Five Major Ways Regular Exercise Could Improve Your Health

Exercise is any activity requiring physical effort which is carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness. It is planned, structured, and repetitive for the purpose of conditioning any part of the body. Exercise is used to improve health, maintain fitness and is important as a means of physical rehabilitation.

There are many types of physical activity. They are swimming, running, jogging, walking and dancing, to name a few. In this article, we shall be considering the top five (5) ways in which regular exercise could benefit your body.

1.  Helps in Weight Loss

Research has shown that inactivity is a major factor in weight gain and obesity in both humans and lower animals. In order to fully grasp the effect of exercise on weight reduction, one must understand the relationship between exercise and energy expenditure.

The human body spends energy in three ways: digesting food, exercising and maintaining body functions like your heartbeat, and through breathing. It is common knowledge that while dieting, a reduced calorie intake will lower your metabolic rate, which will delay weight loss. On the contrary, regular exercise has been shown to increase your metabolic rate, which will burn more calories and help you lose weight.

Also, a recent study has shown that when aerobic exercise is done in combination with resistance training,  fat loss and muscle mass maintenance can be maximized, thereby helping to reduce weight.

2. Biulds and Maintains Muscles and Bones

Regular exercise of the body is very helpful in building and maintaining strong muscles and bones. Research has it that physical activity like weight lifting can stimulate muscle building when paired with adequate protein intake. This is because exercise helps release hormones that promote the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. This helps them grow and reduces their breakdown . 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.
In addition, exercise helps build bone density during young age, in addition to helping prevent osteoporosis - a disease in which the bones become extremely porous and are subject to fracture, later on life.

Regarding the various forms of exercise, 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.

3. Provides A Healthy Skin

Your skin can be affected by the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress occurs when the body's antioxidant defenses cannot completely repair the damage that free radicals cause to cells. This can damage their internal structures and deteriorate your skin.

Regardless of the fact that intense and exhaustive physical activity can contribute to oxidative damage, regular moderate exercise can increase your body's production of natural antioxidants, which help protect cells. In the same way, exercise can stimulate blood flow and induce skin cell adaptations that can help delay the appearance of skin aging.

4. Maintains Brain Health and Memory

Exercise can improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills. Regular healthy exercise increases your heart rate, which promotes the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. It can also stimulate the production of hormones that can enhance the growth of brain cells.

Moreover, the ability of exercise to prevent chronic disease can translate into benefits for your brain, since its function can be affected by these diseases. Regular physical activity is especially important in older adults since aging — combined with oxidative stress and inflammation — promotes changes in brain structure and function.

Exercise has been shown to cause the hippocampus, a part of the brain that's vital for memory and learning, to grow in size. This serves to increase mental function in older adults. Recent research has shown that exercise reduces changes in the brain that can cause disorders such as the Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia

5.  Impoves Relaxation and Quality of Sleep

When you exercise regularly, you will definitely relax and sleep better. With respect to the quality of sleep, the energy depletion that occurs during exercise stimulates recuperative processes during sleep.

Also, the increase in body temperature that occurs during exercise is thought to improve sleep quality by helping it drop during sleep. Many studies on the effects of exercise on sleep have reached similar conclusions.

A study found that 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week can provide up to a 65% improvement in sleep quality. Another showed that 16 weeks of physical activity increased sleep quality and helped 17 people with insomnia sleep longer and more deeply than the control group. It also helped them feel more energized during the day.

Conclusively, you can be flexible with the kind of exercise you choose. It appears that either aerobic exercise alone or aerobic exercise combined with resistance training can equally help sleep quality.