This is What Really Happens When You Start Exercising – You’ve probably heard it a million times, that physical exercise will do you a lot of good. Maybe you’ve been told that signing up to a gym is the best way to build muscle, or that you should exercise to shed those extra pounds. A lot has been said and is still being said about exercising. But what really happens to your body when you begin to take part in regular exercise? Let’s find out!
1. Your Aerobic Capacity Improves
Aerobic capacity is the measure of your heart and lungs ability to get oxygen to your muscles. People don’t realize how important this is, and how easily they lose their aerobic capacity. According to research, we lose around 1% of our aerobic capacity every year.
That’s 10% per decade! The good news is however, that regular exercise can reduce this loss by half. Let’s suppose you start calculating from the time you’re 30 – if you exercise regularly, by the time you are 60, you would have only lost 15% of your aerobic capacity, instead of 30%. And that’s a huge difference!
2. Your Blood Pressure Reduces
High blood pressure is a common condition that can lead to heart disease. And research suggests that there’s a correlation between hypertension and lack of exercise. When you exercise regularly, you strengthen your heart muscle, and a stronger heart can pump blood through the arteries with less effort. Also, exercising helps reduce plaque buildup in the arteries – which provides more space for blood to flow freely. As you exercise more regularly, your blood pressure gradually begins to drop – reducing the risk of hypertension.
3. Your Risk For Type 2 Diabetes Decreases
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes glucose. It is the most common type of diabetes, and it has gradually become a major public health concern world-wide. This disease was formerly known as adult-onset diabetes because of the great risk it posed to adults – but recently, more children, teens and young adults have been increasingly diagnosed with it. The best way to combat this condition is to exercise regularly. As you engage in regular physical exercise, your body’s ability to process blood sugar will improve, hence lowering your type 2 diabetes risk, considerably.
4. Your Immune System Improves
You surely know the importance of the immune system – it’s your body’s number one defence against infection and toxins. But as we grow older, the immune system doesn’t grow stronger. It gradually deteriorates as we age. This phenomenon is called IMMUNO-SENE-SCENCE, and it’s been observed to develop more rapidly in people who have not been regularly involved in any form of physical exercise. Regular exercise is considered the counter to this phenomenon, and even short-term exercise programs can reverse some of the effects of aging on the immune system.
5. Your Bones Stay Stronger
Because bones gradually lose their mineral strength as we age – by as much as 1% every year – exercise, especially strength training is really important, as it helps strengthen your bones. Lifting weights is sufficient enough exercise to help maintain bone health, but it’s important to put in a deliberate effort. High-impact strength training for at least 2 hours a week regularly is enough to increase bone density – significantly reducing the rate of bone loss as you age.
6. Your Muscle Mass Increases
As you age, your muscle strength also degrades at the same rate as bone strength and aerobic capacity – 1 % per year. Likewise, strength training will reduce the rate of this loss by half. In fact, age related muscle loss is best reversed by this type of exercise. Just as weight lifting increases the bone’s mineral strength, muscle is also strengthened when you regularly engage in strength training exercises.
7. Your Body Fat Reduces
Working out helps to maintain a normal BMI or body mass index. BMI is the measurement of body size – which is calculated by combining a person’s height and weight. It’s a way to estimate whether your weight is normal for your height – or whether you are underweight, overweight or obese. Now, the more you exercise, the more you’re able to reduce body fat. As I just mentioned in the previous point: exercise helps build muscle – and, muscle tissue burns more calories than body fat – even when you’re at rest. In fact, muscle burns 5.5 times more calories than fat tissue!
8. Your Breathing Improves
If you haven’t worked out in a while, or you don’t exercise regularly – and you find yourself doing something physically demanding – you’ve probably noticed how quickly you run out of breath!Regular exercise can help with this. It strengthens your respiratory muscles that help open up your lungs – and this, in turn,makes it easier for your lungs to inhale and exhale. The next time you have to run to catch a train with a friend, you’ll be surprised that you won’t have to stop to catch your breath as frequently as they do.
9. You Will Have More Energy
Truth be told, on the list of things you would love to do, waking up before dawn to go jogging or to workout at the gym might not be there at all. But making a habit of exercising has incredible benefits. Regular exercise actually improves the efficiency at which oxygen fuels the cells in your body. With more oxygen in your cells, more energy is released. You will feel less fatigue and stress. This will also make you feel physically fit and loaded with energy to go about your day-to-day activities.
10. Your Libido Improves
Even though a person’s libido might be affected by psychological and social factors, your endocrine glands actually secrete hormones that directly affect the libido. Keeping your muscles active promotes the production of hormones that play a key role in maintaining your reproductive functioning. In addition, you’ll be more fit, which in turn will also improve your ability to perform in the bedroom. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how beneficial that will be for your romantic relationship…
11. You Sleep Better
Everybody enjoys having a good night’s sleep – but in today’s world, there are more people finding it difficult to sleep well. Sometimes, this can be because the circadian rhythm has been disrupted. The circadian rhythm helps the body maintain its sleep pattern.
But most times, the hustle and demands of our jobs and everyday life misalign it – and this results in sleeping problems. Regular exercise can help the body align and maintain its circadian rhythm. This means you’ll be able sleep better. As you know, better sleep translates to better health.
12. Your Mood Improves
It’s no longer news that the rate of depression is currently at an all-time high, but what many people don’t know is that regular exercise lowers your risk of depression. In fact, after just 20 minutes of exercise, the body releases endorphins – the “feelgood” neurotransmitters – that improve your mood naturally. Regular physical exercise will go a long way in enhancing your mood and maintaining your overall mental health.
13. You Become Less Anxious
Just as endorphins give you the “feel good” feeling, it also lowers your anxiety levels. The happier you are, the less you worry. Exercise also provides a way to shift your focus off your problems. While you work out, you mostly focus on going through the routine of the exercise. Sometimes, this can be all the distraction you need to discover a whole different perspective on your problems. This new outlook can reinvigorate you to tackle your problems with renewed vigour – making you less anxious.
14. Your Memory Improves
Regular exercise really pays off when it comes to improving cognitive function. Several lab experiments have revealed that consistent physical exercise actually helps neurons stay in shape – improving memory. And, the exercise doesn’t even have to be too vigorous. Isn’t that something? Think about it. Doing something as simple as going for a walk every day is enough to help your brain’s memory center maintain its health.
15. Your Intellectual Skills Improve
Just as physical exercise benefits your memory, it also improves your intellectual skills. When you work out, oxygen flows more freely to your brain – also benefiting the ‘prefrontal cortex’, which is responsible for planning, reasoning and decision making. Mental activity that requires you to respond quickly – particularly, involvement in exercise- has also been shown to boost your intelligence; as well as your ability to carry out activities of everyday living.
16. Your Self-Esteem Gets A Boost
There’s a certain link between exercise and self-esteem. As you start to follow a regular exercise routine, your self-evaluation improves gradually. You begin to feel better about yourself, and this includes your physique and physical capabilities. Exercise challenges your mental strength and will power – and once you push yourself beyond certain limits you thought you had, you’ll realize that you have the strength to face whatever challenges come your way.
Exercise provides amazing benefits that can improve nearly every aspect of your health. Of course, the benefits will vary depending on the types of exercises you do, for how long you work out per session – and how often you train. But first, it’s important to decide what your fitness goals are, and then create a workout plan based on that.
Just be sure to pace yourself as you begin, and don’t push yourself too hard. It will get easier as time goes by – and the more fit you become, the more energy you’ll have to put into your workouts.