Often we come across people saying that I have been going to the gym for years or I am walking every day for an hour still it is not reflecting on my body. We must realize that going to the gym does not translate into an intense workout; nor is walking without pace and determination of much use. Analysis and evaluation of the time spent in any physical activity is a must. The workout miracle happens only by selecting the right form of workout, practicing it the correct way at the fine-tuned intensity level followed by good rest is imperative for any workout regime to be effective. If not done regularly, exercise routines are of no use, and if done incorrectly they may injure or harm your body.
Benefits of regular and the right exercise are so very evident that it is perplexing why so many keep ignoring this one thing that can miraculously change our lives; its benefits are for everyone – irrespective of age, sex or current physical abilities. Listed below, are the benefits of exercising daily.
The Benefits of Exercising Daily
As we exercise, an increased amount of oxygen reaches our brain; giving us a sense that we are thinking clearly, a heightened sense of responsiveness and a desire to work more and stay active. Research shows that Hippocampus ( a region in our brain responsible for memory) maintains its health and vitality due to regular exercise and degenerates otherwise.
Physical activity releases chemicals such as endorphins that can uplift our mood; these feel-good neurotransmitters start working in about 20 mins of a workout. When we exercise it also reduces the cortisol levels – the stress hormones in our bodies. Memory is one thing that gets affected due to chronic stress, and hence reducing stress levels indirectly aids your memory too. At a deeper level, many studies have shown that those who exercise regularly are in a better position to handle depression and emotional stress.
Stronger Heart & Circulation:
Our heart which is arguably the most important muscle in the human body is nurtured and stimulated with regular workouts. A stronger heart helps to manage chronic hypertension or high blood pressure very effectively. Cholesterol makes it very difficult for the blood to reach the farthest ends of our bodies, thus affecting the reach of nutrition to various body parts, the functioning of the heart and also the blood pressure. Regular exercise stimulates enzymes that help direct the LDL (low-density lipoprotein – cause of several heart diseases) to the liver and then it converts it into bile or releases out of the body.
Beyond doubt, there is a direct connection between immunity and right exercise. Physical activity helps clean bacteria from our lungs and airways thus reducing chances of catching a cough or a cold. Antibodies and white blood cells experience change and move about more rapidly as a result of improved blood circulation thereby improving response to illness and allergies.
Metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert food into energy. Energy needs of different people vary based on their age, sex, and physical activity levels. An overweight person exhibits that he has consumed more food than required. This unused food is stored in the form of ‘fat’ to be used by the body at a later date. Exercising regularly increases our energy requirement – while exercising – and even during the day when the muscles are recovering and growing. Thus if we provide a controlled amount of food to the body when we start any exercise regime, it tries to meet its energy requirements from the stored fat in the body – naturally resulting in inch loss and weight loss.
Stronger Bones & Muscles:
Bones and muscles both respond to workouts; muscle growth is very apparent when we exercise, for many it is one of the motivating factors when they take up physical activity. Young men and women, who exercise, tend to have a higher bone density in comparison to those of similar age but not exercising regularly. Studies have shown that for adults the process of losing bone density can be substantially reduced with regular exercise. Weight-bearing exercises are the best for both muscles and bones. Exercising regularly improves strength, coordination, and balance thus helping older people to avoid falls and related fractures.
The importance of Right Exercise:
Choosing the correct form of exercise is essential; one must evaluate their target when one gets down to exercising. I won’t be too far from reality if I say that many take up exercise to look good in the quickest way possible. Anybody who promises a quick fix to this becomes an instant rage. Would you want to involve yourself in a regime that makes you sweat but in the process damages your bones severely? Age, body weight, physical ability, current lifestyle, and responsibilities all should be taken into account before jumping onto a ‘new’ format of exercise. A balance between cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training must be achieved for complete fitness.
Those who are overweight or have joint, back or bone related issues should be careful with high-impact activities such as running, Zumba or dancing. High impact activities are difficult on the ankle, knee, back and pelvic joint; so one can choose wisely and use swimming and brisk walking instead because all these activities serve the main purpose of providing the body with cardiovascular exercise.
Weight training improves muscle as strength and capacity. That improves physical appearance and provides a lot of confidence to many. However when overdone or incorrectly practiced results in injured back, wrecked nerves, bad posture, and stiff muscles. Those who have never done weight training must start with moderation, analyze the impact of weight every time you increase the number of weights or number of sets. Please add a good amount of stretching to your workout, else all the muscles grow very stiff and result in injury and bad posture.
Walking is low to moderate intensity workout; there are many amongst us who do think walking as a complete form of exercise; longer they walk more effective their workout. However one should be watchful as to how walking is helping them. Watch your knees, weight, sleep, and digestion. Also walking provides only one kind of movement to the body; no stretching and no resistance for the upper body – so combine your walks with other forms of exercise to complete your fitness requirement.
Yoga provides a very effective way to achieve everyday fitness. When done correctly it provides a healthy mix of flexibility, cardio and strength training. The purpose of yoga is to bring your body and mind in balance. Ability to fight psychosomatic ailments is unique to yoga.
However, yoga must be practiced with a lot of focus and patience. There are no props in a traditional yoga class, only your body, breath and mind are at play, all at once. One needs to establish coordination amongst the three to maximize the benefits of a yoga class. When we practice we must exhibit total focus, if we are unmindful during our practice or are restless and in hurry then more often than not we lose balance or over the stretch.
During yoga sessions there will be many new ways that your body will be used, one must respect the fact, new movements may tire the body, and muscles may take longer to recover. We all want postures that are more challenging, it is good to motivate oneself to try harder but not without proper guidance; also one must be ready to perform certain postures, a handstand is to strengthen the arm and shoulder muscle while the same can damage your shoulders for months together.
So err on the side of caution and always take small steps before trying new and more difficult postures. An adult body is different from that of a teenager or pre-teen; hence the approach to the practice of yoga should be different for both. Let an experienced teacher be your guide, exercise within limits of your age, weight and also factor in if you have any past experience with yoga or not. Take responsibility for your own wellbeing and be mindful of the impact of different workouts that you undertake; be regular and practice right.
Hope the info posted above was useful to you. In case you have any comment or question, please go ahead and post it in the comment box below.
Carthik shares his Healthy Life journey. Do visit regularly to get updated on his progress and tips for your own journey to live healthily. If you like what he does and if you have a passion and want to share it too, then Click here to learn how to share what you love – on your website!