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Health Benefits and Importance of Exercise

If you are trying to lose weight or keep it off, exercise should be a regular part of your routine. However, the advantages of physical activity don’t just include physical fitness. Here are the health benefits of exercise.

  • Maintains weight. Exercise can help prevent extra weight gain or even maintain weight loss. When you work out, you burn calories. The more the intense the activity, the more calories you burn.
  • Enhances immune system. Exercise improves your body’s ability to pump the oxygen and reduces the risk of getting colds and/or the flu.
  • Reduces risk for health diseases and conditions. Consistent exercise combats health diseases and conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. For Type 2 Diabetes, exercise helps to control blood glucose levels.
  • Boosts energy. Exercise increases energy levels so that you can be more productive.
  • Promotes sleep. Exercise helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. A good quality of sleep helps improve overall wellness and can reduce stress.
  • Strengthens and tones muscles. Regular physical activity can improve muscle strength and boosts your endurance. Strong muscles reduce your risk of joint and lower back pain by keeping your joints in proper alignment.
  • Improves mood. Physical activity releases chemicals called endorphins, which are known to make you feel happier and more relaxed. Exercise also decreases the amount of stress hormones that your body releases.

If you’re unsure of your health status or if you have health problems, speak with your doctor before starting a more strenuous exercise program. Here are some other factors that will make working out more enjoyable and productive.

  • Stretch before and after exercise.
  • Pace yourself and start slow. If you are starting to exercise after a long time or if this is your first time exercising regularly, start with 30 minutes a day, 2-3 times a week. Try to have at least one day where you don’t exercise at all.
  • Listen to your body. If you aren’t feeling well or if you’re in pain, don’t overexert yourself.
  • Have good, comfortable running shoes.
  • Know what the weather is going to be like. If it’s hot outside, protect your skin using sunscreen and wear proper clothing to avoid overheating.
  • Stay hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking water before, during, and after a workout.

You don’t need to spend money on a gym membership. There are at home exercises you can do that don’t require gym equipment, or you can start by walking or running around your neighborhood. Exercise and physical activity in general are both are a great way to feel better, boost your energy, and have fun. For most adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Exercise is good for your mind, body and soul.

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