It's been long documented that exercise has a remarkable effect on the body - and we're not just talking lean bodies and high energy. Did you know exercise can also reduce the risk of developing numerous diseases and health issues?
(Please note, this information is general in nature. Different people will have different requirements, and what is safe for one person may not be safe for another. Your doctor knows your individual medical needs, so check in with them to see what is right for you!)
Exercise provides countless benefits to heart health. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle is considered one of the five major lifestyle risk factors associated with heart disease. Since exercising raises your heart rate and pumps more blood throughout the body, this strengthens the heart muscle. Exercising also enables the heart to pull more oxygen from the blood - which in turn can decrease fatigue.
Put simply: The heart is a muscle, and like the rest of our muscles, exercising it keeps it strong.
The lungs are very much the same. As with the heart, the more you exercise, the more oxygen your body needs. The more oxygen your body needs, the harder your lungs work to meet those needs. The harder your lungs work, the stronger they get. Even those who already suffer from lung disease can benefit.
The stronger the heart, the more blood it can pump with less strain. This lessened strain on both your heart and your arteries can in turn lower your blood pressure.
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity in the body, which can in turn reduce the risk of developing diabetes. It can also be beneficial to those already managing both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Probably the most well-known benefit of exercise: It can help manage weight, improve fitness, prevent obesity and the many health issues that accompany it. It can also help to reverse obesity (when done carefully and safely) for those already managing the condition.
Exercise can help prevent certain types of cancers by improving the body’s overall function. The more physically active you are, the less insulin your body produces - this can slow the growth of tumours. Exercise is known to reduce the time it takes for food to pass through the digestive system, resulting in less exposure to potential gastrointestinal carcinogens - this can lower your risk of bowel cancer.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Improved mood and lower stress levels, improved sleep... The list is endless.