You probably have a vague sense that there are Benefits In Exercise, and you have probably heard you can reach a good health and well being status, by doing some physical activity. But, if you are like the majority of Americans, that’s not enough motivation to get you off the couch. According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), only 23.2 percent of Americans actually get the minimum 150 minutes a week of muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercise recommended for overall muscles and cardiovascular activity.
Another CDC study found more than 1 in 4 US adults over 50 do not engage in regular physical activity. More than half of all baby boomers report doing absolutely no physical activity, and over eighty million Americans over age six, are entirely inactive, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) research.
Calling it the “2030 problem”, the NIH addresses the challenge of assuring that sufficient resources and an effective service system are available in thirty years, when the sedimentary elderly population is twice what it is today. However, for 2019, the news is more promising. According to the Physical Activity Council report, overall physical activity of Americans 6 years and older continued its steady climb, gaining 1.6 million new participants in 2018 from 2017, showing that, perhaps, fitness was again being integrated back into the fabric of the daily lives of Americans.
First of all, let’s look at the official definition of physical exercise, according to Wikipedia:
Exercise is a physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness,and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, including increasing growth and development, preventing aging, strengthening muscles and cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss, or maintenance, and also for enjoyment. Many individuals choose to exercise publicly outdoors where they can congregate in groups, socialize, and enhance well being.
What a perfect definition for this article! For more information on physical exercise from Wikipedia, read this. It’s pretty sad that most Americans are that sedimentary, but emerging evidence is suggesting there are plenty of compelling reasons to start to do something physical, at any age.
Even if you are ill, or even if you are pregnant, scientific evidence is suggesting, along with eating and supplementing with nutrient-rich food, are the two most important things you can do, because they both act as natural healers, as nature intended, much better than any pharmaceutical you could take. Let’s look at the most important benefits obtainable with a good regimen of daily physical activity.
Being physically active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally, and it may even help you live longer, per an NIH study.
Body In Motion Means Weight Loss
The most obvious benefits of exercise are shedding some pounds and keeping your cardiovascular system and metabolic functions in tip-top shape. Studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity. One 2016 Journal of Physical Therapy Science study (NIH) found average weekly exercise time affected the maximum amount of oxygen intake, resting metabolic rate, and anaerobic threshold, all of which are indicators of individual physical ability and health.
These values increased as the individual amount of exercise increased. Regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which will burn more calories and help you lose weight which has been confirmed in many studies. Here are just a few: A 2011 Progressive Cardiovascular Disease (NIH) study found there is strong evidence that even a moderate amount of weight loss achieved through changes in diet and exercise training can greatly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, studies have shown that combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off. A 2013 Journal of Obesity study reviewed by the NIH found that exercise is efficacious for reducing percent body fat in overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Data indicated that a weight-loss dietary regimen in conjunction with aerobic and resistance exercise prevents the normal decline in fat-free mass and muscular power and augments body composition, maximal strength, and maximum oxygen consumption compared with weight-loss induced by diet alone according to Medical Science Sports Exercise study reviewed by the NIH.
Body In Motion Means Brain In Motion
According to Harvard Medical School research the benefits from exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors which are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety.
Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. Physical activity has been shown to improve your mood and decrease feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, by increasing brain sensitivity for the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which relieve feelings of depression, per an NIH study. In fact, an NIH study found in 24 women who had been diagnosed with depression showed that exercise of any intensity significantly decreased feelings of depression. Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging, when combined with oxidative stress and inflammation, promotes changes in brain structure and function found a 2016 Journal of Physiology study reviewed by the NIH.
Choosing to exercise or not exercise can even effect your mood and mental state, according to another NIH study. In this study, 26 healthy men and women who normally exercised regularly to either asked to continue exercising or stop exercising for two weeks. Those who stopped exercising experienced increases in negative mood.
Scientists do know, as per a NIH study, that exercise improves oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain, nourishing the growth of new blood vessels and brain cells, and improving cognitive ability. Scientists also know that the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these diseases.
Exercise has even been shown in one 2017 Current Alzheimer Research study reviewed by the NIH to reduce changes in the brain that can cause Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. A brain-derived protein called “brain derived neurotrophic factor” (BDMF), is responsible for, and triggers the growth of new neurons, and helps to repair and protect brains cells from degeneration. This protein has also been associated with enhancing brain focus.
