Exercise has numerous benefits—even beyond the obvious ones like improved heart health or building muscle. This guide reviews some of the unexpected benefits of exercise.
Exercise is a huge part of any healthy lifestyle. It has numerous benefits, like helping weight management and improving heart health.
This guide offers a review of the different types of exercise and their benefits, along with some more surprising benefits of exercise.
Types of exercise
There are several types of exercise, each with a different purpose and varying benefits.
Cardio, or aerobic exercise, refers to exercise that increases your heart rate. It’s often done for periods of 20-30 minutes or longer and includes activities like walking, running, swimming, dancing, and playing sports.
The benefits of cardio include improved heart health and increased physical stamina. Experts recommend that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise per week.
Resistance training refers to muscle-building activities, be it weight-lifting or bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, or sit-ups.
Because these activities build muscle, they help increase your metabolic rate—or the number of calories you burn at rest. This is beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight.
You should try to do some resistance training at least twice per week.
High-intensity interval training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a timed way of working out that may maximize the heart health, conditioning, and muscle-building benefits of your cardio or resistance workout. With HIIT training, you do short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a period of rest. A standard HIIT workout may only last for 10-20 minutes, but it provides the benefits of a much longer period of regular exercise.
Finally, stretching exercises like yoga can help improve your flexibility. Some types of stretching may also incorporate muscle-building or cardio aspects.
Additionally, yoga is a great way to relieve stress. Even a short, 10-minute yoga sequence each morning or night can be helpful for both your mental stress and your flexibility.
Surprising benefits of exercise
Exercise also has some unexpected benefits beyond the ones mentioned above. Here are some surprising ways that exercise can improve your health:
- Strengthens the immune system: Interestingly, exercise may stimulate your body to have a more robust immune response to pathogens (disease-causing invaders), as well as promote healthy immune cell turnover.
- Promotes healthy bone growth: Exercise also promotes healthy bone turnover, increasing the strength and density of your bones and helping to prevent or improve conditions like osteoporosis.
- Helps balance your gut microbiota: Regular exercise can promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut by boosting bacterial growth and increasing the diversity of beneficial strains.
- Blood sugar management: Exercise is also a natural way to lower your blood sugar levels.
- Promotes healthy digestion: If you experience constipation regularly, exercise may be an easy way to get things moving in your digestive tract to relieve these symptoms.
Exercise is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to get started today, even if you can only do a little bit. If you need some nutritional support as you start your exercise journey, check out Medlixr’s high-quality supplement offerings.