The Real Benefits of an Active Lifestyle

September 29 2017

Jacqueline Rosenhek

 

We all know that physical activity is good for us, but do we really know just how good it actually is? There are far more reasons to exercise than to just get in better shape. Your physical health has a much bigger impact on your mental health than you may realize. Physical activity can actually be an incredible form of meditation. Your physical movement and body tempo are outlets for your mental energy. Running, for example is a well-known form of exercise that is typically recommended for those who suffer from mental disorders such as depression or anxiety and want to maybe find a physical form of therapy to alleviate some of the symptoms. Running also has a very positive impact on the brain’s natural serotonin production as well both while you’re running and after you’ve finished.

You have probably also heard how regular exercise is good for your cardiovascular system and that is undoubtedly true. Swimming, particularly lane swimming is an incredibly helpful form of exercise that has fantastic benefits for your cardiac system. The weightless feeling you get when you swim will actually work in your benefit for this as well. Due to the fact that we feel so weightless in water, we do not even realize how much work our bodies are actually doing when we swim lap after lap and work our muscles with each stroke. This causes for our bodies to send more oxygen and blood to our bodily tissues, thus making the heart work harder and eventually grow stronger.

Another system that benefits greatly from regular activity is your digestive system. We have so many different things that can impact the digestive system and not necessarily in a way we’d want, such as how much you sleep, if you are on medication, how stressed you are, what you eat and so on. Whether you have IBS, feel bloated or suffer a different type of digestive problem, it’s just not fun to deal with. Yoga is a very powerful physical influence on the digestive system. Regular yoga practice has actually proven to help in preventing or reducing the effects of many different digestive problems and disorders. The breathing exercises combined with the gentle flowing movement and its ability to reduce stress make this particular style of exercise ideal for those who have digestive problems. These are just a couple examples of the benefits that can come with an active lifestyle. Whether it is just going for a daily walk, going to the gym, going to a workshop or class or even exercising at home, physical activity to any extent is necessary. We need physical movement to stimulate any other movement in our bodily systems and we need to move because if we just stay put, we leave our bodies in a state of being stagnant and it’s when you stagnate when you are already in a physical rut that your bodily systems do not work the way you want them to.

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