Studies have also shown, such as this NIH study, regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging, combined with oxidative stress and inflammation, promotes changes in brain structure and function, as well. Exercise actually causes the hippocampus, which is vital for memory and learning, to increase in size, causing increased mental function in older adults.
So, if you want to increase your intelligence, increase your physical activity.
Happy With Endorphins
Need an emotional lift? Or, do you need to blow off some steam from a stressful day? Exercise or a brisk thirty-minute walk, is just the ticket.Numerous studies have revealed that many forms of exercise, such as walking or cycling, allows individuals to actually feel better, an almost a euphoric state occurs, and can even relieve symptoms of depression.
Exercise or any physical activity releases certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinepe, endorphins, and dopamine, and more importantly, inhibits the release of damaging cortisol, as confirmed in this International Journal of Multiple Sclerosis study reviewed by the NIH, which found that walking and yoga yielded similar improvements in overall acute mood symptoms, and walking improved feelings of vigor.
According to the NIH, exercise can increase the production of endorphins, which are known to help produce positive feelings and reduce the perception of pain. Chronic pain can be debilitating but physical activity can really reduce it and increase the quality of live by increasing the release of “feel-good” hormones, per the NIH. Exercise also seems to help with chronic pain associated with certain health conditions such as chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder, to name a few. Release of these amazing chemicals result in dulling pain, lightening mood, and relieving harmful stressors and more importantly, depressive symptoms.
To acutely improve depressed mood, exercise of any intensity significantly improved feelings of depression with no differential effect following light, moderate, or hard exercise confirmed a 2013 Behavioral Therapy study (NIH). In another 2011 Journal of stress study reviewed by the NIH found that 26 healthy men and women who normally exercised regularly were asked to either continue exercising or stop exercising for two weeks and those who stopped exercising experienced increases in negative mood.
for years we focused on the physical benefits of exercise, and have really had ignored the psychological and emotional benefits of being regularly active.
So, take a dance class. Or take a walk on a wooded trail, or play tennis.
Find a physical activity you enjoy and just do it!
Slow “Father Time” Down
Exercise has been shown to actually lengthen lifespan by as much as five years, according to study published in the Journal of Preventive and Science Daily, found that men at age 20 were estimated to gain as much as 2.4 years of life from moderate activity. Women at age 20 gained about 3 additional years from engaging in moderate activity. The biggest benefit from physical activity was seen in non-Hispanic black women, who gained as many as 5.5 potential years of life. A 2017 Brigham Young University study revealed that moderate to intense exercise can slow down or reduce cellular level aging by 9 years. As humans age, cells divide many times, and the telumeres, which are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, actually shorten. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass and function, which can lead to injuries and disabilities.
Practicing regular physical activity is essential to reducing muscle loss and maintaining strength as you age according to a Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida study reviewed by the NIH. Exercise helps build bone density when you’re younger, which is beneficial to helping prevent osteoporosis later in life according to a Iranian Journal of Public Health reviewed by the NIH.
Another interesting Department of Medicine, Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center (NIH), Oakland, CA study found that high-impact exercise, such as gymnastics or running, or odd-impact sports, such as soccer and basketball, have been shown to promote a higher bone density than non-impact sports like swimming and cycling.
Researchers have found by taking muscle biopsies and blood samples from ten individuals before and after a forty-five-minute ride on a stationary bike, that there were increased levels of molecules that protect tetumeres, ultimately showing how quickly they shorten over time without physical activity. People who have consistently high levels of physical activity have significantly longer telomeres than those who have sedentary lifestyles, as well as those who are moderately active. Quoting the lead researcher, Larry Tucker, exercise science professor:
We know that regular physical activity helps to reduce mortality and prolong life, and now we know part of that advantage may be due to the preservation of telomeres.
Even at the cellular level on chromosomes, exercise slows aging.
If you want to be sixty, but look and feel like you are forty-five, get busy being active doing something physical intense. Identification of the amount and intensity of exercise matter for achieving general and specific health benefits and a better understanding of the peripheral mechanisms mediating the responses in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism to chronic physical activity in reducing cardiovascular risks found a Medical Science Sports Exercise study reviewed by the NIH.
Younger Looking Skin
The NIH calls exercise or physical activity an “antioxidant”. Oxidative stress also damages the skin and regular moderate exercise can increase your body’s production of natural antioxidants which helps protect against skin cell oxidation.
