Your Body on Exercise
Everyone knows exercise is important, but just how much exercise is needed to make a difference? While even a little movement can make a big difference over a year’s time, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends a minimum of 20 minutes cardiovascular exercise at least three times per week to maintain current fitness levels, and exercise at least five times per week to improve fitness levels.
Whether you exercise to lose some weight, release stress or reach another fitness goal, it is essential to living a long, healthy life. Your brain, your heart, your entire body benefits from exercise in one way or another. Exercise is capable of producing extraordinary changes in the body giving you more energy, reducing stress, making you stronger and preventing various diseases.
The body breaks down glucose (a simple sugar that is an important energy source in living organisms and is a component of many carbohydrates) from food as energy to contract muscles and spur movement.
As you continue to use your muscles, fibers within the muscles are damaged. The natural healing process within the muscles causes them to grow bigger and stronger as they heal.
Lungs and Diaphragm
Your brain sends signals to your diaphragm and muscles between your ribs so they shorten and relax more often, which causes you to take more breath. Your diaphragm works with your lungs to inhale and exhale. The more you exercise the stronger your diaphragm will be, allowing you to inhale and exhale easier.
The amount of oxygen your body needs depends on how active you are. When you exercise, your body requires more oxygen, causing your breathing and heart rate to increase.
When you exercise, blood flow is directed towards working muscles and taken away from nonessential organs like stomach, intestines and kidneys. Your heart rate will increase to circulate more oxygen at a quicker pace. The more you exercise, the better your heart becomes at this process. Over time, this can lower your heart rate because each beat delivers a bigger burst of blood, and fewer beats are needed.
Exercise also stimulates the production of new blood vessels, which causes blood pressure to decrease.
Immediately after exercise, you begin to feel better and experience an improved mood due to the increase in neurotransmitters associated with reward/pleasure. Regular exercise can boost self-esteem and help you concentrate and sleep better.
Intense exercise triggers better water absorption in the kidneys.
Your skin is your largest organ. Exercise helps flush toxins from skin, boost cell renewal and the increased number of blood vessels in your skin from exercise results in rosy, glowing skin.
Joints and Bones
Exercising is one of the best ways to keep your joints and bones working well.
The best way to protect your joints is by keeping the muscle around the joint strong and healthy. By doing yoga or other stretching exercises you are preserving your range of motion.
Weight bearing aerobic exercises (walking, running) and anaerobic exercises (weight lifting) helps build bone and can help prevent osteoporosis. Exercise also helps to increase muscle strength, which will help prevent the risk of falls and broken bones.