Workouts are not only fun and help in weight loss, but there are numerous more health benefits of workouts than just weight loss! Yes, even during the lockdown to keep your mind active and body in shape, staying healthy with daily workouts is the way! There is no time to be lazy this summer. While most of us are trying to burn a lot of calories, there are several other physical and psychological benefits of working out. ‘I’m going to start working out!” you often tell your friends and some friends even start tagging you on the workout challenges.
The association between exercising and losing weight is often natural; in fact, when we think of the benefits, losing weight is perhaps the first thing that comes to our mind. However, it is important to understand that working out is just not about weight loss. While weight loss can help reduce your risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, the idea is to stay physically active. Research has proven that there are many health benefits of physical activity.
There are so many health benefits of workouts – some of which you may not even know about! When losing weight, your calories out must be greater than your calories in. It is important to understand the calories and portions of the food you consume. The good news is that the health benefits of workouts go beyond the calorie burn and before we learn those amazing benefits, it’s important to understand how much we require. For instance:
- Aerobic activities: 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking, swimming etc.
- Strength training: At least two sessions per week of strength training such as lifting weights, rock climbing etc.
So if you want to hear more, read on for some of the greatest health benefits of workouts – besides weight loss!
Here are 7 health benefits of workouts you need to know about!
1. Reduces Stress
Whether you are studying or working, everyone experiences stress. When you are feeling anxious or tired, you may feel more like grabbing chocolate of a pint of ice cream than actually getting up and moving. However, this is exactly what you should be doing! Exercising can help you release serotonin in your brain, which is one of your body’s feel-good hormones. This can improve your overall sleep quality, and thus reduce stress. Regular exercises are apt to give you a moderate amount of sleep as required for the body. So, all in all, keeping your mood elevated is one of the most important health benefits of workouts.
2. Improves strength, balance and flexibility
One of the most effective for all ages, works outs and other forms of physical activities can help improve flexibility, strength and balance which can reduce the risk of developing injuries now and even when you’re older. You can consider yoga, pilates and martial arts to improve these traits. You can start with basic and simple stretches to get your body accustomed to flexibility. If you practice this daily, you will be doing toe-touching when you’re 90!
3. Improves self-esteem and body image
Workouts are not just about weight, calories and fitness, it’s beyond that! A daily dose of exercise can also help improve your self-worth and self-esteem. ‘You never regret a workout’ is a famous motivational saying, and guess what? It is actually quite true! The endorphin boost and sense of accomplishment you attain post-workout improves self-worth and makes you feel more confident about your body. It also helps in improving your mood which can help us feel better about ourselves.
4. Strengthens your heart
Our cardiovascular system contains one of the most important muscles in our body, the heart. It is very important to keep our heart healthy too, just like other muscles. Exercising improves our heart’s overall function and efficacy, also improving blood circulation. When the cardiovascular system works efficiently, it provides more oxygen, energy and nutrients to your body. For instance, if you are feeling low in the middle of the workday, take a small walk to get your heart pumping and blood flowing to boost your energy.
5. Improves immunity system
This one may surprise you! When we think of lifestyle changes and habits, we often only think about improving our diet and the foods we consume. We usually think of adding food rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits to our diet. However, here is another lifestyle habit you need to add to the list: Exercise. Workout. This will help in stimulating your immune system and keep your bodily systems running smoothly, which help in improving the overall immune system, keeping you away from flu and other sick conditions. ‘A walk a day keeps the doctor away.’ Go, don’t stop! Do what you have to, to reap all the health benefits of workouts and maintain a healthy body.
6. Improves Metabolism
Exercising can help in burning calories, but did you know it can also help burn them while you are sleeping? The muscle cells in your body require more energy (calories) in comparison to fat cells. So, the more muscle cells you have, the more calories you can burn. And as we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and become less efficient at protein metabolism. This is why we need to strengthen our muscles and hence training is so important for older adults.
7. Improves Digestion
It is true that exercising can relieve you from constipation and help those with digestive problems. Digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel disease of liver disease can be improved if you exercise regularly. It can also decrease the risk of colon cancer and ulcers. Exercising at least 30 minutes every day can also help reduce stress which is usually another contributor to digestive issues.
If you don’t have much time to fit in a full workout, what do you do? Try incorporating fitness into your daily activities. To begin with, try taking the stairs instead of the lift. Take a small walk during your lunch break, walk and talk on those long phone calls, stretch on the floor, bicep curl those grocery bags whenever you go shopping. Or to kill some more time, why not try some squats with whatever you can find while waiting for those veggies and chicken to steam. And remember the health benefits of workouts and exercises on a regular basis go far beyond the calorie burn!