Have you exercised today? Have you exercised this week? We all know we need to exercise, or move regularly – but it surprises me that so many people still don’t. I recently read in the Sydney Morning Herald that one in two adults haven’t done any exercise in the last three months. It’s much of the same across the western world, with figures showing at least half of all Americans aren’t exercising regularly.
In our busy lives it’s easy to feel like there isn’t time to exercise, but it doesn’t have to be a chore – get a stand-up desk, fit a walk in at lunchtime, meet a friend for a swim instead of coffee or when your kids are swimming maybe get in the pool and move instead of being on your phone.
Study after study over the last decade consistently shows that we’re not getting enough exercise and with an increasingly sedentary and screen-focused lives this is causing problems – from rising obesity rates, to increased stress, plummeting mental health and higher rates of cardiovascular disease, blood pressure and more. The studies that are coming in are shocking – Australians are spending more time in front of a screen then in bed sleeping; in the US the average person spends 10 hours a day on screen time.
Sometimes it’s the little reminders that sink in, so just in case you haven’t done your bit for your body this week, here are 6 reasons why you need to get out there and exercise or move. It will give you energy, vitality and a longer and happier life: People say I can’t exercise or move but when they do, energy increases.
- Increased energy levels
The more energy you burn, the more energy you’ll have. Exercise improves both the strength and efficiency of your cardiovascular system – it gets oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and tissues. When your body is working efficiently you’ll have more energy to spend on all other aspects of your life.
- Maintenance of health weight
Going to the gym, running, walking or doing yoga isn’t the only factor that affects the maintenance of a healthy weight – but it has a huge impact. When you move you increase your metabolism and open your body up to eliminate toxins. The less toxins in your body, the more ideal weight you will have. The clients that I see who exercise, detox much quicker than the ones who don’t.
- Good for your heart
There’s no question that physical activity is good for you heart. Many studies have found that people who exercise regularly are much less likely to develop cardiac disease than people who lead sedentary lives. Getting your heart rate up improves blood pressure, pulse rate and cholesterol levels. It’s all about the organ that pumps fresh blood into all your organs. If you increase this rate you increase fresh oxygenated blood around your whole body.
- Reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes
One of the primary factors that contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes is being overweight. Regular exercise not only reduces the chance of carrying extra weight, it also helps control blood glucose levels, which helps to prevent, or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. The increase in type 2 diabetes in children has only really happened in the past two decades and the illness advances with complications a lot more rapidly in children than in adults.
- Improved immune system
Regular exercise is one of the fundamentals of boosting your immune system, along with eating right for your body type, regularly detoxing, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.
Put simply physical activity helps flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways (which will mean less colds and flus) it also causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (or the cells that fight disease). My clients who have a balanced exercise regimen keep healthy and well which means they enjoy the abundance of life.
- Improved mood
There is extensive evidence showing the exercise can be used to treat, and even prevent, mental illness like depression. Basically speaking, exercise puts you in a better mood because it stimulates endorphins, the brain chemical responsible for your happiness.
Next week we’ll be looking at which exercises are best suited for your individual body types.