Health + Fitness
How Often Should You Exercise? The Answer Is Everyday! (& Here’s Why)
After reading the headline above you’re probably already feeling tired, and listing a whole range of excuses why you won’t be able to fit a daily exercise routine into your schedule. Well don’t worry, exercising every day does not necessarily mean hitting the gym, lifting weights or anything so strenuous. In fact, a simple jog or thirty-minute walk would suffice as part of your daily routine. The important thing to remember is that some sort of meaningful daily activity or exercise is better than no activity at all.
Exercise Once A Day
All sorts of health problems can be related to or solved by exercise and regular activity. Our ancestors did not have the luxuries and conveniences (i.e fast food, technology) that we have today, which is why a lot of health concerns and diseases did not exist 100 or 200 years ago. So it is even more important for us to take time out and go for a jog, walk, run, stretch, lift or anything that counts as physical activity.
A sports car whose prime function is to be raced – albeit responsibly – will also have engine problems and faulty equipment if it has been sitting in the garage for too long. Similarly, your body needs to be put to use and tested consistently. Inactivity is as bad of a habit as smoking. Your muscles lose their strength and shape, and as a result, they do not help pump blood to and from the heart to other areas of your body. This can lead to serious health concerns.
To stay safe from the drawbacks of inactivity one must exercise regularly, and depending on what your goal is, you can either go to the gym or simply do some cardiovascular exercises such as running, jogging or bodyweight exercises. Some personal goals for exercising daily include weight loss, muscle and bodybuilding, and strengthening and conditioning. Have you decided on what yours is?
But, before discussing each of the personal goals, let’s discuss the benefits and core reasons why you should exercise every day.
This is one of the primary motivating factors for all health conscious individuals. Exercise burns calories and burns them fast. The more intense the activity the more you burn. Your Body Mass Index or BMI is an estimated measure of your overall metabolism in your body. Regular exercise can bring your BMI to normal levels by burning off all the excess fat in your body. You will begin to see your weight decline, and your metabolism will increase!
Helps Your Cardiovascular System
Your cardiovascular system has to do with your heart, blood flow, and blood pressure. Your heart is like any other muscle in your body. If it goes unused for a long time it will weaken. Exercising every day can strengthen your heart muscle and improve its blood flow. Scientifically speaking, exercise allows your immune system to attack the plaque – that builds up due to poor diet – in your arteries and improves the blood flow through the arteries. This lowers your blood pressure, and also reduces risks of heart diseases and hypertension. Don’t you want to live a long and healthy life?
Helps the Mind
There are certain areas of your brain, such as the memory centre, that becomes more active every time you work out. As you exercise your neurons become more active and help aid your memory centre and brain with cognitive functions, memorizing and learning, and even reduces the risk of shrinkage of the memory centre that happens with old age. Your mind also benefits from exercise due to lowering of stress and anxiety that improves your mood and generally gives you a clear mind.
The Best Anti-Depressant
Depression is a problem that hits most individuals for a number of reasons. It could be chronic depression or you simply could be going through a tough time in your life. Some doctors have recommended, rather than stocking up on anti-depressants and other medication, take out 30 minutes of your day to do some general exercises. Exercise helps the brain function, improves your mood and health, and directly tackles the problems with the brain.
Depression essentially hinders communication throughout the brain by restricting the functions of neurotransmitters in your brain such as dopamine and serotonin. As a result, you feel more lethargic and are unable to take part in other daily activities. Studies have found that amongst the people who have suffered from depression those who exercise regularly have shown more improvement in their mental health than those who take medication.
Helps Sleep Problems
One of the most common problems with adults and especially young adults today is a lack of sleep, sleep deprivation, and other sleep-related problems. The relation between daily exercise and sleep is quite simple. Energy is meant to be used and replenished during the cycle of the entire day. If you don’t exercise all that built up energy in your muscles and body does not allow you to sleep at night. The physical activity during the day helps to keep you circadian rhythm – the physiological cycle or process of all living beings – in tune. Better sleep results in the better immune system and lowering risk of diseases.
Natural Rush and Better Mood
When exercising natural chemicals called endorphins that are also known as feel-good chemicals, are released giving you a sense of euphoria and happiness with no negative side effects. This will help you stay away from other recreational activities that harm your health. Aside from making you feel good, routine exercise increases your self-confidence, self-esteem, and your mood as well.
General Overall Quality of Life
Better health, better body, a better mind, better mental state and better longevity and quality of life. These are the benefits to look forward to with only 30 minutes of daily exercise. By just stretching, taking a walk, jogging or running, or even lifting some weights you ensure a more positive result from your body and health. The benefits clearly outweigh the effort.
Although general exercise clearly has its benefits as discussed, some individuals prefer to take on certain goals and objectives when it comes to exercising or their body and health. Let’s take a look at some of the goals of different individuals with respect to exercising and health.
