It’s no secret that exercise is good for you. But just how good for you is it? And why is it so good anyway? Exercise, especially done regularly, has a plethora of benefits to not only your physical health, but also your mental and emotional state.(1) Most experts recommend you get 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day for 5 days out of the week. Don’t get discouraged though! That’s as easy as taking a stroll in your neighborhood or walking on a treadmill while watching an episode of your favorite TV show. (scroll to the end for some more exercise ideas)
Many studies have shown that regular exercise is extremely effective at reducing your risk for a variety of life threatening diseases including diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.(2) Exercise also improves your overall physical health by strengthening muscles, increasing bone density, improving heart and lung strength, and improving your overall body composition.
Exercise has even been found to make you smarter! It’s true, across all age groups regular exercise improves your ability to think and do mental tasks. In children ages 6-13, exercise shows immediate effects in processing speed and memory.(3) Overall quality of life is improved as you make exercise a part of your daily routine.
Exercising will make you happier too. It’s been shown time and time again that exercising can reduce feelings of anxiety immediately, but did you know that regular exercise can reduce your chances of developing clinical anxiety and depression? Exercise releases endorphins and also helps your body to regulate hormones better. This translates into you feeling better and even sleeping better! Especially in times of stress, going for a walk or throwing a ball around are great ways to improve your mood.
Easy Exercise Ideas
- Go for a walk (take the dog)
- Jumping Jacks
- Jump rope
- Yoga (there are plenty of walk throughs online) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdTzZuwGEOw
- Create an obstacle course in your yard or in the house
- Dance! Put on some music and just have fun
- Play a sport you enjoy. Basketball, kickball, tennis, soccer.
- Deck of Pain (assign workouts to each Suit in a deck of cards and draw cards till you’ve gone through the entire deck)
- Find more workouts online! There are plenty of fitness enthusiasts on social media with a wide variety of easy to do exercises. Here’s one link with a long list of “Prisoner Workouts” for when you have no equipment and not a lot of space. https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/the-prisoner-workout/
Don't forget your Recovery after your workout either! Proper recovery after exercise will decrease soreness and help you get ready for your next activity quicker!