If the New Year has you feeling inspired to increase your physical activity level and you want to start hitting the gym more, you may want to know about all of the health benefits that come alongside an active lifestyle. Leading an active lifestyle can do things like improve your cardiovascular health, ease symptoms of depression and anxiety, and strengthen your bones.
No matter where you are in your health journey, you can benefit from partaking in physical activity. Most moderate aerobic activities recommended weekly by the CDC such as taking a brisk walk or gardening are accessible activities that almost everyone can do. If you are worried about risking injury, most of these exercises have a low impact on your body.
An active lifestyle incorporates a lot of movement by any means possible, so you are going to want to get creative if you are someone who is short on free time. With office jobs and school, it can be difficult to schedule a session at the gym daily, but you can find other ways to add up exercise time by taking five-minute walks around your office area or taking the stairs as opposed to the elevator.
Regardless of whether or not you are just beginning to lead an active lifestyle, Western Rise is here to help you brush up on all of the benefits that come with it.
1. Take Control of Your Weight
We all know how hard losing weight can be, and how much more difficult it can be to keep it off. If you are looking to maintain your body weight or aiming to lose a few pounds, exercising regularly and leading an active lifestyle is the best way to achieve your goals. As you may already know, you gain weight by consuming more calories than you burn.
If this is the case, then the goal is to burn more calories than you consume. A good way to do so is by wearing a device that tracks your movements and caloric levels throughout the day so you have an accurate picture of how many calories you are burning.
Someone who is trying to lose weight should aim for more than 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking a week alongside two days dedicated to full-body strength training. If you engage in HIIT workouts or workouts that involve more intensity, then you should aim to do 75+ minutes a week plus the two days of strength training.
In case you are maintaining your weight, then you should aim for up to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two days of strength training. All in all, it’s about finding a balance. So if you like HIIT workouts, balance it out with a day where you walk around your neighborhood so you don’t stress your body out too much and focus on different muscle groups.
Elevating your heart rate through exercise is the best way to burn calories and achieve your weight loss goals.
2. Fight Disease and Illnesses
Keeping an active lifestyle also allows for your body to be equipped to fight off potentially fatal ailments. Working out is one of the best ways to combat cardiovascular disease because it forces your heart to continue pumping blood and oxygen to other parts of your body. By working out, you are minimizing your risk for heart disease and stroke, which can prove to be fatal if untreated.
By following the CDC’s recommendation of 150 moderate aerobic activity minutes weekly, your body is trying to fight off fat that could lead to the development of Type 2 Diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercising releases good cholesterol in your body and helps lower your cholesterol levels in general.
Studies have shown that those who lead active lifestyles are less likely to develop some cancers such as lung, bladder, breast, and colon. Since you are working out, you are ensuring that your long-term health is your priority as well.
3. Improve Mental Health
If you are someone who struggles with anxiety or depression in general, you may want to consider increasing your physical activity levels. When you complete a workout, your brain releases endorphins which will give you that added feeling of happiness. Also, your brain getting extra oxygen from the workout will help you ease stress and anxiety.
What’s particularly amazing about this is that the intensity of your workout doesn’t matter; your brain will still feel the same effects of happiness. When you work out, your brain also becomes more sensitive to serotonin, the hormones that produce feelings of happiness and reduce pain.
These effects are so powerful on the brain that even a brief break from exercise can revert your progress. You will begin to feel more anxious when you stop working out than you did when you were working out consistently. The two are so directly related that you are almost guaranteed to feel at ease thanks to your workout.
When you begin to exercise more regularly, you will also notice an increase in energy levels. This is caused by your brain getting more oxygen, which will make you feel more awake and ready to do more post-workout. People who reported consistent fatigue issues were found to have seen improvements in their energy levels after just a week of consistent workouts.
4. Improve Bone Density
An active lifestyle can improve your bone density, which decreases with age and makes you more susceptible to injury as a result. When you exercise, your bones and muscles take in the amino acids that allow for them to grow and strengthen. This helps ensure that you are giving your muscles added protection as you age from natural stressors that would normally cause injury.
If you want to feel overall improvements in your body and help protect your body in the future, start incorporating more activity into your lifestyle. With clothing brands like Western Rise, we make it easy for men to dress for any occasion, including your gym sessions. Having clothes that you look and feel comfortable in while working out can make a huge difference in your experience.
Aging can also lead to the deterioration of brain health over time, which is also something that can be protected through regular exercise. Studies have shown that your hippocampus, responsible for memory, grows when you are exercising, so you are benefitting your brain capacity over time.
When you exercise more often, you also will notice that you are sleeping easier and better. The energy loss that happens during exercise is recovered during sleep and it is found that those who exercise fall asleep faster than those who don’t. Getting the right amount of sleep is incredibly important for the recovery of your muscles from the workouts.
Leading an active lifestyle can be fulfilling and help your body heal and protect itself. You want to make sure you are eating a healthy, balanced diet and consuming the proper amount of water so you are really helping your body as much as you can.