During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of us have become more conscious about our health. Getting into a healthier lifestyle lies in a balanced diet and daily exercise. If you are still in the planning stage or finding the motivation to keep exercising, we will share how daily exercise gradually changes your body for the better.
What is the ideal duration of daily exercise to improve your health?
According to the American Heart Association, the ideal workout duration for adults is about 2.5 hours or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. To achieve the optimal health benefits for your body, add at least two days of strength or weight training and 1.25 hours of aerobic activity or cardio exercise.
How Your Body Changes When You Exercise Regularly
With our technology and the current global situation today, it can be easy to fall into the rabbit hole of sitting in front of your smartphone or laptop from dusk until dawn. Sitting for prolonged hours has been recognized as the new smoking due to its health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
By starting a daily 10 to 30 minutes of exercise that you love, either with music or gentle-to-the-knees type of exercise, here’s how your body will change:
Increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain
Daily cardio exercises help increase your heart rate and pump more blood and oxygen to your brain. More blood flow in the brain will make you feel more alert and energized for the rest of the day. Increased cerebral blood circulation also transports the wastes out of the blood-brain barrier, which helps protect your brain from incurable brain disorders.
Development of more mitochondria in your cells
As you consistently exercise, you will get more mitochondria in your cells. Mitochondria are responsible for turning protein, carbs, and fat to power up your major muscle groups. With more mitochondria in your cells, your endurance will increase and make your exercise routines easier and faster for you to finish over time.
Better supply of oxygen to your muscles
With six months of daily exercise, your muscles will have a better supply of oxygen that enables you to run or walk for a long time without getting tired. Your endurance will increase, allowing you to do more errands or tasks every day.
In your first year of consistently exercising, your bones will start to get denser to combat age-related bone degeneration. Along with a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D, exercise can also lower your risk for osteoporosis and bone loss.
Lower risks of inflammatory diseases
Believe it or not, our bodies can naturally generate their anti-inflammatory responses through exercise. According to the researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, a session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system to release an anti-inflammatory cellular response called TNF. TNF is a systemic inflammation regulator that also boosts our immune systems.
Reduced levels of stress hormones
Do you remember that happy feeling after a vigorous exercise?
That’s because, after your daily workout, your brain releases endorphins or happy hormones, which are our natural pain killers and mood regulators. It’s like our body’s own reward system after a day’s heart-pumping workout. Exercise also reduces your stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, making you more relaxed and feeling better for the rest of the day.
Increased neurotransmitters to your brain
In a TED talk conducted by neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki, she discussed the brain-changing effects of exercise, including lasting focus, better memory, and better attention. She concludes that regular exercise is a transformative action for your brain due to the following benefits:
- Immediately affects your brain: After a workout, the increased neurotransmitters in your brain, like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, will immediately make you feel better.
- Improves your focus and attention: A workout can extend your focus and attention span for up to two hours.
- Keeps you alert: Exercise also sharpens your reflexes and reaction time which allows you to grab falling objects mid-air.
New brain cells in your hippocampus
Regular exercise can produce new brain cells in your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, which are susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline related to aging. The new brain cells in the hippocampus also act as a free and natural antidepressant that can help you get out of depression and improve your mental health.
Build a healthier lifestyle with the guide of a primary care physician in Mooresville, NC
Committing to daily exercise doesn’t have to be time-consuming, tiring, and expensive to achieve its optimal health benefits. You just need to find the exercise you enjoy and get moving for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Aside from weight loss goals, the next time you exercise, remember that you’re doing it for your heart, bones, muscles, brain, and to feel better.
If you are overweight or have a medical condition, our primary care physician can guide you in your journey to an active lifestyle. As a family medicine practice in Mooresville, NC, we aim to help you:
- Gain a personal relationship with your doctor.
- Get lower preventive medical costs.
- Enjoy savings on our affordable medications and laboratory services.