Home / Advice / So why is exercise so important? (Part 2)


A couple of weeks back, I wrote about the mental well being reasons why exercise is so important. (You can read that one right here) but you and I both know there is equally as many PHYSICAL reasons for why we should exercise.

Shall we go over them now? Well, ok then!

  • Reduces your blood pressure. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the cardiovascular system, as well as reducing your heart rate both at rest and under stress (exercise etc), meaning it also won’t have to work so hard just to perform it’s normal day to day functions.
  • Strengthen your aerobic capacity. This is how easily your body can transport oxygen to your body’s tissues. The more you age, the weakened this gets, but regular exercise, even if gentle, helps to strengthen this, and slow the weakening process as you get older.
  • Reduce body fat. While I’m not about promoting fat loss as such, if your body contains TOO MUCH body fat, particularly around your main internal organs, where it will put unnecessary pressure on them, then regular exercise (in hand with a balanced diet), will help to regulate that.
  • Increase energy. When your body is working more efficiently, there is more oxygen available to fuel your cells, leading to less aches and pains, more strength and more energy.
  • Build lean muscle mass. This is more so with resistance training (weight based exercise) People who do not engage in regular weight training tend to lose on average 1% of their muscle mass PER YEAR. Sarcopenia (the process of losing muscle as you age) can be reversed most effectively, by regular weight training.
  • Reduce the risks of osteoporosis. This is a huge one for women. Again, it comes mostly from weight bearing exercise – this is where you will see the most benefit in slowing the degeneration of bone density as well as how brittle your bones are and the reduction of bone mineral strength.
  • Improves your sex life. Need I say more? Ok, well, the more you exercise, the better you feel, the more “enthusiasm” you have for “extra curricular activities”. Win/win, right?
  • Improved sleep. Many professionals don’t recommend exercising within 6 hours before bed – exercise increases your heart rate and your body temperature, which can make you too “wired” to sleep. Quite a few ladies I’ve worked with, as well as myself, can easily knock out a workout at 8.30 pm, have a shower and a cup of tea and fall asleep. But others, it needs to be earlier in the day. My advice is to exercise wherever you can fit it in that works best for you. But if you are one of the people who cannot exercise right before bed, you will find once you have had time to relax a bit, cool down etc, you will sleep far more soundly than if you hadn’t exercised, even more so if you’ve gotten outside to do it in the fresh air.
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, arthritis and many other health related issues. The number of benefits here is huge. Suffice it to say – Exercise helps to keep all of these in check. In most cases, Type 2 Diabetes can absolutely be managed by a stable diet and regular exercise.
  • Improved lung capacity. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles that make the lungs do their job. They will open up easier, and work more efficiently – which to you will mean it’s easier to catch your breath – you won’t be so puffed.

So there’s 10 right there. I could go on and on, but you get the idea, right?

I actually have a bonus reason – this is one close to my heart, as it’s a biggie in my life. Inflammation. Regular, gentle (progressing to harder as you can) exercise helps to reduce chronic inflammation in the body. By default, your body has to have SOME inflammation – it’s the natural part of your immune system, but too much can contribute to Crohns Disease, Diabetes, Celiac Disease, Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. Some studies recently have shown that even 20 minutes per day of exercise, can have an anti-inflammatory reaction, showing that sufferers of such diseases could have a real benefit of gentle, regular exercise.

Worth a try, hey?

Don’t forget, if you wanted to get on board with the June round of Happier Healthier Fitter, there is still an Early Bird code you can use. It’s EARLYBIRD (funny that) and will get you in for a reduced rate. But you’re going to have to be quick, that code isn’t around much longer.

Head to the link here to read more about it and to get on board.

That’s all for now, let’s chat again later in the week!