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If you are one of those who continues to be lazy with just the idea and has not yet psyched yourself up to do sports regularly, it is because you still do not know its advantages. Find out about everything that physical exercise can do for you and you will be convinced to practice it today.
Physical exercise is defined as any movement that makes muscles work and requires the body to burn calories.
Additionally, being active has been shown to have numerous health benefits, both physically and mentally. The University of Missouri found that it can even help us live longer.
We compiled the 10 ways regular exercise benefits our body and brain.
1. Improve sleep quality
Practicing sport on a regular basis helps to relax, to fall asleep earlier and to have a better quality of sleep.
The University of Sao Paolo concluded that both stretching and resistance exercise led to improvements in sleep in people with chronic insomnia.
Try to play sports in the morning or in the afternoon, but not too close to bedtime as it could have the opposite effect.
2. It gives us a younger look
McMaster University (Canada) found that playing sports helped keep skin looking much younger.
And it is that exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce adaptations of skin cells, which can help delay the appearance of skin aging.
Although intense physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants.
3. Helps lose weight
Exercising and following a balanced diet promotes a healthy weight. In addition, the sport prevents us from recovering the kilos lost by the diet.
The ideal way to lose weight is to combine cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, crossfit…) with strength exercise (machines, weights, isometrics…).
The first burns calories by raising the heart rate. The second, for building muscle. The greater the muscle mass, the more energy consumed.
4. Protect the heart
The leading cause of death in the world is the heart . However, exercise reduces cardiovascular risk factors.
The World Health Organization recommends doing aerobic exercise at least 150 minutes (if intense, 75) a week and muscular strength exercises at least 2 days a week.
Conversely, a lack of regular exercise can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
5. Keeps the brain active
Physical activity makes our brain more prepared and has a greater capacity to assimilate new knowledge.
It increases the heart rate, which favors the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. And it stimulates the production of hormones that enhance the growth of brain cells.
Concordia University (Quebec) showed that exercise causes the hippocampus (vital for memory) to enlarge, which can help improve mental function.
6. Avoid and prevent constipation
Exercise improves the function of the intestine and speeds up the transit of the colon.
In addition, it improves digestion, makes the assimilation of nutrients easier and can even improve irritable bowel syndrome.
Of course, sport must be accompanied by a diet rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains) and proper hydration (8 glasses of water a day).
7. Uplift the mood
Exercise can make us feel happier. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
It can increase the brain’s sensitivity to the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which ease feelings of depression. In addition, it increases the production of endorphins, which favor the production of positive feelings.
Exercise can benefit mood regardless of the intensity of physical activity.
8. Reduces the sensation of pain
Although chronic pain can be debilitating, exercise can help reduce it.
In fact, the University of Dundee (UK) showed that physical exercise can help people with chronic pain reduce their pain and improve their quality of life.
Additionally, it can help manage pain associated with several health conditions, including chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder.
9. Promotes healthy muscles and bones
Exercise plays a vital role in maintaining strong muscles and bones. It helps release hormones that promote the muscles’ ability to absorb amino acids. This helps them grow and reduces decay.
Thus, engaging in regular physical activity is essential to reduce muscle loss and maintain strength as you age.
It also helps build bone density when you’re younger, as well as helping prevent osteoporosis later in life.
As you can see, playing sports has incredible benefits that can improve almost all aspects of our health. And it’s not just about going to the gym. Try to lead an active life and move whenever you can. The more the better.