Movement is good. And yet we often move too little in everyday life, especially in times like these. In order to feel better and do something good for the body, it doesn’t have to be hours of endurance sports or intensive workouts. Small changes in everyday life often make the difference: Swapping the car for a bike more often, walking as many ways as possible. Even small and short but frequent movements have an effect on our fitness and well-being. Here are our top 5 reasons for (more) exercise.
Exercise Keeps Your Bones Fit
Over the course of life, bones can lose stability and break more easily. But it doesn’t have to be fate. Because bones are always forming again – so it’s never too late to do something for them. Bone metabolism is stimulated by impact loads and anti-gravity movements. Sports in which the body has to carry its own weight or a little more are particularly useful. This includes walking, jogging, but also moderate strength training. Cycling or swimming are easy on the joints, but less effective in this case. Even intensive walking has an effect, but then it should be at least 10,000 steps a day. Sports with many directions and changes in movement, such as dancing, are also ideal. As far as intensity is concerned, it’s better to schedule several shorter exercise sessions per week than one long workout.
Exercise Makes You Happy And Helps Us Deal With Stress Better
A walk during the lunch break or a jog after work is not only good for the body, but also for the soul. When we move, our body releases hormones that put us in a good mood. Sport also makes us happy because it strengthens our self-confidence. If we are proud and satisfied that we have completed our training, the confidence that we will be able to master other challenges also increases. Regular physical activity also improves the quality of your sleep. This was the result of a study by Oregon State University and Bellarmine University in the USA. The greater the gap between exercise and bedtime, the greater the benefit to sleep quality. Ideally, you should schedule your sports program in the morning hours. Endurance sports such as jogging, cycling, walking or swimming have the greatest influence on our sleep.
Movement Gives Us New Energy
Sport gets the circulation going: the heart pumps faster, blood pressure rises, breathing deepens. After training, for example, the glycogen stores in the muscles are expanded, the ability to absorb oxygen and the heart’s power are increased. This “supercompensation”, as it is called in sports medicine, benefits us: As a result, we can run faster or last longer. Sport also has a positive effect on blood pressure. When we move, blood pressure rises. And then falls off again. Because the blood vessels are still wide, our heart now pumps against this low resistance. This has a blood pressure lowering effect that can last up to a day. Daily moderate endurance sports can have a positive effect on blood pressure in the long term.
Movement Makes You Smart And Creative
Sport is also training for our gray cells. Movement stimulates cell growth, especially in the hippocampus – the area of the brain that is responsible for transferring content from short-term to long-term memory and for learning. So if you train your cardiovascular system regularly, you ensure a constant supply of new brain cells. And this allows our brain to work better. Our creativity can also benefit from sport. If we really work ourselves out, we switch off our brains and afterwards the good ideas just flow in. The reason: due to the extra portion of oxygen, the brain releases more of the hormone ACTH. This “creativity hormone” improves concentration and mental performance.
Whether it’s a midday walk or a jog after work: It’s often nicer to do sports together. And also more effective: we achieve set goals more easily together, we usually last longer and are not alone in the fight against the weaker ones. Make appointments – this applies to the joint yoga class as well as to cycling. Incidentally, the walking or running pace is just right for beginners, where you can still chat in a reasonably relaxed manner. If we lack the breath to speak, the intensity is usually too high.