Some days, hitting the pavement, picking up weights or rolling out the mat feels a little harder than usual. So, in case you needed more inspiration to blast it during your next workout, read these benefits of exercising to get motivated.
Avoid the “Sitting Disease”
A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that doing just an hour of moderate exercise a day (that’s about the effort level of a brisk walk) can compensate for the negative effects of six to seven hours of sitting. But if you sit more than that while exercising less you may be putting yourself at risk for high blood sugar, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. If you can’t find time in your schedule to log that much gym time, though, don’t freak: Work in small efforts throughout the day and you can still chip away at sitting’s evils. For example, you could stroll to a coworker’s office for a chat instead of e-mailing, walk around the block while you call a friend, or even join a recreational sports team or running club so you’re not spending every night Netflix-bingeing.
Strengthen Your Ticker
In one study, participants who worked out harder built a stronger heart and increased their endurance more than those who went the low-intensity route. Make your workouts vigorous (think a tough fast run over a long jog) and you’ll climb stairs without huffing.
Fend Off Diabetes
Research shows gunning it at 75 percent or more of your max heart rate dips glucose levels, which lowers your risk for diabetes and some cardiovascular diseases.
Boost Your Brainpower
Don’t “forget” to strength train: Just 20 minutes of resistance exercise (at any intensity) can boost your long-term memory by as much as 10 percent, according to a US study. Researchers give props to norepinephrine, a hormone released during exercise that plays a major role in recollection.
A kick-ass sweat session can chill you out after a bad day - and not just because it triggers feel-good endorphins. A Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study found that the soothing effect may be tied to the confidence regular exercise provides. Feeling unhappy about your appearance creates anxiety, says study author Dr Rodney Dishman. Shaping up can improve your body image and, as a result, curb stress. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, especially muscle-building and aerobic activities, says Dishman.
First published: 21 Aug 2019