According to a UN report, Americans rank 143rd out of 168 surveyed countries in physical fitness. This is unfortunate because our bodies aren’t designed to be entirely sedentary. The need for daily activity is built into our framework, reflecting our body’s natural inclination towards good health. Unfortunately, the average American adult sits for nearly 8 hours per day and sleeps for nearly 8, totaling 16 hours of sedentary activity. Clearly, the modern world can make the formation of healthy habits and practices difficult. Although there are more resources than ever to assist with adopting a healthy lifestyle, stress, convenient fast-food dining options, workdays from the couch, and other conveniences make it difficult to sustain healthy habits. 

Diet can certainly be difficult, but perhaps seemingly more difficult than diet is exercise. It requires discipline and exertion. It forces us to work up a sweat and makes the muscles sore. But despite what may seem like drawbacks at first glance, exercise is incredibly beneficial and can increase not only quality of life, but the length of life— and here’s a little secret: a little exercise goes a long way. No need to do too much. Simply standing rather than sitting can burn up to 60 additional calories per hour.

When it comes to exercise, more than half the battle is just getting started. To help you with that process, have a look at some of the remarkable benefits of exercise from your certified personal trainers and registered dietitians at Total Health and Fitness.

1.Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

According to the CDC, an American dies from cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds. In addition, roughly $219 billion are spent to treat the disease each year. As the leading cause of death in our country, heart disease is a great concern. Interestingly enough, the risk factors of the condition can largely be avoided. They include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Exessive alcohol use
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity

A simple but strategic exercise program can go a long way in preventing the negative effects of this deadly disease. It’s just a matter of getting started sooner rather than later.

2.Manage Blood Sugar Levels

When we move our bodies, it forces us to breathe a little harder and our hearts to beat a little faster. Because of this, muscles use more glucose, the sugar in our blood, as a source of energy. Since the muscles draw upon these sugar reserves in the blood, it can effectively lower blood sugar levels. This, in turn, increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin allowing for more overall stability within the body.

3.Sleep Better

Having trouble sleeping? Exercise can help you with that. Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of John Hopkins Center for Sleep has said, “We have solid evidence that exercise does, in fact, help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality.” Although researchers don’t completely understand the exact mechanism responsible, there is a strong correlation between exercise and improved sleep.

4.Boost Your Mood

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, epidemiological studies have consistently reported benefits of physical exercise on reductions in depression, the most common type of mental illness. After about 16 weeks of an aerobic exercise program, individuals with major depressive disorder significantly reduced their depressive symptoms. This because of both chemical and emotional factors. It is no secret that exercise can inspire greater overall happiness.

5.Trade Bad Weight for Good Weight

While fats are fundamental to our health in their proper amounts, excess fat stores are something we should avoid. Not only do they affect the way we look, but they impact the way our body functions. 

One of the most effective ways to lose stubborn fat is to build a foundation of muscle underneath. This makes your body more efficient in using up those unwanted fat stores, in fact, muscle is three times more efficient at burning calories than fat. Thus, working with a certified personal trainer to build muscle can be extremely effectual in helping you achieve your fat loss goals.

6. Increase Your Energy

Exercise helps to battle fatigue, perhaps more effectively than your morning coffee, soda or energy drink. Studies show that utilizing stored energy actually has a way of making more of it, lending our bodies greater breath and more pep in each step. It is no wonder why personal trainers and other fitness experts always seem so energized!

7. Improve Self-Confidence

Looking in the mirror and wishing we could make a change is something we have all done at one time or another. Although negative self-perception can be harmful, a healthy desire for change can be beneficial. As you find yourself working towards a fitness goal, seeing results in the process, you will begin to feel better about the way you look. This improved self-confidence can affect many other areas of your life, providing you with greater overall satisfaction.

8. Inspire Others

Health and fitness are contagious. When others see you shedding weight, increasing your energy, boosting your mood and loving life just a bit more, they will want the same thing. This can eventually lead to happier and healthier communities that support one another in their goals. At Total Health and Fitness, our certified personal trainers and registered dieticians will work to inspire you so you can inspire those around you. Our mission is to bring greater health and happiness to everyone. For more information on our resources and programs, contact us today!