One of the most important things you can do for your health is to exercise regularly. Most people think that exercise is only for people that want to lose weight. While exercise will help people lose weight, it has many other benefits.
The benefits of regular exercise should make any one WANT to exercise regularly. A regular exercise routine could be life-changing for some people. Our overall health and wellness is at the utmost when we are exercising consistently.
About half of all American adults have at least one preventable chronic disease. Preventable through regular exercise. People who are physically active for about 150 minutes a week have a 33% lower risk of mortality from all causes.
What is the importance of exercise? without exercise, people are more susceptible to chronic diseases such as some cancers, diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease, decreased energy levels, and physical weakness. To think… all we have to do is exercise regularly and we will increase our chances of living longer and decrease our risks of getting a chronic disease.
Here, I will discuss the importance of regular exercise by showing you the many health benefits that exercise has. I will cover how regular exercise directly affects the 8 dimensions of wellness. You will learn why everyone out there should be doing some type of regular exercise.
The Eight (8) Dimensions of Wellness
There are 8 dimensions of wellness that one must balance to have optimal health. A regular exercise schedule helps balance these dimensions so that you are functioning in optimal health.
If you aren’t already increasing your physical activity through a regular exercise regimen, now may be the time to start. Let’s discuss these 8 dimensions and how exercise affects each dimension together and separately.
This has to do with the ability to express your feelings, and how to cope with life. It also includes creating satisfying relationships. When we exercise our brain is producing endorphins. These are hormones that give you that “feel good” feeling. Your brain also produces dopamine, which elevates your pleasure sensors.
Regular exercise decreases stress hormones, such as cortisol. Cortisol is not good for us. Over time, you will gain self-confidence and a feeling of accomplishment. So, we see how regular exercise brings about emotional wellness.
In this dimension, we make sure that we are always safe in our surroundings and we also strive to create an environment that is enriching in some way. By exercising regularly we are creating an environment that promotes good habits which lead to good wellness.
Here is where we recognize our creative abilities and put them to work. In this dimension, we are learning new skills and then teaching them to others.
Our ability to understand what we are being taught happens here. Studies show that regular exercise improves cognitive functioning abilities, such as learning, memory, attentional processes, executive processes, creativity, common sense, and general knowledge, and it “de-fogs” the brain. Judgment skills are also enhanced. Many of these benefits also help us in other wellness dimensions.
This dimension is about acknowledging the need for physical activity, diet, nutrition, and sleep. The physical benefits of regular exercise are abundant. Our physical well-being is greatly enhanced by regular exercise. Doing cardio, muscle training, and bone-strengthening exercises at a moderately intense level can slow down the loss of bone density that happens as we age.
Exercise helps you lose weight, and it helps you maintain an ideal weight. Exercising burns calories. The more intense the workout, the more calories you burn. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage health problems. These include stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, etc…
Energy levels increase and physical strength improves over time, as you continue to exercise regularly. Exercise also leads to an improved digestive system.
This has to do with getting satisfaction from our work. We all want to be successful in our work. Well, exercising increases productivity.
We already learned that regular exercise helps us learn faster and retain what we’ve learned. We learned how regular exercise decreases stress, treats depression, enhances our mood, and it “de-fogs” our brain. All of this leads to greater productivity. Especially in the workplace.
Here, we are focused on developing our true purpose in life and understanding the meaning of life. Exercise decreases stress, clears our mind, releases the dopamine and endorphins that give us heightened pleasure and happiness, improves our ability to concentrate, and gives us self-confidence.
With that said, exercise plays a part in your spiritual wellness. As we reap the benefits of exercise, we are more ready to connect with our inner selves and become grounded in our spiritual wellness.
This dimension involves feeling like you fit in and having a support system. Our levels of self-confidence increase as we continue exercising consistently. We become more productive and more focused. Our judgment skills are enhanced, too. With this in mind, we can see how exercise will help us to connect with others socially and feel confident that we fit in.
All of the benefits of regular exercise fit into this dimension, too. When the other 7 dimensions are all balanced, our financial wellness is balanced too. The benefits of regular exercise extend to all 8 dimensions of wellness.
Different Types of Exercise
If you have any health conditions consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You have so many choices when thinking about the exercises you should do.
First, make a list of your fitness goals. Then choose exercises that will help you reach your goals. For example, My fitness goals are to lose 10 pounds and to gain strength in my legs. I can’t do any high impact because I have a bad knee. I will choose a cardio exercise.
I have been doing dance fitness at home for about 6 months. I love dance fitness and look forward to my workouts. I dance for 60 minutes. Then I do 15 minutes of weight training with 10lb. hand weights. I hold them while I do squats and lunges. 3 sets of each. Then I do bicep curls and tricep presses. 3 sets for each. I also do chest and back exercises.
The weight training I do every other day gives my muscles a chance to repair. I do some full-body stretches and 10 minutes of abdominal work, and I am done.
I will be posting some specifics about different exercises that you can do and I will be helping you to create your at-home workout routine next. Look for my next blog in a couple of days.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments section.