The Amazing Health Benefits of Exercise

By now everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but do you know exactly why? The health benefits of exercise are endless, from reducing the risk of cancer to improving your sex life and adding years to your life. Exercise is essential to good health, here’s why:Helps you control your weight. During exercise an increase in insulin levels transports blood sugar into the cells increasing the synthesis of muscle glycogen. After this happens blood glucose levels and insulin secretion decrease allowing the mobilization of stored fat and helping you to burn calories. Aerobic exercise can burn up to 1000 calories per hour and strength training exercises increase metabolism and lean body mass helping your body to burn calories even while at rest.
Can prevent and control type II diabetes. Exercise has an insulin like effect and lowers blood sugar by carrying glucose to the cells to be used for energy. By losing weight and reducing body fat, exercise can have a significant effect in controlling and preventing type II diabetes (a lifestyle disease).

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Lowers blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Exercise makes your heart stronger and increases the amount of blood pumped with each contraction. Since the heart has to work less, resting heart rate is decreased allowing the heart to conserve energy. Exercise lowers blood pressure by suppressing the sympathetic nervous system and by decreasing the force of the blood on the arteries. Exercise also keeps blood vessels clear of corrosive materials and produces positive changes in lipid profiles decreasing LDL and increasing HDL.
Gives you energy. Exercise increases blood volume, red blood cells and the number of capillaries allowing more oxygen to be carried to the cells and removing carbon dioxide and waste products more effectively. Exercise also increases the number and size of mitochondria (part of the cell that is responsible for supplying energy).
Helps prevent cancer. Cancer cells are anaerobic (they don’t like oxygen) and exercise increases the amount of oxygen available to your body. Exercise also has a positive effect on DNA repair and hormone profiles.
Improves mood. Exercise reduces anxiety and depression by boosting secretion of endorphins (brain chemicals that make you feel good). The more you exercise the better your body is able to deal with physical stress, therefore decreasing cortisol secretion.
Improves sleep. During exercise body temperature increases, this is followed by a drop in body temperature. This drop in temperature makes it easier to fall asleep and to stay asleep. Exercise also has a calming effect, but exercising too close to bedtime will increase energy and make it harder to fall asleep.

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Helps build strong bones. Weight bearing exercises increase bone density by increasing the rate at which osteoblasts (bone forming cells) deliver calcium to bones, and strong bones are less prone to osteoporosis and fractures.
Improves joint health. Exercise keeps joints flexible and helps prevent arthritis.
Boosts immunity. During exercise the circulation of immune cells increases making them better able to kill bacteria and viruses in the body.
Improves sexual function. Because exercise increases testosterone and improves body composition, muscle tone, circulation and endurance it is important for sexual function. Men who exercise regularly are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction. Exercise also makes your body look better and gives you more energy and self esteem increasing arousal in women.