Feel better in body and mind: four benefits of exercise!
– written by Matt Venner, Chislehurst Fitness
Good for the MIND
Exercise boosts our mood and can reduce stress
For me, the single biggest benefit of exercising regularly is how it makes us feel. When we exercise, our bodies are flooded with endorphins (also known as happy hormones!) such as serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals create a genuine feel-good factor, boosting our motivation and our self-esteem. This doesn’t mean we all need to start doing 100 burpees a day! Walks in the woods, gardening, cycling with the family: any physical activity will help boost our mood.
Good for the HEART
Regular exercise decreases the risk of heart disease and can increase our life expectancy
Physical activity is vital for our heart and lung health. Our cardiovascular system needs regular exercise to stay healthy. Current guidelines are that we should be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This includes activities such as brisk walking, swimming, or even just pushing the lawnmower: anything that gets our hearts beating faster, ideally for 20+ minutes at a time. For those able to do so, just 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week (such as fast running, HIIT sessions and sports such as netball or football) can give similar health benefits.
Good for the BODY
Exercise reduces the risk of obesity, helps control weight, and strengthens our bodies
Along with diet, exercise plays an important part in controlling our weight and regulating our blood sugar levels. To maintain our weight, the calories we eat (and drink!) must equal the energy we burn. To lose weight, we must use more calories than we eat and drink. Exercise can really help with this.
Strength-based exercises also help our muscles, joints and bones be stronger. The NHS recommends that we do strengthening activities at least twice a week. These can include yoga and pilates, weight training, working with resistance bands…even lifting and carrying children! Strength training also decreases the risk of falls, especially in older adults.
Good for the SOUL
As well as decreasing the symptoms of depression and anxiety, exercise can help us belong
Whilst any exercise can help boost our spirits, meeting up with a friend or joining a group to exercise with can be even better. Joining a team gives us the opportunity to build up camaraderie and form friendships with like-minded people. It is also much more likely we will actually do the exercise if we’ve arranged to meet someone or signed up for a session!
After our isolating lock-downs, the need for us to be social, meet new people and make new friends is stronger than ever.
If you are looking to start a new fitness regime then contact Matt, he’ll be happy to help.