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12 Health Benefits of Exercise You May Not Have Been Aware of

Some pass judgement on how well their diet and exercise plan are doing by what the bathroom scale reads. But that should not be the case. With regular exercise, we improve many aspects of our health and fitness. Sometimes the benefits are not visible to the naked eye. Here are just a few of the many health benefits from exercise that you receive from consistently doing it.

Health Benefits of Exercise (Strength & Cardio)

Health Benefits of Strength Training

  • Building muscle mass can increase metabolism by 15 percent. This in turn can rev up a sluggish metabolism and improve functional ability. All by performing strength training at least two to three times a week for the rest of your life.
  • Strength training slows or prevents sarcopenia, which literally means the “loss of flesh.” We all lose muscle mass as we age and this typically begins around 30 years old, if you’re not strength training. You can also expect to lose muscle at a rate of 10 percent each decade starting at age 50.
  • Training plays a major role in disease prevention such as preventing or managing type 2 diabetes, as one example.
  • Helps improve the way you move your body resulting in better balance and less falls as you age (you can reduce your risk for falling by 40 percent).
  • An additional health benefit of strength training is that it spares the loss of muscle mass during weight loss (Donnelly et al., 2003).
  • Will offset the loss of bone as you age. Women can expect to lose 1 percent of their bone mass after age 35 and this can increase following menopause.
  • According to research, individuals who did not strength train lost about 5 to 8 pounds of muscle every ten years, with a by-product being a reduction in metabolism of about 50 calories a day.

Cardiovascular Exercise

  • Regular aerobic exercise improves your mood by decreasing stress and anxiety levels. Read Exercise for Mood and Anxiety by Michael Otto, Phd and Jasper Smits, PhD for more information on the topic.
  • Cardio exercise like jogging, hiking, jump roping, etc. will “load” your bones and in turn make them stronger.
  • Regular aerobic-type exercise improves heart function, lowers your resting heart rate, and enables your body to deliver oxygen more efficiently to your working muscles.
  • Speaking of a lower heart rate, here is a health benefit of exercise many people don’t realize. Decreasing your resting heart rate, even a small amount, can he beneficial to your health. As an example, lowering heart rate from 70 to 60 beats per minute, the heart will beat 14,400 less times over the course of a day. By the end of a year, that equates to more than five million less beats!
  • The American College of Sports Medicine reports that higher levels of cardiovascular fitness is associated with approximately a 50 percent reduction in disease risk.

Final Thought

There are many reason why we should all exercise more and continue to do so, especially as we age. Hopefully a few of these additional health and fitness tips from Jefit will resonate with you and help you in some way on your life-long fitness journey.

Reference

Donnelly, J.E., Jakicic, J.M., Pronk, N., Smith, B.K., Kirk, E.P., Jacobsen, D.J., Washburn, R. (2003). Is Resistance Training Effective for Weight Management? Evidence-Based Preventive Medicine. 1(1): 21-29.

Stay Strong Together

The award-winning Jefit app comes equipped with an advanced customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.

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