26 Benefits of Regular Physical Exercise

Regular physical exercise can make a big difference in the quality and length of your life. Listed below are some useful benefits of physical exercise. These exercises can be used to encourage you to start or continue with a fitness workout routine.

1. Physical exercise can add years to your life.

According to a study by a team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “leisure-time physical activity is associated with longer life expectancy, even at relatively low levels of activity and regardless of body weight”. The main finding from this study is that regular physical exercise can add up to 4.5 years in one’s life.

2. Physical exercise lowers the risk for cardiovascular heart disease.

Many scientific research findings point to a positive correlation between physical exercise activity, physical fitness, and cardiovascular health. Additionally, more physically active or fit individuals tend to develop less coronary heart (CHD) than their sedentary counterparts. And, “if CHD develops in active or fit individuals, it occurs at a later age and tends to be less severe.”

3. Physical exercise benefits your health by lowering your blood pressure

According to Mayo Clinic “Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).”

High blood pressure or hypertension is a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, heart failure, aortic aneurysm, stroke, kidney disease or failure, and other health problems.

4. Physical exercise and physical fitness can help you to prevent diabetes

The Diabetes Journal reports highlights several studies that show increased physical activity combined with modest weight loss contribute to a reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Regular exercise helps

  • reduce systemic inflammation,
  • reduce diastolic dysfunction,
  • improves endothelial vasodilator function, and
  • decreases visceral fat accumulation.

Physical fitness exercises, especially resistance and aerobic exercises, can increase the sensitivity to insulin so your body needs less of it. Exercise bikes are said to be best for aerobic exercises. Additionally, physical exercise helps control blood sugar if you already have diabetes.

5. Exercise reduces your risk for developing several different types of cancer.

There is strong scientific evidence linking physical exercise activities and maintaining optimal fitness levels to reduced risk of cancers of the colon and breast. Exercise is also associated with reduced risk of endometrial (lining of the uterus), lung and prostate cancers. Physical exercise can also reduce the likelihood for cancer recurrence and increased survival.

6. Exercise benefits your bone health

Healthy bones are important at every stage in our lives. Physical exercise is very crucial in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis (a disease in which bones become fragile by losing their density and are more likely to fracture). More than improving your overall bone health, regular exercise also increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance which all lead to better overall health. Healthy bones are an important component in the prevention of falls and related fractures.

Weight-bearing exercises are best for your bones as they force you to work against gravity. To effectively reduce bone density loss, weight-bearing fitness exercises may be combined with calcium and vitamin D supplements and bone-saving medications where necessary. Some examples of weight-bearing physical exercises include:

  • weight training,
  • walking,
  • hiking,
  • jogging,
  • climbing stairs,
  • tennis, and
  • dancing.

7. Physical exercise benefits your mobility – Helps to protect and strengthen your joints

Regular exercise helps to reduce the swelling, pain and fatigue in joints and by keeping the cartilage in your bones healthy. Regular exercise can additionally help you reduce weight that can stress your joints. Physical exercise can also help your balance by avoiding falls that can damage both bones and joints.

8. By helping in the control of weight, physical exercise may limit and sometimes even reverse knee or hip pain.

Regular physical exercise keeps your joints from stiffening and provides needed support, making movement easier and reducing pain. If you have knee problems range-of-motion, strengthening, aerobic or endurance exercises can be good for you.

9. Physical exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety

Regular exercise can reduce stress, fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and enhance overall cognitive function. The benefits of exercise may extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related mental disorders.

10. Exercise can help us sleep better

Regular physical exercise is beneficial in reducing the effects of insomnia by making it more likely that you are going to have a sound sleep. Exercise of any sort is also linked to improved daytime sleepiness.

11. Regular physical activity may improve obstructive sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a common and potentially serious disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts as you sleep. Excessive weight is a major cause for sleep apnea. Physical exercise and fitness when combined with a good balanced diet may help reduce excess weight which leads to the elimination of sleep apnea.

The Harvard Health Blog states that:

“If we can get people to lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems [such as heart disease] go away,” says Dr. Epstein. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.

12. Physical exercise activities can help ward off infections

Regular exercise helps you to fight off infections by boosting your immune system. An invigorated immune system makes it better able to fight off bacterial and viral infections. According to Medline Plus, exercise increases your immunity to certain infections by

  • flushing out bacteria out from the lungs. This reduces the likelihood of developing a cold, flu, or other airborne diseases.
  • Exercise sends antibodies and white blood cells (the body’s defense cells) through the body at a quicker rate.
  • The temporary rise in body temperature when we exercise may prevent bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight the infection more effectively.
  • Exercise also slows down the release of stress-related hormones. Stress increases the chance of illness.

13. Exercise can help you manage acne

Physical exercise can help you take control of acne and eczema by lowering your stress levels. Recent research studies show that the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin, are influenced by stress hormones. Regular exercise also helps in toning your muscles which help you to look better overall.

