Regular exercise can help fend off heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even some cancers, but did you know that it can also benefit your brain?
We often think of weight loss as a simple equation: calories burned (exercise) must exceed calories consumed (diet). But there are actually a number of other factors that can contribute to weight loss or weight gain, including existing health problems, how much sleep you get, whether or not you smoke and your stress level, just to name a few.
Being overweight or obese can impact your health in numerous ways. According to the Centers for Disease Control, being overweight or obese can lead to heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, arthritis, infertility and even some types of cancer, including breast cancer.
If you’re like most Americans, you squeeze your workouts into an already-busy day, so it’s important that your workout is effective and efficient. When it comes to some exercises—particularly some weightlifting or strength training exercises—you could be getting more out of your workout by trading your moves for some more effective alternatives.
As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” But while some aches and pain from exercising can be attributed to muscles soreness—“good” pain, some might say—certain pains should not be ignored.
Stretching improves muscle flexibility and helps to maintain range of motion in your joints. It also lowers your risk of injuries, such as joint and muscle strain. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), healthy adults should do flexibility exercises, such as stretching, yoga or tai chi, for all major muscle groups at least two to three times a week.
Having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night? Try exercise—just don’t expect to see improvements overnight.
Research has long suggested the sleep benefits of exercise, but more recent studies reveal that you won’t see those benefits immediately. In a 16-week study, volunteers didn’t notice much improvement in their sleep patterns until the end of the 16 weeks. In the same way that getting good sleep depends on exercise, getting a good exercise in is often dependent on getting a good night’s sleep the night before.
The American College of Sports Medicine predicted that bodyweight training would top the fitness trends of 2015, and an analysis of data from activity tracking devices and digital fitness apps by HIS Inc. confirms it. Americans are looking for back-to-basics fitness programs that focus on building strength and the importance of recovery.