>We’ve all heard it before. You should be exercising at least 5 times each week for at least 30-60 minutes. We all know that exercise is beneficial for your heart, but why exactly is exercise so good for the body and why is it crucial to exercise so frequently? The list of answers to these questions could go on for pages; below is a condensed version of what exercise does to benefit the body and why it is vital to be consistent with your exercise routine.
Why Exercise is So Important:
- Cardiovascular-This is the big one that people typically think of when considering the importance of exercise. The heart is a muscle, similar to your biceps or hamstrings. This means that the more you work your heart, the stronger it will become and the more efficiently it will work. Consistent exercise can also result in decreased blood pressure as well as reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Bones-Your bones are constantly remodeling themselves, laying down bone where it is needed and removing it from where it is not. When you exercise, your muscles contract and pull on their attachment sites on your bones. This triggers your body to ensure that the bone involved becomes strong . This process occurs no matter what type of exercise you are performing, whether it is a high-impact run or an activity that does not involve any weight bearing, such as swimming or weight lifting. This results in improved bone density (how strong your bone is). You reach your maximum bone density around the age of 30. After that point, it will slowly decline as you age;however, exercise can significantly decrease the rate at which your bone density declines over the years. This becomes especially important in the older individuals in which Osteoporosis, or a significantly low bone density, is very common.
- Lungs– Similar to the heart, your lungs become much more efficient when you consistently exercise. Not only are your lungs able to take in greater volumes of air, but they also are able to extract more oxygen from the air with each breath.
- Muscles, tendons and ligaments-These structures, just like bone, rebuild themselves based upon the stresses that are placed upon them. By increasing the tensile force of your tendons or ligaments, you can decrease the risk of an injury to these structures with regular exercise.
- Body mass-A person’s body weight is the complex result of a number of things. Some of these things can be modified, such as physical activity, and some cannot, such as genetics;however, part of controlling one’s weight is to balance the amount of energy taken in along with the energy used. Incorporating physical activity into daily life is one way to help keep these two things balanced.