The Benefits of Fitness
Exercise includes any activity that requires physical exertion and movement. The three primary forms of exercise are:
- Cardiovascular activity: Including activities like running, walking, cycling and swimming. These activities are great for your heart health, blood circulation and mental well-being.
- Strength building activity: This includes weight-lifting activities and body-weight exercises, like push-ups. These activities are great for your muscles and help you to build strength. They are also shown to boost the metabolism.
- Flexibility training: Including basic stretching, as well as Pilates and yoga. This form of activity can help with stress management, is good for joint health and helps to prevent injury.
There are many people who start exercising in an effort to lose or maintain weight, but exercise is actually beneficial to your health in many ways outside of weight loss.
Physical Benefits of Weight Loss
Exercising regularly benefits your physical health by stimulating blood flow, improving your range of motion, strength and physical endurance and reducing your risk of developing chronic disease.
Health benefits of exercise also include:
- Reduced risk of depression
- Improved quality of sleep
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
Mental Benefits of Weight Loss
Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Endorphins are often thought of as natural painkillers in the brain. High levels of endorphins are associated with increased feelings of pleasure, reduced stress and minimized pain.
According the Anxiety and Depression Association of American, just five minutes of cardiovascular activity can:
- Decrease tension levels
- Stabilize and elevate mood
- Improve self-esteem
- Reduce anxiety
- Improve concentration
- Increase energy and mental alertness
Getting Started with Exercise
The American Heart Association recommends that every adult engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. They especially recommend cardiovascular activity because of its heart-healthy benefits.
There are many forms of exercise out there, so find something you like. While exercise is recommended during your medical weight loss program, it doesn’t have to be a chore. Consider fun activities like:
- Walking with friends or your dog
- Dance and aerobic classes
- Rollerblading and Bike riding
If you do not have much experience exercising, accumulating 30 minutes of activity daily may be challenging at first. If this is true, then consider breaking up your workout into smaller increments. For example, walking in the morning for 10 minutes, at lunch for 5 minutes and 15 minutes after dinner might be easier than going to the gym for 30 minutes.