Top 3 Health Benefits of Exercise

Written by Jennifer Stanhope, Sport Development Assistant & Technician

The majority of us are somewhat aware of the many health benefits of exercise, but finding the discipline to start the training and to also stick with it, is often the hardest part.

What is your reasoning behind exercising? Is it because; you need to get that ‘so called ‘perfect’ body’, lose weight, get stronger or purely through guilt, as you see other people are working out?

Many of us will relate to these reasons, I’m not saying it is wrong to think this, but these can be perceived as being unhealthy reasons, often confirmed by the added pressure of social media. However, it is often those unhealthy reasons, which effectively result in a healthy outcome/influence, as you see yourself improving and continuing to workout but you gradually become less fixated on pleasing other people. When the main person you need to please is yourself!

We’re all taught from an early age that a healthy lifestyle should include regular exercise and a balanced diet. More specifically, we have been educated by the recommendation to aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week, which is only around 22 minutes per day. However, bear in mind that consistency is key, even if it is not your typical workout routine, it can simply be going out for a walk, cycle or even doing housework or gardening.

Top 3 Benefits of Exercise

Helps to fight the feeling of Depressions and Anxiety

Exercise can be a great method of escape and distraction from the chaos of work, family and friends.

When you exercise, the brain releases ‘feel good’ endorphins (group of hormones), which contribute towards your mental wellbeing and feeling positive.

People might say that I’m being contradictory, but by exercising, you will actually find that you feel you have more energy throughout the day, although you’re probably thinking ‘I’m shattered’ after working out! Well... this is only a short-term effect of exercising! Briefly, this is due to your body taking on more oxygen, which effectively is absorbed into your blood stream as every cell in the body needs oxygen to create energy.

Decrease Your Blood Pressure

You’re probably wondering how?

Firstly, to get a better understanding you need to know what exactly blood pressure is. ‘Blood pressure refers to the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of the blood vessels.

So, regular physical activity makes your heart stronger and by having a stronger heart, it can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.

Healthy Skeletal System

When it comes to sporting activities, there is always a high risk of potential injury… but what doesn’t! However, what you may not know is that when we exercise it helps boost the circulation of synovial fluid that we have around our joints. This fluid is there to reduce the friction we get around our cartilage. The synovial fluid in layman’s terms acts as a lubricant to our joints, creating a gap between our bones to stop the process of ‘grinding’ (friction) and reduce the possibility of getting arthritis later in life. Exercising also helps your bones maintain their strength and density, to prevent the onset of ‘Osteoporosis’ (fragile bones that can be easily broken, with a higher percentage of cases in women).

Get Moving...

The key to doing and enjoying any form of exercise when starting out, is to make sure you set realistic goals and to incorporate it into your daily life/routine - this way you are more likely to continue with it. Here is a simple circuit that will get your heart rate up and get you on your way to reaping the benefits exercise has to offer!

Complete each exercise back-to-back for 45 seconds (with a 15 second break) for 2-3 rounds. Please make sure you are signed off to exercise by a doctor and you complete a 5 minute warm-up.

  • Mountain Climbers

  • Shoulder Taps

  • Lunges

  • Hip Dips

  • Star Jumps

  • Plank Jacks

  • Squats

  • Press Ups