How we can help you › Physical Activity › The Benefits of Exercise
We may not feel the effect of exercising straight away, but if we exercise consistently, we will benefit from all the great effort we put into being physically active.
Here are some of the benefits of exercising:
Its good for our physical health!
- Helps to maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart attack.
- Reduced risk of certain cancers.
- Lowers cholesterol.
- Improved circulation.
- Improves strength and flexibility.
Regular physical exercise can reduce the risk of developing long term, life affecting conditions such as cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Every year there are over 360,000 new cancer cases in the UK, 4 million people living with type 2 diabetes and 7.4 million people living with heart disease. Most people can also lose weight by exercising too!
…and our mental health too!
- Exercise contributes towards good mental wellbeing.
- Releases endorphins which help us feel healthier and more energised.
- Exercise is a good distraction from stressful situations.
- A great way to get rid of muscle tension which builds up when we are anxious too.
- Long term it’s a great way to boost confidence by achieving the goals we set ourselves.
- Improves sleep.
- Gives us more energy!
The World Health Organisation has reported that 1 in 4 people will experience adverse mental health in their lifetime.
To experience and maintain the benefits of physical activity, it’s important to take into account the following.
Make exercise part of your routine. Consider your current capabilities and what’s achievable, build on how frequently you exercise. If you are exercising once or twice a week now, try to increase that to 2 or 3 times.
The more often we exercise the more often we experience the benefits!!
If we try to push ourselves too hard this may feel uncomfortable and be off putting. Likewise, if the activity is too easy we may not see the benefit and lose motivation. Aim for a moderate intensity, you should feel slightly out of breath and feel warmer.
If you can hold a conversation, you’re at the right intensity. If you can sing it’s too easy!!
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming, it is recommended that we should do 30 minutes of exercise on most days. However, if this feels overwhelming it can be broken down into smaller chunks of 5 or 10 minutes at a time.
Anything is better than nothing!!
Exercise doesn’t have to involve going to the gym -although that can have its benefits. The truth is you can get rewards from many different types of exercise including walking, dancing, gardening, biking and even doing household chores. Choose something you enjoy, involve the family, meet friends, or learn new skills.
This will increase your chances of making it a habit!!