Exercise speeds up the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the skin cells, improving health and even healing wounds quicker. According to Anthoney Hackney, an exercise Physiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, when interviewed by Time Magazine, individuals who have suffered injuries, should begin exercising as quickly as possible, to make sure there is blood flow to the skin.
Not to mention, exercise also prevents muscle atrophy. He also stated that by exercising regularly, will add new blood vessels and tiny capillaries to the skin, too, because exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.
Our skin also acts as a release point for heat generated by muscles, which has to be expelled into the environment, so your body temperature doesn’t get too high like when you exercise, and the process is called “Thermoregulation”. The heat in the muscles transfers in the blood, which is then transferred to the skin, for release out into the atmosphere. So, you want smooth velvety skin and reduce age lines and look younger, start an exercise regimen.
Remarkable Transformation In A Few Minutes
Reaping the Benefits In Exercise doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming. The latest research shows that it doesn’t take much movement to realize the many benefits of exercise. Martin Gibala, an exercise Psychologist at McMaster at the University in Ontario, wanted to test how effective a ten-minute exercise could compare to a typical fifty-minute exercise.
So, he arranged a test of micro-workouts, which consisted of three exhausting twenty-seconds exercise intervals, in full-blown, hard-as-you-can, exercise, followed by brief rests. In the three-month study, he compared the “all-out” 3-minute intermittent micro-workouts a week to the standard fifty-minutes workouts, to see which one was better. According to the NIH, the results were completely surprising, increasing skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and improving cardio and metabolic health.
The results were identical in improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one exercise was five times longer and more energy draining than the other. Gibala said that if an individual could push really hard for short periods of time, that individual could get away with exercising, with very little time involved, still getting the same results. If you have been using the excuse of not having enough time in the day to exercise, you don’t have it anymore. All you have to do is implement this 4-minute micro-workout (1).
Preventing Or Recovering From Major Illness
It’s a fact, lack of regular physical activity is a primary cause of chronic disease. Even very vigorous exercise, like the short, full-out workout Gibala studied, can even be appropriate for persons with different chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart failure. That thinking is revolutionary, because conventional wisdom always said that individuals with certain disease were always advised to not exercise.
Scientists now know that most people, in all situations, can and should have physical activity. One NIH study found that incorporating an exercise program in sedentary middle-aged men and women, avoided short periods of physical inactivity which lead to significant weight gain, substantial increases in visceral fat, and further metabolic deterioration. Another NIH study recommended mild exercise to improve fitness and reduce cardiovascular risk , yet encourage higher intensities and amounts for additional benefit.
The NIH also confirmed in this study aerobic exercise training of 4 weeks or longer had a small but clinically significant effect in reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Recent analysis of more than three hundred clinical trials showed that individuals recovering from stroke, exercise was the most effective activity responsible for there rehabilitation, according to the American Heart Association.
Studies also show that exercise is, for now, the best way to prevent, or at least, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia, according to the NIH. Yes, Alzheimer’s, the one disease that scares most Americans. Scientists don’t fully understand why exercises changes the structure and operation of the brain, but it is an area of tremendous research.
The NIH also confirmed that a lack of regular exercise, even for the short term, can lead to significant increases in belly fat, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and early death. One more NIH study confirmed weight loss induced by increased daily physical activity without caloric restriction substantially reduces obesity and insulin resistance in men and the risk of obesity-related diseases. One NIH study found that a simple routine of a six-minute walk around the house helped 41 men with acute myocardial infarction, reduced their erectile dysfunction symptoms by 71 percent.
Dr. Robert Sallis, a family Physician at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in California, has prescribed an exercise program to his patients since the 1990s in hopes of prescribing less medication, especially, anti-depressants.
It really worked remarkably, particularly in my very sickest patients,
said Dr. Sallis.
If I could get them to exercise on a regular basis, even just walking, anything, just to get thier heart rate up a little, I would see dramatic improvements in there chronic disease, not to mention, eliminating other harmful experiences like anxiety, fatigue, and depression,
said the Doctor. So, if you know someone who is recovering from major surgery or a disease, encourage them to participate in an exercise program because “exercise is medicine”.
Disappearing Fat Cells
Most studies have shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity, because inactivity reduces your metabolic rate, burning less calories.
Exercising before eating breakfast burns more fat, improves how the body responds to insulin and lowers people’s risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease found a University of Bath study released this year (2019. Regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which will burn more calories and help you lose weight. The NIH looked at exercise and the metabolic syndrome in this study.
