4 Key Benefits of Daily Exercise
If you answered yes to any of those questions, the solution is straightforward; Daily exercise is the answer.
Regular physical activity in combination with a healthy diet are crucial factors in maintaining synchronizations between the mind, body and soul.. As stated by Claude Bouchard, director of the human genomics lab at Pennington Biomedical research centre; “There is no pill that comes close to what exercise can do for you, and if there was one it would be extremely expensive.
Similar thoughts have been echoed by Mark Tarnopolsky; a metabolic neurologist who works closely with children with severe genetic diseases. He reiterates the importance of exercise by quoting “Iv seen all the hype about gene therapy for people with genetic disease, but it hasnt delivered in 25 years iv been doing this. The most effective therapy available for my patients is exercise. If there were a drug that could do for human health what exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed!
In case you still need more convincing, heres 4 key benefits of daily exercise.
Exercise controls weight
Energy balance is a process through which the body attempts to establish homeostasis; meaning balance or equilibrium. How your body works to maintain homeostasis is reflected in how your vital signs vary with activity. Heat rate, blood pressure and respiration are lowest during periods of rest and sleep. During exercise however, blood pressure, pulse and respiration meet the increased demand for oxygen and nutrients by your musculoskeletal system. The adjustment of vital signs to match your level of physical activity is an example of homeostasis in action.
Obesity results from an energy imbalance: too many calories in, too few burned. Physical activity supports you in maintaining that homeostasis within the body by using excess calories that would otherwise be stored as fat. Research was undertaken by Cox (2017) from the American Diabetes Association, with results showing that out of 36 overweight participants, 10-20% weight loss was achieved through consistent exercise; implementing the recommended 150-300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic training.
However to ensure maximal results out of daily exercise, it is crucial that monitoring dietary intake and exercise intensity over the long term will ensure greater results if your serious about building the dream body!
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases (reduces inflammation)
Chronic diseases are major killers in modern day times, with physical inactivity being one of the primary causes of most chronic diseases today. In Australia, 55% of adults and 70% of children aged 2-17 do not reach the recommended physical activity guildline. Former US Secretary of Health detailed that “Sedentary behavior (sitting/lying down) contributes to a host of chronic diseases, and regular physical activity is an important component of an overall healthy lifestyle. Both, Robets and Laye (2012) research into lack of exercise causing chronic diseases pointed to strong evidence suggesting physically active people have better health related physical fitness and are at a significant lower risk of developing many disabling medical conditions than inactive people.
Pederson+Saltin (2005) has proven that increased physical activity can be used in the treatment of metabolic syndrome related disorders such as Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension and heart disease. Many studies were undertaken of using physical exercise for the prevention of diabetes. A chinese study subdivided 577 people into four groups; diet alone, physical exercise, diet+physical exercise and control. The risk of diabetes was reduced by 46% in the exercise group and 42% in the diet and exercise group.
Similar research by Pederson and Saitain (2005) were undertaken to examine the effect of regular physical activity on Hypertension; finding that aerobic exercise for at least 4 weeks leads to a significant reduction of blood pressure, reducing by 3.4mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure and in diastolic blood pressure by 2.58mmHG. Physical activity often induces an decrease in blood pressure that typically lasts 4-10 hours after the ceasing of exercise.
Exercise improves mental health:
When daily stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the body feels the impact as well. If your body is healthier and feels better, so does your mind! Exercise and any form of physical activity produce endorphins; the chemical in the brain that acts as a natural painkiller to support your body in eliminating any pain and stress.
Endorphins are one of many neurotransmitters released during physical activity. Regular exercise also releases dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. All these chemicals in tandem crucially regulate your mood, thoughts and emotions.
For example, regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain. Raising serotonin levels boosts mood and overall sense of wellbeing whilst improving your appetite and sleep cycles. These factors are often negatively affected by mental illnesses including depression and anxiety.
Research by Sharma, Madaan, and Petty (2006) propose these improvements of your mood are caused by exercise induced increase in blood circulation to the brain and by an influence on the HPA axis; the interaction of glands that play a crucial role in stress response, controlling motivation and mood, reduction of fear in stressful moments and an important part in memory formation as well.
Exercise boosts energy
Forget energy drinks, if you're looking for that extra boost of energy to smash your daily goals,look no further than daily exercise! The amount of energy you have is a direct result of the number of mitochondria your body produces. Mitochondria are often described as the “powerhouses of the cell”. In other words, they produce energy and cells in muscle tissue are loaded with them. As nutritionist Samantha heller states, “The more you exercise aerobically, the more mitochondria the body makes to produce more energy to meet your needs''.
Research undertaken by Nicastro (2018) shows that regular aerobic exercise helps mitochondria make energy travel more efficiently throughout the body. Improving the speed and efficiency of the following body processes
Glycolysis: Enzymes in the mitochondria break down glucose molecules, changing them into compounds called pyruvates. This process produces two molecules of ATP, the body's energy currency.
Krebs Cycle: Pyruvates then move onto Krebs cycle, a series of reactions again catalyzed by enzymes. The end of this cycle results in two more molecules of ATP.
Electron Transport Chain: The other molecules produced in Krebs cycle move to electron transport chain, another series of chemical reactions resulting in whopping 28 molecules of ATP.
The process combined produces 32 ATP molecules for energy with just one cycle of reactions. Most of the process requires oxygen so the more oxygen that gets to muscle cells, the more efficiently the mitochondria can produce energy.
Cox. C (2017), Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Management, American Diabetes Association, NCBI
Booth.F, Roberts.C and Laye.M (2014), Lack of Exercise is a Major Cause of Chronic Diseases, US National Library of Medicine, NCBI
Pederson.K and Saltin. B (2006), Evidence for Prescribing Exercise as Therapy in Chronic Disease, Scandanavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.
Sharma. A, Madaan. V and Petty.F(2006), Exercise for Mental Health, The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, NCBI
Nicastro.R (2020), Mitochondrial Adaptations to Aerobic Training, International Sports Science Association.