Regular Exercise

There plenty of reasons to undertake regular exercise, in this post I wanted to look at some in more depth. We continue to learn more and more about how exercise improves our lives, and in recent years, particularly how these benefits form part of our overall wellbeing.

Starting your day off right begins with having a good nights sleep, and whilst we all might fancy a little lie down after a workout, it does go a little deeper than that!

Undertaking regular exercise makes us less sleepy during the day, this is due to:

Increase in core body temperature, when our body gets warmer it’s a natural alarm clock, telling itself it’s time to be awake.

Metabolism speeding up to fuel our muscles during exercise.

Increase in cortisol (hormone) – triggers our flight or fight response, it also helps with blood pressure, tissue repair and our circadian rhythm. Ideally, we want higher levels in the mornings, lowering throughout the afternoon and lowest when we are winding down for the evening.

It’s important to note here, that ideally exercise should be tapered towards bedtime, moving towards stretching, yoga and lower impact activities the closer to bedtime we get.

Numerous studies have linked exercise to an improved slow wave (deep) sleep and speed of falling asleep, these studies have also noted that 30 minutes of exercise can have a direct impact on that evening’s sleep rather than having to wait weeks or months for results (abs are you hearing this??).

Getting a good night of sleep moves us nicely onto our next section, increased energy levels, it’s no secret that we feel good after a workout, this is largely due to an increase in endorphins, however, there are some other things happening:

Increased oxygen supply – increased oxygen supply allows better energy production and increased efficiency of this energy.

Increased cardiovascular health – leading to better endurance throughout the day.

Sharper focus – over time, our ability to focus is increased through exercise.

The ability to undertake daily tasks with better endurance allows us to have energy left over for other activities as well as performing those tasks with a greater degree of ease, making this less taxing and more enjoyable.

When our daily lives are a little easier, we are able to take things in our stride, helping to take the pressure off and reduce our overall stress levels.

More and more studies have linked exercise to psychological benefits, including a reduction in anxiety and depression.

We can look at this in 2 ways, firstly the benefits to our body, aerobic exercise burns off adrenaline and cortisol (remember the sleep bit earlier) these are replaced with endorphins which are our natural pain relief and mood elevators.

Secondly, physical changes to our bodies help increase our feel good factor, this isn’t limited to our shape, but also our ability to perform, increased endurance in an activity or the ability to perform some which we couldn’t before.

Additionally, exercises also keeps our mind active, whilst active and concentrating on the workout, we are distracted from the daily thoughts.

Our overall health can benefit so much from regular exercise, these are just 3 of the many, many reasons to take up regular exercise.

The great news is that we can also start with taking small walks and then progress as we feel more confident.

If you would like to know how we can help you get into (or back into) regular exercise speak to a member of Team SF