What Does Exercise Do for Your Body?

            We all know that exercise is good for the body, but what exactly happens to your body when you work out? According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several major benefits that exercise has on the body. First, exercise can help to control your weight. “When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.” Next, exercise can help improve certain health conditions and complications, including your mood. “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.” Regular physical activity can also boost your energy and endurance. “Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.”[1]

            Exercise can also improve your sleep. When you regularly engage in physical activity, your body is better prepared to not only fall asleep, but stay asleep and enjoy better quality sleep. However, be careful about exercising too close to bedtime because the added stimulation can actually work against you. If you really want to partake in exercise before bed, stick to something low key like gentle stretching or nighttime yoga. Additionally, “aerobic activity improves our thinking skills and memory, possibly because there’s increased blood flow to the brain during exercise. Getting active may also promote brain growth.”[2]

So what are you waiting for? Do your body and brain some good and get moving!

[1] “7 Great Reasons Why Exercise Matters.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Dec. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389.

[2] Canning, Kristin. “What Exercise Actually Does to Your Body.” Health.com, 22 Aug. 2017, www.health.com/fitness/exercise-body-effects.

Health, Life, ScienceRichard Martin