We live in the age of the sedentary lifestyle. The vast technological advances of our time may have contributed immensely towards creating an easier life for many of us, but they have also by and large decoupled man from having to undergo any semblance of physical strain. Unfortunately, the human body isn’t built to last unless it’s engaged in some kind of regular physical activity. Simply put, living out your life from the comforts of your chair has been shown to lead to all sorts of health problems down the line, ranging from heart problems to anxiety and many others. To counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, all you need to do is make an appointment with your regular gym and get started on making exercise a regular part of your life. In order to fan the flames of your motivation, here are six of the most common benefits associated with regular physical activity:
1. Keeping your body in check
It stands to reason that a sedentary lifestyle will often lead to unwanted weight gain, which comes with its own host of associated health problems. Exercise can be your best friend in this regard, however, since engaging in physical activity will burn more calories and help keep your body fat low. Whether you want to lose weight or not, you can count on having a leaner, more toned body when you work out regularly. What’s more, improving your overall physique is a given if you continue to practice any form of exercise over the long run.
2. Prevention and treatment of physical disorders and diseases
The human body likes to stay engaged and active as much as possible. When working out, it rewards you by boosting the level of HDL, the good kind of cholesterol, and lowering unhealthy triglycerides. This makes your blood run smoothly and has a role in preventing various ailments such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and arthritis. Exercise also has a hand in correcting bad posture and increasing body flexibility, which can make a world of difference as you age.
3. Mood improvement
The fact that your body benefits from working out is a no-brainer, but did you know that exercising also has an incredibly positive impact on your mind as well? Physical activity translates into fewer stress hormones and more endorphins, the chemicals that your brain naturally releases in order to make you feel better. This explains why people who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
4. Energy boost
Have you ever wondered why most people feel so drained despite only having spent their days in the utmost comfort? It’s because their bodies have atrophied from the lack of physical activity, making every little movement seem like climbing Mount Everest. Exercising regularly, however, leads to higher levels of oxygen and nutrients in your muscle tissues, thereby helping your body work more efficiently. This in turn leads to higher levels of stamina and endurance the longer you work out.
5. Increased libido
Sexual activity, as pleasant as it may be, requires hefty amounts of energy in order to be properly engaged in. Chances are that if you live a sedentary lifestyle, you’ll often find yourself running out of steam quickly. Exercise, however, has been known to increase testosterone levels, which play an important role in preventing erectile dysfunction and a lowered libido. Regular physical activity has been shown to maximize arousal in women as well, meaning that exercise is just the thing you need to put that spark back in your love life, regardless of gender.
6. Better sleep
Finally, the idea of catching a good night’s sleep may seem like a lost art in these times, with more people staying up late suffering from insomnia and poor sleeping patterns, but exercise can definitely help in this regard as well. Studies show that regular physical activity helps people fall asleep easier and feel more rested after a night’s worth of shuteye. They also reported feeling less sleepy and more alert during the day. The only caveat? Make sure you cease working out at least a couple of hours before going to bed, otherwise you run the risk of being too energized to fall asleep.
As you can see, regular exercise is an invaluable ally in the quest for a healthier lifestyle. Once you get the hang of it though, it can also be quite a fun experience in its own right, an opportunity to test your limits and unwind at the same time. Try taking a friend with you to the gym if you find it hard to workout by yourself in the beginning, and remember to always look for new challenges and routines to prevent boredom from setting in.