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Two smiling people jogging outside in warm weather.

Benefits of exercise and physical activity

The many benefits of exercise: Lift your mood, improve posture, feed your brain and help manage your weight

May 22, 2024

Two smiling people jogging outside in warm weather.

Benefits of exercise and physical activity

The many benefits of exercise: Lift your mood, improve posture, feed your brain and help manage your weight

May 22, 2024

Two smiling people jogging outside in warm weather.

Benefits of exercise and physical activity

The many benefits of exercise: Lift your mood, improve posture, feed your brain and help manage your weight

May 22, 2024

The importance of exercise and physical activity

Everyone knows that exercise is important to your overall health and wellbeing. In fact, experts recommend that adults spend at least 150 minutes a week doing aerobic exercise and at least two days a week on activities that strengthen or build muscle.

But just because we know something is good for us doesn't mean that we’re going to do it. Think about your week. Did your aerobic physical activity add up to 150 minutes? Did you do anything resembling resistance training or weight lifting?

If you answered yes to both questions, good job and keep it up! If you answered no, you are definitely not alone. A study by U.S. Centers for Disease Control revealed that only 28 percent of U.S. adults were regularly meeting that recommendation. In Canada, about half of adults meet the recommendation.

Some benefits of physical activity

Maybe being reminded of some of the specific benefits of exercise will give you that extra push you need to get up and get moving more often. Regular physical activity can help lift your mood, improve your posture, manage your weight, relieve stress and even improve mental performance. Let’s take a look!

Exercise to improve mood and manage occasional stress

How does exercise improve mood? When you get your body moving, your body produces endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that naturally lift your mood and sense of wellbeing. Ever heard the term “runner’s high”? That would be the endorphins.

But you don’t have to be running to feel it. Whether you’re briskly walking the dog, hitting the gym or doing some vigorous cleaning around the house, your endorphins will start pumping and you’ll get that good feeling.

While exercise is triggering those endorphins, it’s also reducing the levels of stress hormones in your body, like adrenaline and cortisol. And that will help shift you out of that fight-or-flight mentality that can pop up with occasional stressors.

Exercise and the brain

Another benefit of exercise is improved brain function – exercise is brain food! During exercise, blood flow increases everywhere in your body and your brain receives a boosted stream of oxygenated blood. This makes your brain perform better. Alternatively, one study showed that cognitive decline was identified nearly twice as often in people who were inactive versus those who exercise regularly.

Another way exercise helps the brain is through the molecule BDNF, which makes a protein known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Exercise stimulates production of this protein. As a result, some clinicians are prescribing exercise to patients to help them improve brain function.

Exercise can also help train your brain to learn new things. Studies have shown that working out for even just 20 minutes can improve your memory and how your brain processes information. Exercise makes it easier for your brain to create new neuronal connections, which means embracing new kinds of workouts can actually improve how your brain functions.

Exercise for improved posture

Ever increasing screen time along with the accumulation of birthdays can take a toll on your posture, but regular physical activity and weight training can help. Anything that works on your core and upper back muscles will give your body the strength it needs to maintain a healthy stance and resist slouching.

In one study, a posture-correction exercise program done three times a week for eight weeks was shown to relieve levels of back pain while also improving the posture of participants. Get moving and stand up straight!

Maintaining your healthy weight

Physical activity can also help you maintain your healthy weight. What that weight is will look different for each person. But one of the things that determines your weight is how many calories you consume versus how many calories you burn.

Your body burns calories just by existing and performing all its normal, everyday functions like breathing. But adding physical activity burns even more calories. Just make sure you’re eating a healthy diet to give your body enough fuel to make it through your workouts.

Start your physical activity routine

Like we said, if you’re already moving your body regularly and doing some strength training, keep it up! If you’re starting from scratch, it’s a good idea to check with your physician before starting any major exercise regimen.

In the meantime, start small by adding more movement to your everyday life. Park farther away from the door, take the stairs, consider a treadmill desk, turn your cleaning routine into an exercise routine or add a daily walk.

If you’re ready to go all in on a fitness routine, consider a fitness program to help get your started. They come with expert advice and an instant support group for inspiration and accountability. The XS™ Fitness Program is a good example. It’s open to registered Amway customers or Amway Independent Business Owners. It’s free to participate, and you'll get supplement recommendations that you can purchase to enhance your workouts and fitness journey.

Expand your wellbeing program

Physical activity is a key part of your health and wellbeing, but it’s still only one part. Consider kicking off your physical activity goals by participating in a structured, holistic wellness program like the Nutrilite™ Reset 30 Program. In addition to physical activity, Reset 30 focuses on a positive mindset, good nutrition and healthy hydration to support your holistic wellness, making it a great first step before you consider a major fitness program.

It comes with all the guidance, tools and product recommendations you need, including an assessment, a habit tracking system and community support from others in the program. You can learn more from an Amway Independent Business Owner or by visiting Amway.ca.