Oh, have you already heard that? Not news? Well, “exercise” can be many things to many people, from jumping jacks to kayaking to running ultra-marathons and everything in between.
Seeing a super-fit athlete doing a high intensity workout may be a little intimidating. You may think, “I could never do that.” And maybe you’re right.
But even if you can’t do that, you can do something.
And something is better than nothing. The key is to find what works for you and start small if you need to.
I’ve blogged about exercise in different contexts like Group Exercise: Why it’s better than going solo, Exercise: The First Step is the Hardest, and The Hardest Part of a Workout is Showing Up, and more.
But I think I jumped ahead a little, so today, I’m going to list some of
The benefits of exercise
These are well-documented, research-based benefits … and I can attest to these myself.
Exercise increases endorphins – the “feel good” hormones.
Again, balances hormones and lowers cortisol levels – the “stress” hormones.
Improves brain clarity
In the book Life Reimagined, Barbara Bradly Hagerty spoke with Kirk Erickson, researcher at the University of Pittsburgh who found “nothing will keep you as mentally acute as raising your heart rate a few times a week. Nothing.” Exercise is good for the body and mind.
Physical strength and muscle tone
Movement calls for muscles to flex. Focused movement beyond daily activities stresses muscles and keeps them strong. It’s like most things, use it or lose it.
Helps strengthen bones
Exercise strengthens bones by stressing them. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation “Exercise plays an important role in building and maintaining bone strength.”
Improved balance and stability
As we age, we’re more at risk for falling. Regular exercise helps strengthen muscles and bones and improves our ability to balance and recover from near-falls.
Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be going through different types of exercise and refer to my on-staff Subject Matter Expert (SME) about the benefits of several types of exercise – what they are and their benefits.
Have you experienced some of these benefits? I’d love to hear what you find to be the greatest benefit. Please share in the comments below.