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Why Exercise Is Important For Your Health

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Why Exercise Is Important For Your Health

The message about living a healthy lifestyle is everywhere we look. Newspapers, magazines, social media, even getting on public transport – we’re constantly being reminded that we should be making healthy choices regarding diet and exercise. 

What we choose to eat has a direct impact on our health and our weight – eating a diet high in calorie rich foods that lack in beneficial nutrients will probably mean that we gain weight and a dress size or two. Instead choosing to fill up on nutrient dense, lower calories foods will mean that we can maintain our weight better, or lose weight if we wish to. 

But when it comes to exercise, what are the benefits? We know that we should be exercising regularly, but why? To answer this, we’ve decided to go back to the beginning, and talk about the benefits of exercise – both in a physical and an emotional sense. 


The physical benefits of exercise

Exercising means moving our bodies, but this can be to different intensities. High impact training such as running, playing tennis and high impact interval training (HIIT) gets the heart pumping and it burns fat and calories. This will lead to fat and weight loss as well as a change in body shape as you lose fat. 


Lower intensity exercise, such as yoga or our Strength Plan are no less important or beneficial. Exercising to a lower intensity generally means that the movements are slower and more defined (but your heart rate will still increase!) These kinds of exercises are great for building muscle mass, achieving a longer, leaner physique and improving balance and flexibility.

That’s why it’s so important to do a mix of higher and lower intensity exercise each week, so that you:

  • Burn fat
  • Burn calories
  • Lose or maintain weight
  • Develop lean muscle mass
  • Become leaner
  • Build strength and tone
  • Improve your posture and flexibility 

Regular exercise also helps to reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Having a strong, toned body is also beneficial for protecting against osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life, which is especially important for women going through or that have been through their menopause


The mental health benefits of exercise

The benefits of exercise don’t just stop at our weight, body shape and disease risk. Exercise is really beneficial for our emotional wellbeing too. 

When we exercise, we release endorphins, happy hormones that are responsible for that post-exercise rush of happiness and accomplishment. Exercising once makes us feel great (think back to how positive you felt last time you did a great workout!) and over the long term, regular exercise can improve our mood significantly.

Exercising regularly helps to relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. It can also make us more productive and energised and helps improve our cognitive function – our ability to learn, think memorise and reason. Exercise also helps to improve our sleep and our ability to switch off and relax. 

So, where are you on your OYG journey? Wherever you are, celebrate your successes and use that feel good factor to spur you on to even more greatness! 

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