The benefits of physical exercise are like a formidable medicine and the positive effects it causes on the body. Physical activity can improve everything: from sleep quality to memory. From making us happier, to living longer, physical exercise is the key to living a healthy and balanced life.
11 Reasons to start physical exercise immediately
1. Increase happiness levels
We all want to be happy and physical exercise is one of the easiest steps to take, because feeling better after a few hours of exercise is not a simple coincidence: it is science. A study by Penn State University has found that people who do physical activity, whether it is light or heavy training, feel better than those who spend a sedentary life.
Furthermore, the people in the sample who increased their training pace felt even happier. This means that intensifying your workouts can make us achieve even better results.
2. Teaches setting goals and achieving them
Achieving fitness goals can create an incredible increase in self-esteem. But if you are not good at maintaining your deadlines, science has a solution for this too: to define clear intentions.
A 2002 study examined three groups of people. The first group, the control group, was tasked with monitoring the frequency with which each person engaged in physical activity throughout the week. The second group, the motivation group, received the same instructions, but also read a motivational speech. The third group, the intention group, asked people to create a plan to establish a specific day, time and place for the exercise. And it is precisely the third group that has achieved the best results.
By imposing rules and committing to achieving pre-established goals, you will be able to succeed both in physical exercise and in everything that can come from a great boost of self-esteem.
3. Naturally reduce the risk of heart disease
A large variety of studies and tests conducted by researchers in 2013 – including 305 studies with more than 339,000 participants – found that there are no statistically detectable differences between those who exercise and those who have been prescribed drugs for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and of diabetes.
In fact, in those patients who had already had a stroke, physical activity interventions proved to be more effective than drug treatment. Working with your doctor to create a series of suitable physical exercise could be the key to reducing the risk of these diseases and preventing them.
4. Sleep well
Physical exercise is a very important factor in reducing sleep disorders and helping us sleep better. Moreover, it also improves the quality of sleep considerably.
Although the effects may not be immediate – a recent study found that it may take up to four months for those starting an exercise program to have a positive effect on sleep – starting a training plan is a safe way to address this type of disorder in the long term.
When you feel exhausted, it may seem impossible to do training. But, according to experts, this is exactly what should be done. Low intensity physical activity, even a simple and relaxing walk, allows a reduction in fatigue levels and a 20% increase in energy.
6. Increases strength and flexibility
If stretching and intensive training for muscle mass are not part of the training card, it is time to incorporate them. Most adults focus mainly on cardio activity and many turn away from resistance training and muscle building and this is bad.
Physical exercise helps improve strength and muscle mass, which is particularly important with advancing age. It maintains strong bones, thus acting as an excellent natural treatment for osteoporosis. Furthermore, increasing muscles helps the body burn calories more efficiently.
And don’t forget stretching: this increases the flexibility of the body, facilitating the most varied daily activities. Furthermore, it allows us to send more blood to the muscles, improving circulation and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Only a few minutes a day of stretching can make a difference.
7. Improve memory
Exercising regularly can help improve memory. A 2014 study found that aerobic exercise, like running or swimming, increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
8. Increase self-confidence
Practicing can help make us feel better about ourselves, regardless of the type of training that takes place or the results achieved. In fact, one study found that even the simplest physical exercise can convince us that it looks better.
9. More productive at work
Physical exercise could be the key to being more productive and happy at work. According to a study, employees who work out before work or during lunchtime report feeling less stressed and happier and more productive than when they missed a workout. Not only that, but they also have a positive impact on their work.
10. You become more resistant to diseases
Regular physical exercise helps strengthen our immune system against all types of pathology.
Even if the researchers are not entirely convinced of how this can happen, it is clear that engaging in a moderate or intense physical activity helps the body in this sense.
11. Live longer
Keeping the body healthy to live a longer and fuller life is one of the greatest benefits of training. Therefore, it is a great news that a research published in 2012, which has looked at more than 650,000 people, has found that 150 minutes of moderate exercise (i.e., half an hour for five days a week) increase the duration of your life of 3, 4 years.
