5 Benefits of Exercise, Other Than Weight Loss
There are plenty of reasons why we should be moving more
It’s no secret that exercise is a positive thing. We all know that working up a sweat is good for us, and that we should probably do more of it. From mobility to hormone release, keeping our bodies moving can have significant benefits, both physically and mentally.
Regular exercise can improve our blood flow, strengthen muscles and lead to healthier heart and lung function. And yet, the main motivator for exercise continues to be weight loss. As summer gets underway, many of us become motivated to try and achieve our ‘summer bodies’ and lose a few excess pounds.
But exercise must be seen as more than just a quick fix for our body goals if we’re ever going to reap the true rewards of its health benefits. A body that is aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eye is merely an indicator of the more important underlying health benefits.
Here are five incentives to get up and get moving outside of achieving your weight loss goals.
Exercise reduces your risk of serious conditions like cancer
The most important benefit of exercise is that it can improve your health in the long term. Regular exercise is a key component in reducing your risk of developing serious conditions later in life, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
In fact, figures from the NHS reveal that regular exercise can decrease your risk of developing colon cancer by up to 50%. What’s more, it is also thought to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by a fifth (20%). UK Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines also state that physical activity can reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes by up to 40%.
Exercise improves your sex drive
It’s not just your physical health that benefits from regular exercise – your mental health can see results, too. One example of this can be seen through the sex drive, which is boosted as you exercise more regularly.
Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones which can increase your wellbeing and self-esteem, thus improving your libido. It can also improve your blood flow, even to the most sensitive parts of your body.
In fact, one study by the University of Texas found that exercise increases sex drive in pre-menopausal women, and can even help women whose drives have been lowered by antidepressants.
Exercise reduces stress
Another way that exercise can improve your mental health is by tackling stress. There are approximately 3 million people in the UK with an anxiety disorder, and around 40% of disability worldwide is due to anxiety or depression.
Although not an outright cure, exercise can help. Again, the release of endorphins are significant here. According to an online study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than one in ten (14%) people use exercise as a way to cope with stress.
Exercise helps you sleep
Physical activity is a great way to make you feel more alert for the day ahead, but it can also help you feel more ready to rest when bedtime comes. Exercise is considered a natural way to treat conditions like insomnia, as figures suggest that those who exercise regularly experience better quality sleep at night.
In fact, a poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that exercisers sleep better than non-exercisers, and vigorous exercisers report the best quality sleep. Also, 44% of non-exercisers were found to be at moderate risk of sleep apnoea, compared to 19% of vigorous exercisers.
Exercise can help prevent back pain
More sick days are taken due to back pain than for any other health concern, costing the NHS roughly £500 million every year. But while vigorous exercise isn’t recommended without a GP’s advice if you’re already suffering from back pain, it can act as an effective preventative measure.
Even simple activities like swimming or walking can strengthen muscles and provide extra support to your spine, while popular pastimes like yoga can improve your mobility and flexibility.
There are plenty of benefits to exercise besides weight loss. Yet there are instances where individuals need additional support to achieve a healthy weight and support their long-term wellbeing goals. For safe and effective weight loss medication, contact the Express Pharmacy team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.