Weight Loss and Exercises for Weight Loss
Weight loss is a key part of better health and exercising for weight loss is one of the noblest cause for your body and mind. Weight loss and weight gain related factors are directly linked to some of the most common diseases and ailments of our time such as obesity, high or low blood pressure, heart disease, arthritis, and more.
Exercising for weight loss is the second part of a two-tiered battle against weight loss. The first part is maintaining a healthy diet.
The first step is to determine the intensity and objective of the exercise by realising what is required for your body to be healthy and fit. If you are obese and overweight and well over your normal BMI value then a more intense and physically demanding workout is probably needed. However, a common misconception amongst people who diet and exercise is that if your weight is really high, then the intensity of the workout should match it as well. That is incorrect. If you are overweight it is important to first test the limits of your body and what it can handle before setting a regimen. The next step is to ease your body into the tough exercises making sure it is not causing unwanted damage to your body.
To start off with losing weight experts recommend beginning with cardiovascular or cardio – for short – exercises. These include running, hiking, jogging, walking, or bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises include squats, push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, planks, and more.
A typical daily exercise could be:
• 30 minutes jogging with 2-minute walks after every 10 minutes for rest
• 30 minutes of bodyweight exercises – 3 sets each of 10 push-ups, 10 squats and 10 jumping jacks.
The key is to increase the intensity after every second or third week as your body gets into better shape.
After cardio, you have the option to continue with cardio or move on to hitting the gym for strength and conditioning. While it’s important to lose weight it is also equally important to make sure you’re not losing the tone of your muscles. Sometimes burning too much fat – believe it or not – can be bad for you. The term weight is relative, it can mean water weight, muscle weight and/or fat weight. The goal is to reduce your fat weight and sometimes by exercising too much or not balancing out your routine people often lose their muscle weight.
Strengthening exercises can help you rectify that mistake. To get the proper balance, you should have a moderate balance between cardio and strength training exercises. Strengthening exercises are those that essentially challenge your muscles’ through resistance and endurance. The aim is to challenge your muscles to the point where they contract and break down, during rest your muscles rebuild better and stronger building strength and anaerobic endurance.
Some typical exercises could be:
• Weightlifting – Bench press, Shoulder Press
• Resistance Bands
• Dumbbells – Bicep Curls,
• Bodyweight and Gravity based exercises.
As mentioned before a moderate balance to both these types of exercises and workouts will definitely result in an efficient and quick weight loss. However, exercise is only half the battle one must also maintain their diet as well.
Why Should You Go to the Gym?
The gym industry has transformed since its first popular inception during the early 20th century. The gym which is short for Gymnasium was essentially an open air, indoor facility for gymnastics and other athletic exercises that were derived and used in Ancient Greece and in Persia. However, the modern gym we know and are more familiar with today was first revolutionized in America where the Turner group opened the first gyms in Cincinnati and St. Louis. These gyms focused more on weight training and bodybuilding and quickly spread throughout the country, where our favorite bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was an avid user.
Today the gym isn’t as low tech with dull ambience as it was then. Today’s gyms have the latest in equipment and also include cardio machines such as the treadmill and bicycles. While gyms often have an annoying membership and monthly fees there are several reasons to go to the gym. We have already discussed the benefits of exercise that can also be achieved by hitting the gym. Let’s take a look at some of the other reasons for going to the gym.
It’s All There
The first and foremost reason is that everything and anything you need with regard to improving your health and shaping your body are already there at the gym. The equipment, space and even trainers, nutritionists who can advise you and help you achieve your goals.
Put simply, if you want to get in shape and don’t know how to go to the gym.
As already discussed exercise works as an anti-depressant, increases your self-confidence and self-esteem and generally raises your spirits and mood. So what better way to channel all that positive energy into having a good healthy social life? The gym is a great place to meet new friends or hang out with old ones. Not only is it good for keeping in touch, a little healthy competition amongst old friends is always a good thing too.
Some people come to the gym just to get away from the other elements in their life for a short while and enjoy some solitude. Research shows that a lot of people go to the gym to get some distance from their work issues and/or domestic problems. The same research shows that gym-goers had better control in handling their issues and problems. Moreover, if you’re a gym member there are fewer chances that some external factor such as the weather will make you skip your daily exercise.
Aside from having your friends with you at the gym, the gym is a great support system for someone who has a set objective on why they joined the gym in the first place. If your goal is to lose weight then, the trainers and gym staff are going to help you achieve that objective. Encouragement and pat on the back helps a lot in training and meeting a goal. Just like any other office environment support from your peers and superiors is a good motivator.
All in all, it’s not that difficult to figure out the reasons why you should exercise every day. You probably already had a good understanding of at least a few of the things we discussed in this post. Aside from all the technical views and opinions, it is fairly straightforward why exercise should be part of your daily routine.
There are many individuals who have no idea about all the technical benefits of exercising every day but still do it because they can feel and see the change in themselves compared to when they wouldn’t exercise. For some people it is a rush and a great source of fun, for others, it is a serious project. Either way, if you want to stay healthy – who wouldn’t – you’re the best bet would be to get up, make a plan and exercise on a daily basis.