5 Amazing Science-Backed Facts on The Power of Exercise
Temptations abound in our world, advertisers spend trillions on getting us to eat crap and live like pigs, desperately trying to con us into believing the latest branding hype, and in this mess exercise has become a way to fight back, stay healthy and growing on your own terms.
By way of giving you some motivation to stay on the good path, below are 5 science-backed tips on why you need to stay fit.
1. Exercise Doesn’t Just Improve Your Physical State, but Your Mental State Too
This is one of the main reasons I exercise.
I love the feeling of pushing through short-term pain because it acts as a lesson for other areas in life.
You can endure. You can tough it out. You can compete.
This is the subconscious message I get when working out and it’s made me so much stronger in my social, spiritual and professional life.
A study from the American Academy of Neurology also recently found that regular aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling or climbing stairs may improve thinking skills not only in older people but in young people as well.
The study also found that the positive effect of exercise on thinking skills may increase as people age.
Further still, a study from Oregon Health & Science University found that neuroscientists have discovered that a short burst of exercise directly boosts the function of a gene that increases connections between neurons in the hippocampus, the region of the brain associated with learning and memory.
2. Exercise Improves Gut Function
There’s been a raft of research recently on the importance of gut health and gut flora, leading it to be known as ‘the second brain’.
The gut is seemingly responsible for issues such as our emotional balance, and as we’ve overlooked this for so long, we need to reawaken those ‘good bacterias’ that help out our gut flora.
This trend has given rise to the Kombucha and kimchee trends in the modern metropolitan health movements.
New research from The Physiological Society, however, shows that gut health may not be dependent purely on diet, but on exercise also.
Research has suggested that the efficiency with which we transport oxygen to our tissues (cardiorespiratory fitness) is a far greater predictor of gut microbiota diversity than either body fat percentage or general physical activity.
3. Exercise is a SUPER-SHIELD Against Aging
Bear in mind the following studies have been released mere days apart and you’ll see the weight of evidence behind exercise as a defense against aging.
Firstly, living a healthy lifestyle helps offset a person’s genetic risk of dementia, according to new research from the University of Exeter.
Secondly, good heart and lung (cardiorespiratory) fitness in middle age is associated with a lower long term risk of chronic lung disease (COPD), suggests new research from the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
And finally, among people over age 70, physical fitness was found to be a much better predictor of survival than the number of traditional cardiovascular risk factors, according to research from the American College of Cardiology.
With such a vast amount of research mounting, it seems exercise can offer you an extra 5-10 years of your lifespan.
4. It’s Simple and FREE
The latest step-change in the fitness world came with the research around high-intensity interval training, better known as H.I.I.T or just H.I.T.
This research centered around the notion that to get in shape you don’t need to run 100 miles every week, not in a long shot.
In fact, research on H.I.T shows that you only need to do 10-15 minutes of high-intensity exercise (such as sprinting) to inspire fat loss and heart health.
This type of exercise doesn’t even have to involve a gym membership, which comes with all the benefits of getting out in nature too.
Further, a new study from The Physiological Society found that ‘home’ H.I.T was an excellent way to cut fat and boost health.
5. Exercise is Excellent for Mental Health
While it’s hard to believe anything would help when you’re in the grip of a bout of depression, exercise has been consistently shown to have a major effect on improving depressive symptoms.
A recent study from kinesiologists at McMaster University has found for the first time that physical activity may help fight depression by stimulating muscle-generated mood boosters.
With all of this evidence piling up, read why a recovering man needs to hit the gym below to get the social, spiritual, mental, and even moral benefits: