The Unique Benefits of Exercise

Movement Matters: The Unique Benefits of Exercise

March 26. 2021

As you work towards your fitness goals, intense focus is probably being placed on what you eat. So many diets go over what you eat with a fine-toothed comb. However, you may be focused so intently on what goes into your body that you may be neglecting to focus on what your body does. As you also likely know, exercise plays a crucial role in your body’s ability to lose weight, but do you understand all the benefits of exercise, both for your targeted fitness goals and overall health? The benefits are numerous and maybe somewhat surprising!

The Magic Movement

Exercising regularly can have numerous positive effects on not only your targeted fitness goals but also on your overall health. When working towards targeted health goals, exercise provides a means to burn calories and fat otherwise linger. By transforming your exercise habits, you’ll see results when you step on the scale, arguably the most popular benefit of exercise. 

You know that the most sought-after benefit of exercise is keeping your weight in check. Still, regular exercise can provide so much more than simple weight management. Studies have shown that people who regularly exercise reduced heart disease risks and lower the risk of other chronic health problems. Increased exercise can also help reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, or even help you quit smoking.

Exercise can also provide a hidden health benefit: improved sleep. In today’s world of hustle, bustle, and screens, it’s sometimes difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The anxiety and dread of the day wear on us, but by working exercise into our day, our body will be ready to sleep when it’s time to turn off the light. Because muscle groups have been utilized, and energy has been spent at an increased level, the night’s sleep will provide the needed healing time for our physical and mental self.

Not only that but exercise in children has been shown to increase cognitive function and directly impact performance. When children exercise more frequently, they can stay focused and on-task for more extended periods. This benefit exists in adults, but children must begin developing a physical activity routine early to reap these benefits for years.

Exercise Basics

How much exercise should you strive to capture the full benefits of exercise? The Mayo Clinic recommends about 30 minutes per day, but you should ultimately focus on two types of exercise: aerobic exercise and strength training. Aerobic exercises, such as running or other forms of cardio, boost heart health. Strength training keeps muscles fit and often provides a residual aerobic effect, aiding your overall health. 

There are finer details regarding exactly the split between the two types of exercise categories. Still, by focusing on a minimum of 30 minutes per day, you’re likely to obtain the benefits you seek. As assumed, increased time spent exercising per day offers additional services.

The great thing about exercising is that we often do it without knowing it. Mowing the lawn, taking the dog for a walk, or helping a neighbor move may not seem like exercise, but these brief periods of exertion add up. By attempting to focus on shorter intervals of exercise, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals without spending hours at the gym or on a treadmill.

Another key area that may not be considered exercise but offers numerous benefits is the amount of time spent sitting. Increased time spent sitting can have an enormous adverse effect on your metabolic health, so by exercising more frequently (even in small bursts), you’ll reduce the amount of time sitting. The increased popularity of standing desks reinforces the belief that sitting is a harmful habit.  By focusing on ramping up your physical fitness time, you’ll minimize time spent sitting and maximize exercise benefits.

Think Outside the Box

It’s never enjoyable to think about stepping on a treadmill for hours on end. We’ve discussed how you can focus on shorter increments more times a day, but are there ways to generate exercise benefits while having a great time? Absolutely! Ideas are often confined to the box of negative thoughts associated with exercise, but thinking outside the box can get you energized about exercise.

Some more significant ideas to get moving more often include setting fitness challenges with coworkers or family members and setting a goal to hike many National Parks in one year. While these ideas may not immediately come to mind when thinking of exercise, they provide fun challenges and opportunities to venture to places beyond our comfort zone. Who would have guessed that chasing the benefits of training would be so adventurous?

Still in a time crunch? There are numerous ways to add to your daily exercise routine, five minutes at a time. Instead of taking the elevator, taking the stairs is a simple way to get moving, harvesting some of the benefits of exercise in a time-flexible way. In nice weather, taking a walk to a local restaurant during your lunch break could provide an additional exercise time source.

Exercise is Your Friend

All in all, it’s easy to see just how many benefits of exercise there are. Whether you’re working to lower your weight or merely attempting to reap the residual benefits, having an exercise routine (whether daily or weekly) can keep you healthy for long periods. Numerous studies have shown just how impactful regular exercise can be. Looking for ways to increase the amount of time you spend exercising per day? 

Weight Loss Clinic Chicago suggests squeezing in extra exercise in small spurts throughout the day or be extra adventurous, allowing yourself to set big exercise goals. You never know, increasing the amount of exercise you partake in could change your life for the better.

Nurse Walton


Nurse Walton

Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Chanay received her Practical Nurse licensure and went to work in clinical specialties such as Home Health, Assisted Living, Long-Term Care and Dialysis Centers. Through this work, she realized the importance of diet, nutrition and weight loss among her patients. This led her to open A Better Weigh, Inc. Medical Weight Loss Center in 2009.

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