Six Scientific Reasons Why Regular Exercise Is Helpful

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Six Scientific Reasons Why Regular Exercise Is Helpful


Life, as we know it, has no duplicate. Thus, it is imperative that we make a conscious effort to live a healthy lifestyle. The role of exercise in keeping our bodies fit cannot be overstated.

What is it that makes what many consider such an exhausting, difficult-to-accomplish physical activity so beneficial to human health? It’s about time to lift that lazy behind off that couch and start exercising.

Check out the six scientific reasons why regular exercise is helpful:

1. Exercise reduces stress and anxiety

Exercise helps boost the production of feel-good neurotransmitters or happy hormones called endorphins. While this feeling of euphoria is mostly associated with running, a rousing game of basketball or a good hike around the neighborhood can also incite the same feeling.

It’s much like meditation in motion. After having completed several laps in the pool, you’ll often notice that you’ve somehow overlooked the day’s stresses and focused only on your body’s movements. When you start to regularly brush off your daily tensions through physical activity, you’ll also begin to notice that such focus on a single task, and the optimism and boost of energy it brings, can help you achieve a sunny disposition and calmness of mind in your day-to-day routines. Rowing machines are very helpful for fitness and at significantly reducing your stress and anxiety levels as well.

2.Exercise improves your executive functions

Executive functions refer to the set of cognitive mechanisms necessary for behavior control and goal-directed cognition that develop throughout childhood and adolescence. A recent study shows that regular aerobic exercises play a crucial role in promoting children’s executive functions. A tentative evidence further elucidates that not all forms of aerobic exercises yield equal benefits on executive functions, with cognitively-engaging exercises appearing to have a stronger impact than non-engaging exercises on children’s executive functions.

3. Exercise helps you live longer

As recently discussed in the New York Times, among the ways exercise increases your life span is by lowering your risk for contracting heart disease. It further cites a recent Australian study featured in PLOS One that sets out to quantify the role of physical activity in reducing one’s risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Another study published in the November 2013-issue of the journal Stroke showed how daily walking significantly lowers a person’s risk of stroke among men over the age of 60. This condition involves an obstruction of blood flow (ischemic stroke) or a rupture of an artery that transports oxygenated blood to your brain (hemorrhagic stroke), with the former accounting for nearly 80 percent of all cases.

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4. Exercise helps you manage your weight

It is common knowledge that regular exercise can help you effectively prevent excess weight gain or maintain your weight. When you perform a fitness activity, you shed off those unwanted calories. The more intense it is, the more calories you burn.

Compelling scientific evidence shows that exercise can help you manage your weight over time. The exact amount of exercise required, however, is not definite, since it varies significantly from one person to another. It may be possible that you would need to increase the frequency or duration of moderate-intensity activity in a week to maintain your weight.

5. Exercise helps you sleep better

Albeit the exact mechanisms are unclear, there are many possibilities as to how exercise can reduce insomnia severity. One notable way is through the thermogenic effects of exercise, especially when done in the afternoon or later. Exercise triggers thermogenesis, a metabolic process during which your body burns calories to produce heat. When the body temperature drops, this promotes falling asleep.

Exercise also reduces insomnia by suppressing anxiety, arousal, and other depressive symptoms. Insomnia is commonly associated with anxiety, increased arousal, and depression, and exercise has shown to effectively reduce such symptoms in the general population. Another way exercise helps promote sleep is by regulating circadian rhythms (body clock). For those that have been experiencing insomnia due to their erratic body clocks, exercise may correct the timing depending on what time it is performed.

6. Exercise gives you more willpower

Dutch researchers delved into previous studies to have this aspect figured out. They wanted to see if they could dig out a legitimate link between willpower and exercise. Having combed through the exercise literature, they came up with a total number of 24 studies that deal with the effect of physical activity on higher brain functions, such as memory, planning, and decision making. They broke down the data a bit further, separating them between long and short rounds of exercise and into age groups (6 to 12, 13 to 17, and 18 to 35).

Results suggest that short rounds of exercise did help stimulate higher brain functions in all age groups. One of the most significant areas was that associated with self-control. Twelve of the nineteen studies were focused on such specific area, and they unveiled a slight to moderate effect across all age groups. The authors attributed this to the surge in blood flow to the brain’s frontal area, which is associated with higher thought processes and functioning.

By  Scott MurphyEmbed

Author Bio - Scott Murphy rowed crew at college in upstate New York and still has the same passion for the sport over 20 years later. He is a regular contributor to, a site offering reviews, workouts, industry news and education about the benefits of rowing and regular exercise.


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