Doctors recommend that everybody get at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise almost every day. This has more profound effects than just helping overweight people lose their extra pounds. Frequent, regular exercise will make you a healthier person all around. You are getting aerobic exercise if you are excercising in a way that works out major muscle groups and makes you breathe hard. You should not be completely winded, however. If you work out too hard, you may not be able to keep up the pace.
What are the physical benefits of aerobic exercise?
The physical benefits of aerobic exercise range from results that are tangible, like weight loss or weight maintenance to benefits that are not tangible at all. Aerobic exercise will improve your circulation, heart function and the health of your cardiovascular system in general. Aerobic exercise trains your heart to move more blood with each beat, so that when you are not exercising, your heart does not have to work as hard.
You will also improve the general strength of your muscles. It is easy to overlook the strength of your muscles, especially as you age. Regular exercise will help you keep up muscle tone and strength, which lowers your chances of serious injury and will help counteract some forms of chronic pain. Muscle weakness can also affect the strength of your bones, frequent aerobic exercise can help prevent osteoporosis as well.
Exercise also improves the functioning of your immune system. Several health studies have shown that people who get regular aerobic exercise have a much lower chance of contracting infectious diseases such as colds or the flu.
Aerobic exercise can also help prevent other illnesses, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Most strokes are caused by blood clots making their way into your brain. Regular exercise keeps your blood from clotting in blood vessels.
Are there other benefits to aerobic exercise?
Yes! Aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce depression symptoms and Seasonal Affective Disorder in people who get regular exercise. Increased blood flow to the brain triggers a release of endorphins that can improve your mood. This increased blood flow to the brain also improves oxygen uptake which results in better brain functions. Essentially, you will feel better, be in a better mood, and feel sharper and more alert.
There are so many benefits to regular aerobic exercise that there is no reason not to start right away. You do not need to get a gym membership, just going for a 20 minute walk in the evening after work or getting a short exercise video to do at home will improve your health. Considering the number of serious illnesses that exercise helps prevent, you may be saving your life!