Benefits of exercise

We all know that exercise is good for us, but do you really know all the benefits? Health Club Manager Jimmy Bradford runs through all the benefits in his blog below:

Everyone exercises for different reasons and aims for different goals. Some train for fitness goals or targets such a running a marathon or being able to lift a certain amount of weight whereas others may train to manage their weight or to build muscle.  What ever your reasons for exercise there are numerous benefits and it is recommended by the NHS that we should each exercise for 150 minutes a week.

So why does the NHS recommend exercise?  For starters the obvious – exercise is fantastic for your physical health.  It can increase your bone density which in turn will reduce the risk of breaks and of osteoporosis.  Your heart will also thank you for exercising, cardiovascular training will stimulate growth of new blood vessels and resistance training will increase the size of blood vessels, all in all this increases your stroke volume (the amount of blood the heart can move in one contraction), reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to a third and is great for the overall health of your heart.  High blood pressure (hypertension) can also be reduced from exercising as can the risk of certain types of cancer including two of the most common types – breast and colon cancer.

Now the interesting stuff, exercise is not only good for your physical health, it’s actually really good for your mental health too.  We won’t delve too deep into this (maybe another time) but essentially exercise releases endorphins which trigger the “happy” part of your brain which helps us to block out pain and even get that euphoric feeling that can overcome us. The effects of endorphins on our mood can last up to 3 hours post-exercise, which is pretty impressive. Endorphins are why people often say they feel energised after exercising but they are not doing all of this good work alone.  Serotonin and dopamine are other hormones which have been linked to our moods and guess what, exercise increases their production.  Due to the effects of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine exercise can help with mild depression, anxiety and will also help to build self-esteem.

There are of course many more benefits to exercise but we will finish with my personal favourite; it can improve your social life.  Exercise can come in so many different forms, you may hit the gym, enjoy a round of golf or enjoy swimming in the pool.  Whatever you enjoy doing, it is always be more fun with a friend.  Exercise doesn’t need to be a chore and it certainly doesn’t feel like one when you’re not doing it alone.

So; exercise improves your physical health, is great for your mental health and can be enjoyable. What are you waiting for? Read more about our health club, leisure facilities and brilliant reviews here.

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