Recover after a physical exercise
Recovery has a fundamental impact on sports performance and is useful in helping you train very effectively.
Rest and recovery are an essential part after every routine workout. Recovery after physical exercise is essential for muscle, pet tissue repair and reintegration of physical strength. Here are some useful tips to put into practice after the post-workout phase.
When we talk about training we must not ignore the importance of energy and organic resources. This is why hydration and nutrition are as important as physical exercise.
When we talk about physical exercise, we always focus on how to best develop our athletic condition, but we often ignore the importance of restoring energy and organic resources. A forgetfulness that, by itself, is able to seriously compromise health and performance improvement. It is clear that the problem does not arise when performing a couple of weekly sessions: the body is, in fact, perfectly capable of reacting and autonomously implementing all the mechanisms necessary for rapid recovery. The situation that arises when training with greater diligence is instead different.
However, a muscle needs 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild itself, and making it work again, without allowing them the right rest, could lead to the breakdown of the tissues that make it up, thus delaying recovery and causing further damage.
Here are 7 ways to recover quickly after a physical exercise: there are many recovery methods broken down according to the sport that is applied.
These are just some of the most recommended methods by experts …
Recover the liquids
A lot of liquids are lost during the year which, ideally, should be recovered at the end of the year. Water is the best natural support available and allows the regulation of every metabolic function and the transfer of essential elements for the body. Drinking lots of water improves many bodily functions. Properly recovering liquids is even more important for athletes who lose large amounts during sweating hours.
After reducing your energy reserves after physical exercise, you need to refuel, eating, to allow your body to recover energy, repair tissues, gain more strength and be ready for the next challenge. This is even more important if you are performing exercises that require continuous physical effort every day. Ideally, you should try to eat 60 minutes after the end of your workout and make sure you include protein and carbohydrates in your daily diet.
Before a hard workout it is recommended to do a light stretching. This is a quick and easy way to help your muscles start moving gradually. Even recovery, after exercise, will be easier. First of all, in the routine of any sportsman, a stretch made immediately after training must be included. These movements are aimed at stretching, but without forcing, the muscular compartments most involved in physical activity: the muscles of the legs, the arms, the dorsal and the cervical. Performing a stretching session lasting 10/15 minutes after each workout, you can escape the tension and the consequent pain caused by post-workout micro traumas.
Rest is one of the best ways to recover (or heal) from any illness or injury and this works even after a hard workout. Your body, recovering, has the extraordinary ability to take care of itself, but you have to be the one to give it some time. Resting after physical exercise allows to repair and recovery process to take place at a natural pace. Sometimes rest may not allow effective recovery after a big effort, but it will certainly help you get better and recover energy.
Perform an active recovery
It is an easy gentle movement that improves circulation and helps promote the transport of nutrients and waste products into the body. In theory, this helps repair and quickly replenish muscle with nutritional elements.
Get a massage
After a massage you feel better because it promotes circulation, allowing total relaxation. You can also try self-massage and Foam Roller exercises to relieve strained muscles and avoid paying the higher price that could result in a tear.
Take a cold bath
Some athletes practice cold or ice baths, ice massages or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) are useful to recover faster, reduce muscle pain and prevent injuries. The theory behind this method is that the repeated contraction and dilation of blood vessels helps remove waste products in the tissues.
Listen to your body for a faster recovery: the most important thing you can do for a quick recovery is to pay more attention to the signals your body throws at you.
If you feel tired and your physical exercise performance starts to fall or have a negative impact this could mean that you need time to recover or take a break to get away from the routine for a while.
If you pay attention, in most cases, your body lets you know what you need. The problem for many of us is that we don’t listen to these warnings or reject them thinking, “I can’t be tired, I didn’t give my best like I did yesterday” or “Nobody needs two days off after a workout, and if I’m going slow today, they’ll think I’m good for nothing.