According to a NIH study the risk of developing both metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes is inversely associated with regular exercise training, because evidence suggest that even a moderate amount of weight loss reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. This NIH study confirmed the ability of the body burning fat in 35 to 50 year old middle-aged women after habitual exercise.
The body uses both carbs and fats as energy sources. But, after consistent aerobic exercise, the body actually improves in the ability of burning fat, which requires a lot of oxygen to convert fat into energy.
One of the benefits of exercise is that our cardiovascular system gets stronger and better at delivering oxygen, so we are able to metabolize more fat as an energy source,
As a result, your fat cells, which provide the substances responsible for chronic low-grade inflammation, actually shrink, and so does inflammation.
said Hackney. Do you experience pain and soreness in your muscles or joints? That’s low-grade inflammation at work. To rid yourself of this pain and soreness, try exercising, it will help. Combining aerobic exercise with resistance training can maximize fat loss and muscle mass maintenance, which is essential for keeping the weight off, compared with weight-loss induced by diet alone, per a NIH study.
For Restful Beneficial Sleep
Plain and simple regular exercise can help you relax and sleep better according to a 2015 Journal of Behavioral Medicine reviewed to the NIH. In 2 other NIH studies that have been preformed, it suggest that exercise significantly improved the sleep of the participants, particularly, those with chronic insomnia. One study found that regular exercise relaxes the participant and provided better sleep and the other study found the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep.
Exercising the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week can provide up to a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, there are many possibilities for how exercise may reduce insomnia severity. One way seems to be by body-heating effects of exercising, especially when performed in the late afternoon causing changes in temperature which rise, may trigger, either directly or indirectly, somnogenic brain areas to initiate sleep, to regulate and reduce body temperature, per another NIH study.
Exercise, as already stated earlier in this article, is beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, or depression symptoms. Trouble sleeping is commonly linked with elevated moods of arousal, anxiety, and depression. According to a National Sleep Foundation report, outcome of studies reveal after four to twenty-four weeks of exercise, adults with insomnia or sleeping problems, fell asleep more quickly, sleep slightly longer, and had better uninterrupted quality sleep, than before they started exercising.
Another 2010 Sleep Medicine study reviewed by the NIH showed that 16 weeks of physical activity increased sleep quality and helped people with insomnia sleep longer and more deeply than the control group, besides helping them feel more energized during the day. Numerous studies have shown physical activity is beneficial to the elderly because they are more prone to poor sleep quality, per 2 NIH studies. One study on elderly individuals and the other on elderly on elderly males. In one more 2012 Cytokine study (NIH) results suggest that 6 months of training can improve sleep in the elderly and is related to the anti-inflammatory effect of moderate training, which modifies cytokine profiles. How is your sleep?
If it’s restless, you can always begin doing physical activity, that will help you sleep better.
Assist Your MoJo
Exercise gets blood flowing to all your body parts including your sex organs, which keeps them, healthy, active, and lubricated,
says Antonia Hall, MA, a Psychologist and award-winning author of “The Ultimate Guide to a Multi-Orgasmic Life”.
Maintaining a healthy sex drive requires proper blood flow, which will boost your libido.
One 2015 American Journal Cardiology study reviewed by the NIH found that a simple routine of a six-minute walk around the house helped 41 men reduce their erectile dysfunction symptoms by 71 percent. Studies have shown that individuals are most in the mood after exercise, because your body is dumping out your-feel good chemicals, like endorphins, while reducing the release of bodily stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, says Hall.
It’s a proven fact physical activity boosts sex drive, per an NIH study. This was also confirmed in a Psychology Medicine (NIH) study showed the reduction on the symptom of tiredness and depression.A 2010 study published in the Journal of Urology found exercise improves blood flow leading to high sexual function in men. Sexual performance and sexual pleasure, as well as, frequency of sexual activity improved in 41 women between the ages of 40 to 60, with physical activity, per an NIH study. Another study of Finnish women between the ages of 42 and 46, found that orgasms were experienced more frequently, particularly with strenuous exercise such as weight lifting or sprints.
This is particularly true for men, because testosterone levels peak after exercising.
A NIH study of 22 life-long sedentary aging men found exercise training improved testosterone levels. With regular exercise, you’re likely to be more comfortable and pleased with the appearance of your body, because you are fitter and trimmer, which reduces your anxiety and increases you confidence about how you look. In a Archives of Sexual Behavioral study (NIH) it was determined that significantly greater sexuality enhancements occurred in the exercise group.
