Perhaps the simplest answer to this important question is: Exercise is important because it makes us feel better. Feeling better allows us to be happier and be more productive in work and with family. Of course, this is only part of the answer. There are a lot of details, a lot of reasons why exercise makes us feel better and helps us live longer.
For both children exercise helps develop muscles and helps keep those muscles toned. The basic benefit of this is good posture, as well as better physical and mental activity. Both children and adults should do some regular stretching exercises too, because this gives the body better overall flexibility.
Adults benefit from regular exercise in many of the same ways as children, especially by keeping muscles strong. But adults who exercise regularly can keep the amount of body fat down, reducing weight and reducing the risk of serious health conditions. Exercise helps stimulate blood circulation through the blood vessels and into the muscles and organs of the body.
Our bodies get used to exercise on a regular basis and this helps improve our endurance. After a regular period of exercise most people find they are able to work and play a bit longer simply because the body is in better shape overall. Of course, we can benefit from exercise by having reduced blood sugar levels. Regular exercise helps use up sugar as the muscles absorb it to provide energy.
One of the nice benefits of regular exercise is endorphins. These chemicals release into the blood, providing a general “good” feeling. This doesn’t mean that we have to start lifting weights and running several miles. A brisk walk and some basic stretching can yield great results.
One of the myths about exercise and general health is that thin people don’t need to exercise. In recent years, a lot of marketing has targeted people who are overweight, urging them not only to eat right but also to exercise. However, thin people should also develop a habit of daily exercise, even if it’s walking and mild stretching.
Even some of the people who are “thin” may have excess body fat, circulation problems or breathing problems that might be helped by exercise. The heart may be stronger with the right kind of exercise program. Thin people can also maintain the tone of muscles and may even be able to increase strength slightly with regular activity. Regular stretching, walking and light lifting can help thinner people stay that way and may even help shape the body a bit, which is always a benefit.
Though most people think of exercise as a way to improve and maintain our physical condition, regular activity can also help our mental and emotional status. While it’s hard to gauge, many people report a much-improved “state of mind” after a period of regular exercise. Because of the effect on those endorphins mentioned earlier, exercise is good for both the body and the mind. Check with your doctor to see if there are activities you should avoid and start getting more exercise today!