I love to exercise, it is the key to a youthful attitude and body. I try not to go more then 3 days without it, I mentally need that physical time for myself. I have made it a priority in my life, it’s not something that, ” I”ll do if I have the time”. My personal favorite exercises are strength training, spin and yoga. This mixture keeps things interesting and fun.
A mixture of different types of exercises are important for a healthy, long and disease free life. This also keeps things fresh and will keep you motivated. Strength training, flexibility exercises, cardiovascular endurance exercises and balance exercises, all help target specific parts of the body and are correlated with specific health benefits.
Strength Training: Improves muscle and bone strength by increasing muscle tissue mass and the number of mitochondria that creates energy in your body.
Flexibility Exercise: Improves the range of motion of your joints and muscles for natural movement, posture and breathing.
Cardiovascular Exercise: Improves blood circulation which determines how well the body delivers and utilizes oxygen and thereby improves endurance and stamina.
Balance and Coordination: Improves the body’s ability to maintain equilibrium during daily activities.
Regardless of the type of exercise you choose, your body goes through a series of Physiological events. Our bodies are amazing and we take it for granted. Just by movement, we can change what is happing inside and outside our bodies. Listed are the effects exercise has on your body and brain.
MUSCLES In short, energy for muscle contraction comes from glucose, which is stored as glycogen. A limited supply of ATP can be used for quick energy. When the supply is exhausted, more oxygen is needed to create more ATP for energy. Oxygen is delivered to exhausted muscles through your blood, which is pumped by the heart. If muscles don’t get enough oxygen, Lactic Acid forms and builds. This leads you to feel an immediate burn. Lactic Acid should drain out within 60 minutes. Any delayed onset soreness is from changes occurring in the muscle as they grow.
LUNGS In order to provide your body with the increased oxygen levels needed to sustain exercise, your breathing gets faster and heavier. As your breathing rate increases, the muscles around your lungs work up to maximum capacity.
HEART Your heart rate increases during exercise in order to pump more blood, carrying loads of oxygen throughout your body. Regular exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system. With exercise you have the potential to lower your resting heart rate and reduce your blood pressure.
BRAIN Increased blood flow driven by exercise directly benefits the brain. With increased blood, your brain cells are reawakened, allowing for heightened alertness and focus. Increased oxygen in the brain promotes growth of new brain cells. During exercise, the brain releases endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. All of these chemicals work together to boost your mood.
SKIN: Heat is generated when you exercise your muscles, causing your body temperature to rise. In response, your blood vessels dilate and increase blood flow to the skin. This nourishes skin cells and keeps it looking vibrant.
METABOLIC RATE: Exercising regularly is a fantastic way to support your metabolic function. When you exercise, your metabolic rate increases, supporting weight maintenance, mood and energy. The good mood and energy lift you get after exercising is your metabolism kicking in and your hormones coming into balance.
Pretty amazing right?
On a side note, I have met some of the best people while exercising. Like minded souls who know that it’s the journey and not the destination. Hard work and sweat build a better version of yourself. Challenging yourself is exhilarating and the competition is not the person next to you but inside of you. Self care is not selfish but a necessity for both your physical and mental health.
“This is what happens to your body when you exercise”. Klein,S (2013 Sept 4) Huffington Post