Updated: Dec 21, 2021
How Does Exercise and Activity Improve Your Quality of Life?
Exercise helps us live longer and more importantly it helps us to live better. In addition to making our heart and muscles stronger, it also helps fend off a host of diseases. Additionally, exercise has been shown to improve mental and emotional functioning and enhance productivity. All that sounds great, right? Well, let’s dig into the goodness of exercise a bit more….
Improve Your Sleep
Regular aerobic exercise provides a multitude of benefits to your nightly shut eye. Firstly, it helps you fall asleep faster, which minimizes tossing and turning before finally going night night. In turn, you spend more time in deep sleep, helping you feel refreshed in the AM. In fact, exercise is the only known way for healthy adults to boost the amount of deep sleep they can obtain. With all of your family and work commitments, some deep sleep is essential for your body to renew and repair itself.
Maintain Mobility & Enhance Energy
Regular exercise can slow the natural decline in physical performance that occurs as you age. By staying active, older adults can keep their cardiovascular fitness, metabolism, and muscle function in line with those of much younger people. So what you have some crow’s feet around the eyes. With a little exercise, you can still get after it with those young whipper snappers. Many studies have shown that people who were more active at midlife were able to preserve their mobility — and therefore, their independence — as they aged. I don’t know about you, but I have zero interest in a motorized scooter or a senior living facility. Let’s keep our butts movin!
Cognitive Function Benefits
Physical activity boosts blood flow to the brain, which has been found to help maintain cognitive function. It also promotes good lung function. Which believe it or not is a characteristic of people whose memories and mental acuity remain strong as they age. While all types of physical activity help keep your mind sharp, many studies have shown that aerobic exercise successfully improves brain function.
We all feel bummed out from time to time. Well, while a few laps around the block can't solve your worlds problems, researchers know there is a strong link between regular exercise and improved mood. Aerobic exercise prompts the release of mood-lifting hormones, which relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being. In addition, the rhythmic muscle contractions that take place in almost all types of exercise can increase levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which combats negative feelings.
That is obviously just the tip of the iceberg of what positive impacts activity and fitness will make for us. Let’s get our butts in gear and move. In turn, we will not only enhance our own lives, but continue to make a positive impact on those around us.