Numerous studies have shown, like this NIH study, that there is an association of the status of mental health and sexual function in post-menopausal women, making it important to reduce anxiety and depression through exercising. We’ll let your own imagination work here.
Physical activity and having the proper well-balanced nutritious diet are paramount in maintaining your overall health and wellness, but there are other simple daily activities you can also implement into your life that will promote better health and wellness. For a complete explanation of those activities, read this article, “Benefits From A Healthy Lifestyle”.”
Where Does The Energy Come From To Begin Physical Activity?
If you are not eating the proper natural healthy nutrient-dense foods, you will not have the energy to initiate any kind of exercise program and enjoy the Benefits In Exercise. Studies have shown that your energy levels will increase with exercise, that’s a given, according to research. For example, one Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia study reviewed by the NIH found that six weeks of regular exercise reduced feelings of fatigue for 36 healthy people who had reported persistent fatigue.
Furthermore, exercise can significantly increase energy levels for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other serious illnesses found a 2016 Cochrane Database System Review (NIH) study. Exercise has also been shown to increase energy levels in people suffering from progressive illnesses, such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis found another 2012 Cochrane Database System Review (NIH) study. However, you have to have at least some energy to get started. Eating the proper fresh, well-balanced nutritious foods, will nourish your body and provide the necessary energy to participate in physical activity. So, what should you eat?
First, and foremost, all foods should be fresh, as humanly possible, natural, organic, GMO-free, full-variety, nutrient-dense whole foods. Avoid unhealthy processed or refined foods, or precooked foods, high-sugar, processed meats, or high-sodium foods, and fried and fast-foods, with real, fresh, wholesome food whenever possible.
Variety Of Nutrient-Dense Foods For Exercise Energy
- Lean Organic Meats. Meats should be non-GMO, grass-fed finished beef and bison, free-range finished poultry chicken, turkey and duck, lamb, and pork, brown cage-free eggs, and dairy milk, cheese, and butter (A). Any wild-game is great too.
- Wild-Caught Fish and Seafood. Fish should be cold-water (non farmed-raised) salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring, sturgeon, shrimp, oysters, tuna, and many others (A).
- Fresh Certified Organic Fruits, Vegetables, Raw Nuts, and Edible Flower Seeds. Choose a wide range of fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, especially berries, citrus, dark green leafy veggies, and bright colored fruits and veggies (A). You could also consider planting your own backyard garden of fresh nutrient-rich fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds, “killing 2 birds with one stone”, as the old saying goes. Not only will you be harvesting some of the most healthiest freshest foods available from your garden, but some pretty strenuous and healthy exercise building and maintaining your garden.
- Fresh Whole Grains, High Fiber, Fermented Foods, Herbs, Spices, Oils, and Drinks. Should be certified organic and GMO-free, and gluten-free complex carbs and whole-grains. Use at all meals; natural fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, natural yogurt, fermented wine; fresh herbs and spices such as basil, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, and cilantro; monounsaturated plant oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil; antioxidant-rich dark chocolate; antioxidants drinks such as espresso, infused fruit water, and fruit smoothies (A). Checkout this blueberry-Maca smoothie.
- Alcohol. Beer or naturally fermented red wine is better for you, but any type is OK as long as it is used in moderation
- Supplement With Natural Nutritious Whole-Food Maca. (A)The Maca should be certified organic Peruvian Maca from the high Andes Mountains of Peru. The Adaptogen, Maca, is a great source of balanced protein, carbs, fiber, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and bio-active plant compounds. Use once or twice a day and also use it in prepared uncooked foods and drinks such as cakes, cookies, granola bars, and smoothies. For all the information on Maca and its incredible nutritional value, and its wide-ranging health and wellness benefits, please refer to these articles:
If you are interested in pursuing the micro-type, time-saving, exercise program referred to above, for not only slimming your body, but more importantly, building physical health, muscle strength, and cardiac function, you might want to checkout THE PROFORM HYBRID TRAINER, which is reasonably priced with free shipping.
Now that you’ve learned all about the Benefits In Exercise, and how to achieve them, are you ready to take action? Let me know your thoughts, or should you have any question, please ask them below.
(1) Bright Side Video
(A) Follow these links for more in depth information, more documented studies, and to purchase any or all these incredible natural nutrient-dense foods.