The Benefits of an Active Lifestyle
The health benefits of living a more active lifestyle are widely reported for everyone, from teenagers to senior citizens. Experts have noted the benefits can include everything from a reduced risk of heart attacks to lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and risk of falls. With that in mind, why else is it important to maintain an active lifestyle? Here are a few reasons:
An Improved Mental Health
There have been some incredibly optimistic studies that seem to prove what we already knew all along, which is that exercising just makes you feel better. In the practice we are in, we see this day in and day out, but it’s nice to see that the data is on our side. In fact, according to HelpGuide, “running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%.” They even have suggested that certain studies show exercise is as effective of a treatment for mild-to-moderate depression as antidepressant medication!
Everyone wishes that their metabolism could catch up to how it was when they were younger. We find ourselves seeing those calories a bit more prevalently in our stomachs than we perhaps did when we were younger. A great way to combat Father Time’s effect on our bodies is through exercise! Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology have found that, “Metabolic adaptation to exercise is far more profound than previously reported…One of the major benefits of exercise is on metabolism, which is how the body converts food into energy and eliminates waste.” So, not only will getting active help you lose weight, but it will also help your body do its job better to keep the weight down.
We’ve all had that post-workout nap that just hit a bit differently. Did you know there’s actually scientific data that “spots” the belief that exercise improves your quality of sleep? The professionals at Sleep Foundation recently stated, “Moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing sleep onset — or the time it takes to fall asleep — and decrease the amount of time they lie awake in bed during the night.” So, next time you are struggling to get out of bed and hit the gym, just remember how much better it’ll feel to pass out after the workout is done.
Being active does not require a gym membership or an extensive home gym (although, if that’s your thing, we’ve got you covered here!) It can be done by just finding a nice outdoor trail. Sometimes communal exercise can be daunting, so don’t be afraid to start smaller by incorporating a daily walk or a couple of quick push-ups into your daily routine. You can always increase the tenacity from there.
The data does not lie. Whether you are 15, 35, or 82, there are a plethora of benefits that an active lifestyle will have on your health. If you have any questions, Dr. Hartle would be happy to answer them. Feel free to stop by!