When it comes to burning calories, I think exercise is overrated. The prospect of having to jog 3 miles to burn off that muffin just ends up just putting people off. However, that doesn’t mean you should simply stick to the sofa in despair.
Exercise has far more benefits for health and weight control than you may realise, that make even the smallest amount worth doing.
It builds muscle
We lose muscle at the rate of 8% per decade over the age of 40. It’s called sarcopaenia and yet preserving muscle can help burn more energy even when we are sitting still. And, of course, it supports our joints and improves our posture too. Strength exercises using weights (with supervision) or just body weight are good for muscle-building.
It boosts our mood
Dopamine and other chemicals called endorphins can be stimulated by exercise making us feel more positive and motivated. Studies have shown that people feel better about their body-image after just 5 minutes of exercise, and a brisk walk can get the creative juices flowing and improve productivity for the rest of the day. It can even be as effective as antidepressants for some people.
With poor mood and self-esteem clearly linked to lower health and higher weight, any mood-boosting exercise is worth doing…whether a pulse-racing run or a gentle swim.
Exercise with friends and it can also improve well-being. Studies show that social contact can help you live longer – so, you can get a double helping of benefits.
Team sports or charitable events with friends or colleagues are a great way to exercise with a feel-good bonus.
It’s good for the brain
As well as helping mood, it may help stave off of dementia. Increasing blood flow to the brain is likely to reduce the risk of cognitive or mental decline.
Any exercise that raises your pulse and blood pressure will improve circulation to all parts of your body. Exercises such as yoga are also great for mindfulness.
It improves our metabolic health
With one third of us pre-diabetic, we need to manage our blood sugar levels better. Eating less processed food and sugary, starchy foods will help, but studies show that short bursts of high intensity exercise can reduce that diabetes risk too. But, even a gentle exercise like a simple stroll, or a more mindful exercise like yoga can have an impact by lowering stress and the stress hormone cortisol. Here’s some other ways you can increase your metabolism.
So exercise isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to people and their needs. And it’s certainly not just about burning calories. Choose the exercise that achieves your required goals at the time, whether it’s weight control, stress relief, improving your heart, lungs and brain, building your muscle tone or boosting your mood and motivation and you’ll see the results long after your chosen activity has finished.
If you’d like to start incorporating more exercise into your daily life, here at Vavista, we have teamed up with at home workout app, Sweat IT Online, who are kindly offering Vavista customers an exclusive VIP discount for their online subscription, as well as giving you your first month absolutely free, You will get access to a daily class schedule and over 300 on demand classes, including strength and conditioning, HIIT, running, boxing, yoga and mobility – there really is something to suit all tastes and abilities. Their world class trainers will guide you every step of the way with demonstration and encouragement, so you always know what to do and how to do it.