From time and time again, we always hear our friends and family say that exercise is “good for the health”. But, no one can tell exactly why and how it helps us. Even doctors prescribe drugs first before recommending exercise as an alternative treatment. Well, this year, the tides have changed.
Doctors and scientists at the National Institutes of Health are now making a study about exercise on a molecular level (read more). They are aiming to understand how exactly exercise prevents and treats diseases and health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, and bone ailments. The NIH intends to promote exercise as a miracle drug that combats diseases and improves an individual’s overall health.
Everyone knows the consequences of living a sedentary life. But, despite apparent awareness, people are still putting their health at risk by choosing an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, an average of 80.2 million Americans over the age of six is leading an inactive life. Only twenty percent of Americans are doing the required 150-minute exercise and physical activity per week.
Aside from laughter, exercise is the best medicine. It is the best prevention, the best maintenance, and the best treatment for a wide range of chronic diseases. It is the only effective medication that is free and does not inflict adverse side effects.
Partnering daily exercise with a healthy, balanced diet is a foolproof plan for improving the quality of human life as you can discover in this website: https://www.healthfitnessdrug.com. The evident pharmacological benefits of physical activity are as follows:
1. A healthy brain
Keeping fit does not only provide ripped abs and bulging muscles. It also strengthens the most important organ of your body—your brain.
Doctors and researchers have long studied the connection between physical exercise and brain health. Aerobic workouts make our blood vessels larger, causing more blood to flow into our brain. Thus, delivering the right amount of oxygen and nutrients for improved cognitive function.
The benefits of exercise to the brain function are not only from the physical movements but, from the actual physical wellness and fitness that it brings. A person with a good exercise regimen develops an increased glucose uptake and metabolic activity at the target region of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. There is also an increased expression of neurotrophic factors that enhances brain memory and psychological well-being.
During a workout, the human body releases a hormone called endorphins. It creates a sense of euphoria while boosting our mood and energy levels. It also relieves stress and anxiety. It lowers the chances of experiencing a depressive episode or anxiety attack.
2. It slows down the aging
The obvious effect of physical workout is the development of brawn, physical strength, and power. Alongside the muscle-building facet, is a decrease in the body’s aging process.
When the muscles are in action, the mitochondria inside the muscle cells produce more protein to completely burn the cellular fuels. Thus, decreasing the production rate of oxidants and avoiding oxidative damage—a process that kills DNA and protein.
Exercise also increases the production of antioxidants such as mitochondria superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and glutamylcysteine synthetase. These enzymes prevent the degenerative oxidation process in the cells.
While the muscles are working out, they are also consuming glucose in the process. They eat up the excess amounts of sugar in our bloodstream, decreasing our likelihood of developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses.
3. Boosts the immune system
Another benefit of physical activity is its ability to reinforce and strengthen the body’s immune system. Another vital role of muscles is its ability to store amino acids for the whole body.
Upon muscular exertion, the muscles will send signaling molecules into the bloodstream to start processes like muscle regulation, production of new cells, and nutrient metabolism. It also spurs several metabolic pathways that strengthen the anti-inflammatory and defensive properties of the body.
4. Lose excess fat
Losing belly fat might be the most compelling reason to exercise. But aside from getting a svelte or buff physique, working out helps you eliminate the bad cholesterol and fats that might accumulate in your organs (i.e. heart) over time.
Regular physical activity reduces your triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and insulin resistance. It also reduces your chance of collecting and storing abdominal fat—the dangerous kind of belly fat.
5. Feel happier
Health and well-being include a healthy state of mind. Another powerful benefit of working out is its positive influence on our psychological and mental health.
Have you ever felt or heard the term “runner’s high”? The runner’s high is what someone experiences after a quick jog or run. It is characterized by feelings of euphoria, extreme energy, and positivity.
The scientific explanation for this is that during a workout, our brain releases mood-enhancing hormones such as dopamine and serotonin. They stay in the bloodstream for several hours, causing an individual to feel happy and elated. It also decreases stress hormone (cortisol) levels and adrenaline.
Also, exercising generates the production of new hormones on a specific part of our brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is responsible for managing and optimizing your emotions. This makes it easier for people to be emotionally stable amidst stressful situations. Check out this study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448908/.
This is why many psychologists prescribe exercise to their patients suffering from mental illnesses. Physical activity, even as simple as walking around the park, helps relieve anxiety and depression. It also makes other mental problems easier to handle and manage.
According to the DHHS, an average adult should get at least 150-minute of aerobic activity per week. It can vary from moderate to a vigorous workout.
Exercise does not need to be a rigorous and loud type. It does not require to be done inside gyms or fitness studios. Natural activities like walking, running, and swimming goes a long way to improve your overall well-being. You can explore other forms of activities like yoga, Pilates, and tai-chi.
Invest in your health by engaging in the most natural and cost-free medication of all.