sense of well-being. It can also improve your appetite and sleep.
Adrenaline plays a crucial role in your fight-or-flight response and helps balance your body’s level of stress hormones. Exercise can work as a distraction from upsetting thoughts because you’re focused on your body movements. Also, setting goals can boost your confidence and sense of control. 4
However, exercising is not the only important aspect of healthy living. There are other areas of wellness that can boost physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Another important health factor involves eating right. Exercise has an immediate healing and repair effect on the body, but good food choices are also crucial. For example, following exercise with a fast food meal would not be recommended. Healthy diet and exercise work well together. Having a healthy morning meal, snacking healthfully, and drinking a lot of water will have positive effects on both your body and your mind.
1. “Exercise: 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Oct. 2016. Web 06 June 2017
2. “Eating and Exercise: 5 tips to maximize your workouts.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Oct. 2016. Web 06 June 2017
3. Mercola, Joseph. “What Happens in Your Body When You Exercise?” Mercola.com Dr. Joseph Mercola, 1997. Web 06 June 2017.
4. Collins, Ryan. “Exercise, Depression, and the Brain.” Exercise, Depression, and the Brain. Healthline Media, 2005. Web. 06 June 2017.
By Dominick Smith, Intern to Karen Ranzi, M.A.