I started writing this article last year, but alas I am only posting it now! So at long last, I am sharing the Benefits of Exercise and a Healthy Lifestyle.
Benefits of Exercise
If you have been reading the Inspired Living Blog or following me on social media for a while, you will know that I enjoy being active. I am, in fact, one of those people who gets moody when I do not exercise.
Something I have become aware of is that exercise, whether it be running or yoga, can positively affect both your emotional and mental health.
What Is a Healthy Lifestyle
For me, a healthy lifestyle is so much more than just being fit and eating “clean”. It is also about achieving a happy, sustainable existence. An existence which includes being active, eating healthy food, de-stressing and getting enough sleep.
As well as a regular fitness routine, I also follow a healthy diet but do love my coffee and red wine! So the key to everything is “balance” and moderation.
Something else to be aware of is that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach to healthy living. What works for me, may not work the next person. However, making small changes to your daily routine can make a world of difference to your overall wellbeing.
So what are the other benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle?
In my opinion, over and above any of the physical benefits, this is one of the most important effects of exercise on the body. Exercise can help lift your mood, as well as help regulate stress.
It also increases the production of endorphins, the bodies “feel-good” chemical. Endorphins help you feel less pain, more pleasure, while making you more focused and in an overall better mood.
Certain superfoods, such as avocados, blueberries, dark chocolate and broccoli are also great for boosting your mood.
Increased Energy Levels
As with lifting your mood, exercise and eating a balanced diet can help increase your energy levels. This also helps with productivity. I think we can all do with some help in this department from time to time. Comparing days that I have exercised, with those I have not, I find I am more energised and far more prodcutive.
A few of my favourite, healthy, energy-boosting foods are bananas, hummus, dark chocolate, avocados, beetroot and eggs.
Weight loss has become such a controversial topic but maintaining healthy body weight is vital for general wellbeing. Obesity is a major problem worldwide, especially among young people. This is something that can be avoided by encouraging physical activity and eating well.
Making Healthy Food Choices and including a variety of food types in your diet, is essential for achieving a healthy weight. Vegetables, whole grains, fruits, as well as lean protein, are great for weight loss. It is also vital to drink enough water throughout the day.
Combining a healthy diet, with aerobic exercise, and resistance training is the best way to achieve and maintain healthy weight loss.
Reduce The Risk of Chronic Disease
Moderate exercise and following a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions and diseases, such as insulin resistance, cardiac problems, as well as high blood pressure.
Green leafy vegetables are packed with nutrients and contain substances that help protect blood vessels and also help reduce the risk of diabetes.
Regular, moderate exercise increases the bodies production of natural antioxidants, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. Exercise also helps
Foods such as fatty fish and avocados, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E are also beneficial for skin health.
Bone and Muscle Health
Bones and muscles are the bodies infrastructure, and it is essential to look after them. Exercise plays a vital role in building and maintaining strong bones and muscles. This is so important especially as you age. Exercise releases hormones to help the body absorb amino acids, which in turn helps growth and development of muscles.
To maintain healthy bones and muscles include foods in your diet, which are rich in Vitamin D, calcium and protein. A few I would recommend are fatty fish, mushrooms, almonds, chia seeds, eggs and lean meat.
Keeping healthy may not come easy to everyone but making small lifestyle changes, is more sustainable, as well as being easier to maintain.
Make sure you incorporate moderate exercise or physical activity, 3 to 4 times per week, eat a healthy balanced diet, get enough sleep and most importantly take time out to de-stress.
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