What can exercise do for you? For many people exercise is the way to lose those extra pounds. But exercise is not just about losing weight. Regular exercise can help cut your risk of more than 20 illnesses, including cancer and heart disease, in addition to providing you with a host of other benefits. Here’s what exercise can do to keep your body healthy and alive.
Regular exercise has the potential to change the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking skills. It can cut your risk of dementia and age-related memory loss by increasing the size of the hippocampus, the area of the brain that makes memories. Staying active can also help to prevent the onset of depression.
Exercising can reduce the risk of getting chronic illnesses like breast cancer. Regular brisk walking can help to reduce oestrogen levels in the body, which may lower your breast cancer risk by 18 per cent.
Step aerobics when done thrice a week can boost bone density in your spine, legs and heels. Heavy resistance training increases bone mass by causing strain to the bones of the joint you are working. Bone-thinning osteoporosis which is a common problem among women can also be controlled through proper exercise.
Exercise helps to control and regulate your appetite, and decrease unwanted cravings. Intense exercise has the potential to reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite, while raising levels of the peptide YY, which lowers appetite.
Thirty minutes of regular aerobic activity can not only add about four years to your life, it can also lower your systolic blood pressure by as much as five to ten mmHg (millimetres of mercury). This is equivalent to what certain blood pressure medications can do.
Reduce your insulin resistance and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by lifting weights and upping your lean muscle mass. The risk of prediabetes decreases by 12 per cent when muscle mass increases by 10 per cent.
Exercise increases the number of good bacteria in your gut. Vigorous activity of 30-40 minutes can be an effective way to treat Irritable bowel syndrome. Hard workouts can also improve bowel movements, and relieve gas and constipation.
Physical activities boost endorphins which enhance your mood and make you more energetic. Ten to twenty minutes of cardio exercise has the power to arouse your body faster and more intensely. Exercise can also increase blood flow to the genital area thereby making sex more pleasurable for men and women.