14. Exercise helps you to age gracefully, and it doesn’t matter your current age

Physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness is extremely beneficial for healthy and biologic aging. Regular participation in physical activity or planned exercise has been shown to

  • minimize the physiologic changes associated with typical aging;
  • contribute to psychological health and well-being;
  • increase longevity and decrease the risk of several of the most common chronic diseases of industrialized societies;
  • be useful as primary or adjunctive treatment for certain chronic diseases and counteract specific side effects of standard medical care; and
  • assist in the prevention and treatment of disability.

Recent research findings show that if you become physically active in middle age, even though you may have been sedentary for years, substantially reduces the likelihood that you will become seriously ill or physically disabled in retirement.

For older adults, exercise and physical activity benefits every area of your life by:

  •     Help maintain and improve your physical strength and fitness.
  •     Help improve your ability to do the things you want to do.
  •     Help improve your balance.
  •     Help manage and prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease, breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis.
  •     Help reduce feelings of depression, may improve mood and overall well-being, and may improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.

15. Regular exercise works wonders for your depression

Several studies show  that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression. It also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.

16. Exercise is beneficial to your digestive system

Regular physical exercise and activity can be awesome for your digestive system by reducing the amount of time that it takes for food to move through the large intestine, which limits the quantity of water absorbed from the stool into the body. One of the best exercise for constipation relief is employing a simple regular walking routine, even for 10 to 15 minutes several times each day.

17. Physical fitness exercises enhance and protect your brain function.

Physical activity induces gene expression changes in the brain. Micro-array analysis of gene expression provides further support that exercise enhances and supports brain function.

18. Exercise improves your sexuality

Regular physical exercise makes your sex life better by making you feel sexy, improving your sexual performance, and reducing sexual dysfunction.

19. Exercise helps you achieve your weight loss goals

Regular exercise is one of the most important ways that you can safely and naturally use to loose excess weight. Regular physical exercise and activity improves your fitness levels and burns up food calories that would otherwise have been converted to fat in the body. When combined with lifestyle changes in diet and nutrition, exercise is very effective in reducing your weight to manageable levels.

20. Exercise is beneficial during pregnancy

There are many great benefits that can come your way when you make the decision to exercise on a regular basis during a pregnancy. Some of these benefits include:

  • Boosting your energy
  • Makes you sleep better
  • Reduces the discomfort that comes with pregnancy
  • Improves your fitness enabling you to be more physically prepared for childbirth

21. Your mental health can greatly benefit from regular exercise workouts

Regular physical exercise workouts offer great beneficial outcomes to your mental health by:

  • Reducing stress
  • Facilitating the release of endorphins, which are responsible for creating feelings of happiness and euphoria
  • Improving your self-confidence
  • Preventing cognitive decline
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Boosting brain power
  • Helping you to control your addiction for drugs and alcohol
  • Enabling you to relax more
  • Improving on your creativity
  • Inspiring others

According to a recent study;

Such effects of vigorous physical activity could have important primary preventive benefits by making people less susceptible to other factors that might produce mental illness and could also have secondary preventive effects in improving functioning in people with mental illness

22. Exercise may reduce the urge to drink alcohol

Recent studies indicate that some moderate physical exercise is associated with reducing the urge to indulge in alcohol drinking during an exercise session. Exercise is therefore an important self-help strategy for controlling the urge for binge. Physical activity may be especially beneficial if you experience severe alcohol urges. .

23. It’s possible to eliminate acid reflux by exercising regularly

Vigorous exercise may not work very well for people with heartburn or acid reflux. However, moderate exercise may improve your condition.

Short bouts of fairly moderate exercise at least a couple of times a week can cut the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, in part because it reduces body mass index.

24. Exercise may help you to improve on your academic performance

Regular physical exercise and activity can greatly increase your children’s mental abilities and improve their academic performance. Recent scientific reports:

suggests children who are more active are better able to focus their attention, are quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better working memories and problem solving skills than less-active children. They also perform better on standardized academic tests.

25. Physical exercise may offer the best prevention against Alzheimer’s disease

According to a very recent study, regular moderate exercise helps to improve mental ability and memory for those people who are at great risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease and in a way that no drug can. Mental ability, through regular exercise, is enhanced by increasing the efficiency of brain activity that is associated with memory.

26.Exercise and breastfeeding benefits

Exercise is very beneficial to you as a breastfeeding mother as it enhances your overall health. According to BabyCenter.com,

Exercise contributes to your overall health and is beneficial and appropriate for breastfeeding moms like you. Even vigorous exercise does not significantly affect the amount or composition of milk your body produces. And despite what you may have heard, it’s unlikely that your baby will reject your milk even if you breastfeed shortly after exercising.