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The benefits of exercise and where to start


April 2022

By Paul Reynolds BS’c

REP’s Level 4


This article is written in 2 parts. Part 1 will discuss the benefits of exercise on physical and mental health and part 2 will discuss the best ways to get started on a journey into fitness and wellness.


Part 1


The benefits of exercise on physical and mental health


We as humans are made to move, yet the majority of us find ourselves living sedentary lives. We are designed to move but for many people, they find themselves moving less and less with the result being a declining physical and mental health. Some of the physical consequences associated with inactivity include:


· Cardiovascular disease

· Stroke

· Type 2 diabetes

· Osteoporosis (loss of bone density)

· Spinal disk degeneration

· Stiffening of joints

· Weakness of muscles and muscle atrophy

· Weight gain and obesity

· Increase in blood pressure and resting heart rate

· and more…… (1)


Unfortunately, the effects of living a sedentary lifestyle does not end there, as there are psychological consequences associated with inactivity too, which include:


· Anxiety

· Depression

· Low self esteem

· Poor self image

· Cognitive decline

· Increased stress levels


Thankfully, the negative impact of not moving much can begin to be reversed in as little as the first session due to mental health being the first to improve (2). That first session can often leave people wondering why they did not exercise sooner due to the sense of accomplishment and achievement that they experience. However, the improvement goes much deeper than feeling, in that natural chemicals called neurotransmitters are released into the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. These chemicals are associated with feeling happy, elevated mood, feelings of calm and improved sleep (3).


Apart from the reversal of the negative psychological consequences listed above, exercise has also been shown to:


· Reduce the onset and improve the effects of Alzheimer's disease

· Improve memory

· Increase focus and mental clarity


Regarding the physical benefits, exercise will help to improve:


· Heart and lung function

· Blood circulation

· Bone density (thicken and strengthen bone)

· Muscle strength and tone

· Posture

· Mobility of joints

· Flexibility

· Healthy weight


management

· Incidence of lower back pain

· and more……. (1)


Here at Rotherham’s #1 Fitness Club we have all the tools and expertise to help you begin your journey to discover the best version of yourself. We are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our community and have helped and continue to help thousands of local residents with their health, fitness and wellness goals. So let us help and guide you!!


For more information and to book a club tour, contact us today on 01709 524 036




References


1. Adamu, B et al, “Physical Exercise and Health: a Review,” PubMed.gov, accessed March15 2022, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17111741/

2. Dr. Rhonda, Cornell “Benefits of Exercise on Mental Health: Literature Review,” Cornerstone, Minnesota State University, accessed March 15 2022, https://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1981&context=etds

3. Mandolesi et al “Effects of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits,” Public Med Central, accessed March 15 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5934999/

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