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Why is the relationship between exercise and health important to understand?

Exercise for health and weight loss. Girl in sportswear doing leg exercises

Physical activity is one of the most commonly used tools for promoting health or repairing it. We sometimes forget, amid our everyday activities, just how detrimental it can be to maintain a workout pattern going on. It has so much to offer when it comes to positive health traits.

Read on to see what the perks of sticking to a fitness lifestyle are and hopefully some of them might motivate you to try out a new activity or to continue persevering in something you already love and enjoy so much.

Choosing healthier foods

To kick things off let us see what role nutrition plays in having a healthy body.

Athletes, as we all know very well, highly value the quantity and the quality of the nutrients which they consume daily. They will do their best in buying and preparing food just to progress, ergo, build more muscle.

Choosing the correct food and rendering a proper eating regimen is the cornerstone of creating an elite athlete. When being conscious of the food you eat you are conscious of your health at the same time.

Usually, food consumption is one of the main causes as to why someone is sick or healthy. Avoiding unhealthy food, getting the right amount of healthy fats, finding the optimal source of protein, etc. are some of the reasons why a sports diet might lead to positive health change.

Healthy food cooking background

It should be noted that you’re not required to raise your protein intake to 200g or more per day like professional bodybuilders do to become a healthier and leaner person. If you stick to a diet consistent with your body weight and the goals you are trying to achieve (whether it is weight gain or weight loss) you will certainly reap the positive traits which come along.

Eating proper food such as vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and fish, just to name a few, will enhance your immune system, reduce stress, increase your energy levels, and much more. [1]

Mind-body connection

Bodybuilding and other sports activate our bodies, but they have little to no impact on our minds, right?

Not exactly.

Regular physical activity can help with numerous mental problems and can even help enhance the performance of our brains.

When training we focus our attention on one thing only – getting the exercise done correctly. Now, you might say: “Oh, but I think about many other things while I work out!”. That is correct, however, after a certain period, your focus will come back to the task in front of you.

Hence, since that cognitive activity of constant returning to one exact thought somewhat resembles what we do when meditating it can be argued that bodybuilding is a form of meditation. Whenever our focus gets out of reach, we come back to the first thing on our hands – finishing the last repetition.

Aerobic exercise is great for your health

According to one source, 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise alongside doing strength training from 3 to 5 times per week seems to be optimal in showing results on mental well-being.[2] It’s not mandatory, however, to exercise that much to have health benefits. Many people cannot find that much time. If you can do more, it is not a problem, but it will not be a problem even if you cannot reach the numbers previously stated.

Any activity at all comes great after a long day at work. Going for a workout after the office certainly spikes the energy levels and brightens up your mood.

Physical activity releases endorphins into our bodies which leave us with a wonderful and energized feeling. It helps with fighting depression and many people who suffer from depression find their remedy practicing physical exercise.

Run

Endurance training can aid us in keeping the mind sharp and alert since the brain gets more oxygen and can thus function optimally. Moreover, certain cases have concluded that the bodybuilding style of exercise can significantly improve global cognitive function![3]

Is bodybuilding the key to longevity?

Yes, you’ve read that correctly. The sport of bodybuilding could be a way to increase the life expectancy of an individual. We got some evidence to back up the claim! Scientific studies suggest the same and the logic behind it makes perfect sense. The following section explains how and why.

Bodybuilders have a goal – muscle mass increase. They give it 100% and more sometimes to achieve a certain weight (lean muscle mass) and cut the fat percentage in the process.

Opting for a higher muscle mass index seems to be a good idea and not only for a bodybuilding competition. There is a study that has shown that elderly individuals having a low muscle mass index have a higher mortality rate than those with average or high levels of muscle mass.[4] Maintaining a high muscle mass index is a demanding task the older we get. However, that does not mean that we should give up weight training as such.

Regardless, bodybuilding will certainly activate your muscles and prevent their dysfunction. Here lies the exact reason why it is often recommended for older people to exercise in the gym even though it might come off as odd prima facie – to maintain their muscle mass and regular body functioning.

A good night’s sleep!

One of the best defense mechanisms our body has is sleep. As contradictory as it might sound at first, sleep is the best remedy for overcoming most of the diseases and preventing them too!

Going to sleep at approximately the same time every night and sleeping for 8 hours every night is still one of the most recommended methods in medicine for good health. Sleep keeps the immune system up and running smoothly. Our body is pretty much a self-sustaining unit. The only thing it asks for is proper sleep. Give it what it asks for!

Athletes usually get enough sleep every night. Not only because they are conscious of all the health benefits that regular sleep carries with it, but also because their bodies are exhausted and they simply require rest. During sleep, the torn muscle tissue gets to regenerate itself. After that, we can hit the gym again and repeat the process.

Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and the founder of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California said in an interview:” Sleep is the very best health insurance policy you could ever wish for.”

woman is sleeping in the bedroom
Make sure to catch as much sleep as your body needs

Disease prevention

Last but certainly not least, regular physical activity can prevent a plethora of diseases heading your way. Physical activity fights health conditions and diseases like a champion. Let us see what some of those are.

The list is as follows:

  • Heart stroke
  • Metabolic syndrome (visceral obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cancer (several types)
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Others (named before, such as anxiety, depression…)

Conclusion

We have just shown how many facets tending to physical activity has. Besides, we have cast light on those facets which help us in keeping our body strong and healthy. A lot of people go to the gym because they want to promote their health, balance out their lifestyle, and live a longer, happier life. Not everything in the gym revolves our aesthetically pleasing bodies.

We should never neglect the importance of being physically active. It is of utmost importance to nurture our bodies however we can and going for a workout now and then is essential in that nurturing process.

References

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