There are many reasons to exercise regularly. Remaining active every day, exercising, fighting sedentariness is considered vital by authoritative scientific studies, to preserve and improve your health, in any age group. It is right to reiterate that the sooner you start the better, but it is never too late to get back in shape if you want to live longer and better.
An underestimated aspect of regular exercise is the benefit it brings from the point of view of mood.
Physical activity, at any level as long as it is not too bland, helps to relieve stress, eliminate anxiety and alleviate symptoms of depression. Anyone who has done a minimum of continuous physical activity can testify to that state of well-being induced by movement. Wellness that lasts over time, that makes you sleep better, that discharges toxins and negative thoughts.
This mechanism is so relevant, that more studies have stressed that exercise is a powerful weapon, often underestimated, in the treatment of mental illness.
Aerobic exercise such as fast walking, jogging in the park, cycling, swimming, even dancing play a decisive role in improving mood, thanks to better blood circulation in the brain that stimulates the hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal gland (HPA) axis.
From a medical-physiological point of view, it has been observed that regular exercise positively influences the psychophysical health of an individual even in cases of:
- attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
In healthy subjects, on the other hand, it leads to an exponential improvement in their psychophysical abilities.
With regard to depression, clinical studies have confirmed that exercise is a natural antidepressant that can be effective in cases of light or medium depression, without having the side effects of taking powerful mood-modulating drugs. Exercise also has preventive benefits by reducing the risk of becoming ill with depression. The very fact of cultivating an activity regularly, repeating it over time as a positive habit, leads to reduce cases of relapse.
Exercise, especially if done regularly, involves changes in the brain, stimulates the creation of new connections, reduces inflammation – the primary cause of many chronic diseases – brings calm and relaxation.
It is no coincidence that during a training phase, even if not too intense, you get more rest and benefit from the restorative effect of a regular and undisturbed sleep. Also on the side of anxiety, physical movement seems to have an important anti-stress action, not only fighting inflammations, but also – as a consequence – relieving all those pains and problems attributable to a sedentary lifestyle, spoiled by an excess of sugar and salt, alcohol and cigarettes.
When you suffer from anxiety and prolonged stress, you tend to experience various ailments that you have difficulty in tracing back to a particular pathology.
You go to the doctor and he tells you that you have nothing, the analysis seems to prove him right, yet you continue to experience pain in the sternum, thick back or intestines, you do not go to the body regularly or have continuous physiological needs, the digestion itself becomes a complicated affair.
Inserting physical activity into this nerve-wracking cycle of discomfort can do nothing but good, with positive effects cascading into the mood. You have to consider that modern man, with his vices and virtues, his bad habits and the tendency to accumulate wealth (well represented by the accumulation of fat in the belly and hips) belongs to a small fraction of the evolutionary history of the species.
For millennia we have struggled, walked, ran. We have used our body and our brain to solve contingent problems, burning calories and putting on lean mass.
Now, I don’t say at all that we have to go back to the time of the Roman Empire, when the legionnaire was able to build a road and fight in battle within a few days.
The point is that you have to become aware of the distortions of our times. Consumerism, the easy food displayed on supermarket counters unleashes the race to buy cheap, often bad quality energy.
The healthy diet goes hand in hand with physical activity and together they work together to achieve a state of psychophysical well-being ideal to achieve your goals, which are then to lead a peaceful life, together with the people you love, doing a job that you like or at least satisfy you personally.
Finally, recurring exercise allows you to:
Improve memory: the exercise releases endorphins that produce a state of well-being, producing an improvement in the functionality of the cells of our brain. Over time, this produces a lowering of the chances of contracting neurodegenerative diseases, linked to the advancement of age.
Sleep better at night, make more the next day: physical exercise should be done at a time not too close to the night’s rest. I, for example, recommend an aerobic exercise in the morning, fasting, for thirty to forty minutes every other day. Complemented by a routine of weights (possibly in the gym) on the remaining days in the afternoon. You will discover how it will be easier to sleep, improving your focus and concentration levels.
Have more energy: It’s pretty obvious that repeated and progressive exercise balances body composition in favor of lean versus fat mass. More fibers, more muscles, more energy. Your brain feels fresh, rested, you feel less sleepy, you make better use of the day, you feel lighter and snappier and you use less stimulants such as caffeine, which interfere with sleep.
Develop more stamina and more problem-solving skills: Said that improves memory and prevents the early formation of symptoms of senile diseases, working on yourself, on your body, keeping fit you will develop more physical endurance over time.
Develop self-esteem and consistency: In my opinion this is one of the most underestimated benefits of exercise. If you do it to lose weight – for example – you will realize that you can achieve an important result, that you can go against the odds, overcome obstacles. You may even discover a part of yourself that you didn’t know, a warrior part that can resist instant gratification and meaninglessness, in view of a greater goal.
Enjoy the benefits of the outdoors or smartphone detoxification: modern man is a living contradiction, he could enjoy the environment and the natural pleasures of life, thanks to advances in science and medicine. Instead he wastes hours on smartphones clouding his mind with an excess of information and distractions that do not help him to live better.
Instead you take advantage of it to rediscover the benefits of walking, hiking, outdoor activities. You’ll be filled with oxygen and new sensations, making your day even better. With regular exercise you will feel reborn inside.