I give more time to exercise of the body than of the mind, believing it wholesome to both.
– Thomas Jefferson
It is no closely guarded medical secret that exercise is good for your health. Unfortunately, too many of us fall into the trap of thinking that exercise can’t benefit us unless we’re on a fitness regimen that would put Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to shame.
In fact, just 30 minutes of light exercise a day can help you live a longer, healthier and happier life. Those 30 minutes don’t even have to be continuous – you can break them up into three 10-minute spans of physical activity, if you please.
What qualifies as “light exercise?” Essentially any activity which requires physical movement such as walking, gardening, housework, fishing, playing with children, and even going fishing. That’s great news if you have no intention of training for a marathon or bench pressing your own body weight!
Here are six big benefits you can enjoy just by adding 30 minutes of light exercise to your daily routine.
1. Reduced Chance of Heart Disease
According to a medical study published in 2017, replacing just 30 minutes of daily sedentary time with light physical activity correlates to a 24% reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease. This makes perfect sense. Harvard reports that exercise encourages the arteries within the heart to dilate more efficiently. In addition to that, it makes your heart rate and blood pressure less reactive to stress.
2. Increased Weight Loss
We won’t bore you with the metabolic science behind how exercise leads to weight loss. You don’t need a Harvard medical degree to know that exercise will help you lose weight. But you also don’t need to lose a dramatic amount of weight to reap multiple health benefits! According to the CDC, reducing your body weight by as little as 5% can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as lower your blood sugars.
3. Improved Mood
We wish we could briefly detail how light exercise helps to improve your mood – but it is quite literally brain science. That said, the Mayo Clinic does explain that exercise causes the brain to release numerous endorphins which can increase your sense of well-being by boosting your confidence, reducing your anxiety and depression, and enhancing your healthy coping mechanisms. Exercise also increases social interaction, which in and of itself carries several mood-enhancing benefits.
4. Enhanced Memory
A recent study conducted by UT Southwestern Medical Center demonstrates that just one year of aerobic exercise can help to increase blood flow to two key areas of the brain that are associated with memory function. The same study further suggests that exercise can help improve cognition in senior citizens who are suffering from memory issues!
5. Greater Creativity
Although the exact reason for the phenomenon is not understood, there is scientific evidence that light exercise can help increase your creativity independently of simply improving your mood. But we really don’t need to map out the precise cascade of endorphins that causes exercise to improve creativity. Henry David Thoreau, who never once dabbled in neurochemistry, summed it up perfectly: “Methinks the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
6. More Energy
Feeling fatigued? Counterintuitively, engaging in regular exercise can give you more energy! The Mayo Clinic explains that exercise, which delivers increased oxygen and nutrients directly to your muscle tissues, will help your cardiovascular system perform more efficiently. In essence, getting just 30 minutes of exercise a day will give your body more of the strength it needs to tackle life’s challenges.
Whether you would like a few more examples of the kinds of light exercise which pose so many benefits to your health, or you would like help achieving your therapeutic and fitness goals through the power of exercise, we are standing by to lend our support. Please contact Calhoun Spine & Wellness Center today to schedule a consultation with one of our fitness experts!