It goes without saying that keeping an active lifestyle is beneficial to one’s health. Indeed, this notion is one of the facts of life that nobody in their right mind will attempt to deny. But did you know that a life inundated with physical activity benefits more than just your health? Indeed, research has shown that physical activity has, to a huge degree, a positive effect on one’s mental health, well being, and quality of life as well.
Below are a few reasons why keeping active is so important, as well as a list of the ways by which physical activity improves both how you look and how you feel.
It Will Lift Your Mood Up
That’s right, physical activity—specifically exercise—can lift your mood! In fact, many experts think that the degree to which exercise can treat mild depression is no different from anti-depressants. Not only does it help alleviate depression at bay, but it also prevents people who are inclined to be depressed from relapsing.
One way exercise greatly improves one’s mood is through the production of serotonin—those chemicals in the brain that regulate mood. Exercise, like many experts say, promotes the production of those happy chemicals, which has the effect of lifting people’s moods.
Another way exercise improves one’s mood is by reducing stress, which plays a big role in causing depression.
You’ll be Physically Fit
Regular physical activity helps one’s body to maintain (or even increase) its strength and ability to function. Muscle, bone, and joint strength increase with exercise, after all, making other kinds of physical activity easier to do. Indeed, studies show that people who are unhealthy, inflexible and sluggish enjoy their lives much less than those who are not, and one major reason for this is because those who have made an investment in their health by regularly exercising are able to get more done.
Also, physical fitness, to a huge degree, makes the body function optimally, which in turn makes people more able to weather life’s problems, whatever they may be.
You’ll Have More Brain Power
A life filled with physical activity also promotes a healthier and more adaptable brain, which of course manifests in a variety of tractable ways. One way is the ability to think faster and more clearly. The chemicals in one’s brain that lift one’s mood are the same chemicals that help one concentrate and focus.
Exercise also has the added effect of strengthening neuronal connection in the brain, which helps in memory and other kinds of brain function. Needless to say, all of these benefits, to one degree or another, help keep mental decline at bay.
You’ll Live Much Longer
Studies throughout history have certainly borne this out. It is simply the case that people who have more physical activity in their lives live much longer than people who don’t. In fact, they don’t just live much longer, their quality of life is also, to a huge degree, much better.
Physical activity—or, more specifically, regular exercise—helps delay, or even outright prevent, the various illnesses that most can expect to acquire as they age. Indeed, all the benefits discussed above will work together to help one avoid diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain kinds of neurological disorders.
In one study, researchers found that 70-year-olds who’ve been regularly exercising appear as fit as those in their thirties. And in another study, even late-comers, or those who started exercising in their late 40s and 50s, cut their risk of getting a stroke by as much as 50%.
Needless to say, the results are clear. And it is that exercise has clear longevity benefits. To be sure: however old you are, it is never too late to start and make an investment in your health.
Andrea Piacquadio/ Pexels
Sebastian Voortman/ Pexels
Maryia Plashchynskaya/ Pexels