A friend calls me last night, she was panting. ‘I hope she has not been kidnapped. Or didn’t she manage to beat the curfew?’ Many bad ideas cross my mind because I know her well. Barely a week passes by before trouble comes knocking at her door. It’s been worse since she landed this posh job.

Thankfully I was wrong. She tells me she just got to her hotel room which is on the first floor. She sounded like she’d taken stairs up the Burj Khalifa. ‘I think I need to go back to my exercise routine, it’s been a minute.’ She says. I concur with her but I  can’t say it out loud because with ladies, you got to filter your words.

Exercise largely dominates many topics about health. Health journals, magazines, healthcare providers and even media channels reminding us to exercise. But do we heed the call? Well, majority of us don’t. A study by the CDC revealed that only about 20% of people met the recommended amounts of exercise. This leaves a whopping 80% on the other side. The bad side.

Perhaps you don’t fancy physical activity. Or maybe you work tight schedules. You have young family and a demanding job so exercise falls on your pecking order. Do you know the benefits of exercise? What if I told you that exercise could make you more productive at work? It can make you live long and spend more time with your family. If you have been taking it for granted, here are benefits of exercise and reasons why you need to press harder on that exercise lever.

Exercise is healthy

Reduces Blood Pressure

Exercise lowers the blood pressure by relaxing your blood vessels. One of the commonest cause of high blood pressure is stiffening of the blood vessels due to deposition of fat plaques on their walls. When you engage in physical activities such as swimming, biking, hiking or a 30 minute walk every day, your blood vessels dilate and therefore blood flows through reduced resistance. When you exercise regularly, your body muscles and your heart start functioning better. This manifests as exercise tolerance and in the long run, it protects you from the complications of hypertension such as stroke, heart failure and kidney failure.

Exercise Lowers The Risk Of Diabetes Mellitus

One of the things that protect you from developing type 2 diabetes is regular exercise.  Physical activity improves the body’s ability to consume glucose and use it for metabolism. Maintaining optimum weight, a healthy diet and 30 minutes of physical activity daily help to lower the risk of developing diabetes mellitus type 2.

Boosts Immune Function

The immune system encompasses the components of the body that are tasked with fighting diseases and many other physical and chemical forms of harm to the body. Studies have shown that physical activity keeps the immune system alive. It slows down the aging process of the cells involved in fighting disease-causing organisms. When you exercise, your body also learns to cope during periods of stress.

Better Breathing and Better Aerobic Capacity

During exercise, the muscles that help with breathing also get a work out. With a regular schedule, they are conditioned to withstand episodes of strain. After some time, you will be able to better your exercise capacity because your breathing muscles are working efficiently to deliver oxygen to the tissues.

Your aerobic capacity or aerobic power is the ability of the body to work optimally because there is sufficient delivery of oxygen to the tissues. Due to a combination of many factors, this ability reduces with age. When you exercise, you slow the rate at which your aerobic power declines. This translates to better productivity and excellent quality of life even in old age.

Better Sleep

Those squat jumps, a morning jog or a late evening walk go a long way in ensuring that you sleep better. When you keep active, your biological clock ticks just right and your sleep wake cycle is well maintained. If you are having unhealthy sleeping patterns, an exercise prescription might just be the answer. Work out consistently and your nights will never be the same again.

Keeps Your Weight In Check

Remember my friend on the phone? She had gained weight after securing this well-paying job and that’s when she stopped exercising. When you exercise regularly, you burn calories and you can keep your weight within healthy limits. Our BMI calculator will help you find out if you are underweight, overweight or you have the optimum weight for your height.

Exercises Brightens The Mood?

If you are feeling depressed, here is the right way to bounce back. Find an exercise routine that fits within your schedule and adhere to it. With the right activities on your list, you will soon regain your vivaciousness. When you put your muscles to task, the body will release endorphins which are the feel-good neurotransmitters. After exercise, you will be all smiles and in the long term, your general mood improves. This then translates to more benefits such as a healthier body and better social interactions.

Vibrant Sex Life

When you exercise, your sex hormone levels are maintained at optimum levels and this means better arousal and better intimate moments. By exercising, you keep your body in shape and this boosts your confidence levels. With a shapely, attractive body, you will no doubt be looking forward to the ecstatic moments. Studies have shown that erectile dysfunction can be prevented by exercise. When the muscles of the pelvic floor are subjected to activity, they stimulate increased blood flow to the erectile tissue.

More Exercise Less Pills

When you get accustomed to physical activity, you are doing justice to your body. You are keeping away many chronic illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes and hypertension. By exercising, you are also keeping your mental health in check. Therefore, this is a form of therapy that cannot be matched. With the right exercise, your visits to the doctor will be less and you won’t have to swallow many pills.

Better Memory and Cognition

As you exercise to shape your body and build strength, you also become sharper. Yes! Exercising helps a lot in keeping the brain healthy by improving its blood supply and by neuronal stimulation. In the end, people who exercise consistently have improved cognitive ability.  When you are in a better mood and feel relaxed because of regular exercise, your memory becomes better.

Stronger Muscles and Bones

Subjecting your muscles to a degree of strain shapes them to be stronger. After sometime, you will have more muscle mass and more energy. Building muscle strength helps in carrying out normal activities and doing your normal chores without being easily fatigued. Since muscles attach to the skeletal structures, bones are actively involved in the physical activities that we carry out. Naturally, bone and muscle mass reduce with age. However, when you exercise, the rate of their decline is cut down and you will age in a strong body.

Exercising has lots of benefits. You just need to do it right and be consistent. Make yourself a schedule that you can follow to the letter and you will reap the benefits of exercise. You don’t have to rack up hundreds of kilos on the dumbbell to get the best outcome. 150 minutes of regular exercise per week will be of immense benefit in preventing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. That is only 30 minutes per day of swimming or jogging for five days in a week. Besides these benefits, it is a fun exercise. You can team up with neighbours and friends and you will be looking forward to early mornings or evenings of working out. Exercise is indeed healthy. Build up some strength, get that fancy body shape and make calls as you climb a flight of stairs without gasping.

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