8 Reasons Why Exercise Really Matters to Your Health

You probably know you should exercise regularly, but the odds are, you don’t. The latest Center for Disease Control report found that only about 16 percent of Americans get the recommended level of physical activity they should and more than 25 percent don’t exercise at all. Inactivity rates in many southern states are as high as 30 percent.

Here are just 8 reasons you should help change these statistics.

Combat depression without medication

Antidepressants are the most common prescription medication for Americans aged 18 to 44, and the third most common drug across all ages. Just some of the side effects from the most popular meds on the market include liver damage, suicidal behavior, violent behavior, insomnia, anxiety, hostility, decreased sex drive, weight gain, nausea, constipation, fatigue, headaches, increased stroke risk, birth defects and miscarriages as well as sudden cardiac death – just to name a few.

Want to avoid this long list of health problems without being depressed? Exercise! Studies have found that physical activity can be just as effective and even last longer than the effect of antidepressants, and without the harmful and unwanted side effects or the expense.

Battle disease and illness

If you’re worried about heart disease or high blood pressure, no matter what your current weight is, exercising can help increase your “good,” or HDL, cholesterol and decrease unhealthy triglycerides. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease.

Regular activity is also linked to a decrease in certain types of cancer including colon cancer as well as breast tumors and other malignancies. It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, arthritis and a wide range of chronic illness.

Controlling weight

Regular exercise prevents excess weight gain, helps to maintain weight loss, and is a big factor in losing stubborn pounds. It helps you burn more calories and boost your metabolism so you burn more even when you’re not active.

Moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise has a significant impact on reducing abdominal fat which is the especially harmful fat that increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight helps to prevent or control a wide range of disease and illness.

Boosting endurance

If you get winded just walking across the parking lot or to your neighbor’s house, you should know that regular physical activity can help improve your endurance. The more you exercise, the more endurance you’ll have as it serves to deliver oxygen and important nutrients throughout your body and helps your cardiovascular system to work more efficiently.

Better sleep

Regular exercise also promotes better sleep – it helps you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Those who don’t get enough rest not only feel grumpier the next day, they also have a bigger appetite due to decreased levels of the hormone leptin in the body which helps to control hunger.

Boosts memory and intelligence

Your brain is, of course, part of your overall health. The effects of exercise have been shown to improve cognitive function and help keep your neurons in shape, particularly when it comes to memory.

Along with memory, your intellectual skills benefit from regular physical activity. Exercises that require you to respond quickly also boost intelligence and the ability to carry out daily tasks.

joggingKeeping your mind healthy

Without a healthy mind, it would be difficult to truly enjoy life. Regular exercise has been shown to prevent dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease by improving glucose and fat metabolism. Some of the brain alterations found in those who’ve suffered from the disease may be due to abnormalities in these functions.

Improved sex life

Exercise naturally makes you feel better about your body which will increase your interest and ability for sexual activity. The endorphins that are released during exercise to boost your mood can also increase sexual arousal and pleasure.

Of course, better health and an improved overall quality of life should be enough to get you moving, but if it’s not, maybe the thought of better sex will be?

Whatever it takes to inspire you – just get active!

-The Alternative Daily


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