You’re doing your body a favor whenever you engage in exercise – a planned, structured event. Study after study has shown that regular exercise results in many health benefits going beyond simply losing weight.
While exercise may not be the main factor for trimming your waistline, it will significantly impact your physical and mental status long-term
Here’s a look at why science says to get up and out and exercise:
- Protects your brain
A several studies have found that when you exercise, you are lowering your risk of developing cognitive decline. Essentially, exercise enhances the inner working of your brain by increasing brain volume, reducing damage to brain cells, and improving blood flow to this organ. What this means for you is improvements in memory, attention span, decision-making, and maintaining brain health resulting in less chance for Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related conditions.
- Reduces chronic inflammation
Inflammation is a double-edged sword. This condition can have good and bad effects, depending on whether it’s acute or chronic inflammation. For instance, twisting your ankle or scraping your knee is examples of acute inflammation. After these events, anti-inflammatory proteins will flood your body to help heal the area. However, chronic inflammation tells your body to stay stuck in overdrive. As a result, chronic inflammation keeps waving the white flag, keeping your body in a constant state of emergency. Long-term inflammation has been shown to be associated with many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and ulcerative colitis. But, regular exercise can act as an anti-inflammatory by mitigating and lowering chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that participating in either moderate or vigorous exercise with appropriate resting periods is best for several types of anti-inflammatory proteins toning down inflammation. However, long, intense bouts of exercise, in general, result in higher levels of inflammatory mediators that may increase chronic inflammation and serious health problems.
- Improves your mental outlook
Regarding mental health care, exercise is often an overlooked and neglected intervention. Yet, this modifiable lifestyle intervention is now considered a viable and recommended tool for mental health. Research agrees. Studies show that regular exercise improves mental health by lowering anxiety and depression while increasing mood and self-esteem. As a result, health professionals, who treat mental illness, are beginning to embrace and recommend exercise to help patients improve their sleep, mental alertness, energy, and stamina, improve cardiovascular fitness, and even increase interest in sex.
- Fights age-related muscle mass loss
Sarcopenia, a condition causing loss of skeletal muscle mass with aging, can also lead to osteoporosis, frailty, cachexia, metabolic syndrome, and eventually, loss of independence. Everyone past the age of forty will begin experiencing age-related muscle mass loss. To blunt the effect of sarcopenia, regular exercise can prevent or at least slow down this phenomenon. Weight training and aerobic exercise are excellent for increasing and maintaining muscle mass, reducing body fat, improving muscle strength, endurance, and immune function, and enhancing cardiovascular health. Combined, these two methods of exercise produce the most beneficial preventive and therapeutic effects for sarcopenia.
- Improves and maintains your sex life
All it takes to stall your love life is erectile dysfunction (ED). As men age, ED becomes increasingly common and affects about 50% of men over 50. One way to combat ED is to maintain a regular exercise regimen to help enhance sexual performance and satisfaction. Besides bringing back your sex life, ED concern for men is the association with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Any man experiencing ED should be examined for heart disease and tested for diabetes. When men address ED issues with their doctor, exercise should be one recommendation for treating this condition.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.