8 Fun Facts About Exercise You Might Forget
We have all been there, done that when it comes to exercise. You start a routine with very specific goals and then it fizzles. Why does it fizzle? Life got in the way, grew bored, wasn't hitting my goals? While establishing goals and reaching them is important, sometimes looking at a bigger picture can help push us along. Below you'll find a list of 8 facts of exercise that many overlook. The next time you are feeling a bit stagnant or even worse considering stopping your routine use this list to recapture some motivation.
Surprising Health Benefits From Routine Exercise
1. Increased Life Span:
As little as 30 minutes of cardio three to five days a week will add six years to your life, according to research at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas.
2. Immune System Boost:
Exercise elevates your level of immunoglobulins, which are proteins that help bolster your immune system and ward off infection. "Every sweat session you do can help strengthen your immune function for about 24 hours," says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.
3. Mood Enhancement:
Stress can be caused by elevated levels of the hormones cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Mood-enhancing chemicals, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, flood your brain for a couple of hours post-exercise and help reduce these stress hormones. Exercise increases serotonin, otherwise known as the happy hormone, which helps reduce stress.
Just four months of exercise is as good as prescription meds at boosting mood and reducing depression, according to a study at Duke University.
4. Blood Pressure Depression:
One sweat session lowers your blood pressure for up to 16 hours.
5. Brain and Cognitive Improvement:
Two studies presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s disease showed that older people who exercised more had significantly less cognitive impairment than those who did not spend time working out. Exercise improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells, thanks to the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF triggers the growth of new neurons and helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration.
6. Improves Bone Density:
Bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger and thereby preventing osteoporosis. Young women and men who exercise regularly generally achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not.Exercising allows us to maintain muscle strength, coordination, and balance, which in turn helps to prevent falls and related fractures. This is especially important for older adults and people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
7. Cancer Risk Reduction:
Exercise has been linked with a decreased risk of developing cancer, death from cancer, and recurrence of certain cancers. The suggested mechanisms at play include exercise’s beneficial effects on the immune and surveillance systems that detect and kill cancer cells, improved cardio-respiratory status, improved hormonal profiles, weight maintenance, and other beneficial metabolic effects.
8. Constipation Reduction:
Aerobic exercise increases blood flow to our organs, and bringing more blood to the gastrointestinal tract results in stronger intestinal contractions and more digestive enzymes. The stronger the contractions and the more those juices flow, the more quickly and easily food waste will move through the colon and out of the body.
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