Besides a healthy diet, regular physical activity is one of the best ways to improve your mental and physical health. Physical activity means any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories. So, this means that you don’t have to be fully dedicated to exercise like the athletes but by doing any regular physical activity you can improve your health in many ways. Below are some of the benefits you can reap from being physically active.
1. Improves Your Mood: Exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your mood and manage stress. It produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety. It can also increase brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression.
2. Improves Your Mental Health: Regular physical activity will help you to maintain mental alertness and sharpness. There have been many studies supporting improved memory, learning, reaction time and concentration in subjects who followed a regular workout routine. Exercise can even slow down cognitive decline as we get older.
3. Increases Your Energy Levels: Increased physical activity actually increases your energy levels. Exercise can be a real energy booster not only for healthy people, but also for those suffering from various medical conditions. One study found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue.
4. Strengthens Bones and Muscles: Exercise is essential for building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. And this is really important because as we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can cause osteoporosis. Practicing regular physical activity helps keep your bones and muscles strong and slows the loss of bone density, making your body more resilient to injury and illness.
5. Helps You Sleep Better: Regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better. Not only does exercise help you fall and stay asleep more easily, it also improves your quality of sleep. In regards to sleep quality, the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep. Moreover, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep. One study found that 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week can provide up to a 65% improvement in sleep quality.