Everyone’s heard that exercise ‘is good for you’. But how does it help? Here are 8 reasons why exercise makes your life better:
1. You can sleep better
Everybody loves sleeping because it’s simply awesome.
Research shows there is a strong link between getting better sleep and exercising. A recent study suggests people who regularly sleep better and feel more energised the next morning.
2. It reduces your stress levels
Stress can creep up on you in a number of ways, whether it’s exam stress, friends stress or even family responsibilities.
Exercise and physical activity releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin chemicals into your system. These are ‘feel good hormones’ produced by your brain to give you a natural ‘high’. They are the ‘happy drugs’ that will help reduce your stress levels.
3. It makes you physically and mentally stronger
Exercise does exactly that. It’s a 2 for 1 because exercising works out both your body and brain.
Brain – The hippocampus is the part of your brain that is responsible for memory. Exercise improves memory by releasing a protein that makes the neurons in your brain healthier. As a result it increases your brain power, by increasing your memory.
Body – Exercising not only increases muscle strength but also your bone strength.
By working out regularly you are helping your body’s immune system to fight those bugs.
4. It gives you more energy
Fight that fatigue and grab that power. Your body is an energy producing machine.
We talked about endorphins in point 2, remember? Here’s another example of them in use.
Any type of exercise or physical activity that gets your heart racing, will release endorphins which will increase your energy levels. They are the solar panels to your body!
5. It increases concentration levels
Its crunch time, homework deadlines are approaching and exams are round the corner. Concentration is the master!
By exercising and increasing your heart rate, the prefrontal cortex (the front part of your brain) will work harder to resist distractions.
6. It improves your coordination and balance
Having good balance and coordination is essential for your everyday life – it stops you wobbling around everywhere.
Good balance and core strength means better posture, spinal stability and prevents serious injuries.
7. It improves your cardiovascular fitness
A healthier heart is a happier heart.
By increasing your heart rate, you strengthen your heart, increase stamina, improve blood flow, burn fat and improve your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and energy to your muscles.
Sweat sessions are a great way of lowering your blood pressure – in fact one sweat session can reduce blood pressure for up to 16 hours.
The recommended hours of physical activity or exercise for young people is at least 1 hour every day; this can range between moderate or high intensity.
8. It increases self confidence
There’s more to exercise than just losing weight or getting fitter.
Everyone has a part of their body that they might want to change, but by exercising you can take care of what’s most important: your health, so you can feel really good about yourself. It’s that kind of attitude that people find attractive.
Exercise also triggers the production of antioxidants; these are chemicals which are produced naturally to help fight infections against your body. They also improve the health of the body in general, as well as the way you perceive yourself. As you feel stronger and healthier, you may feel happier and, more independent.
Most importantly exercising boosts self-confidence. Love your body, love yourself, love health.
how to get help
If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.
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Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.