With the New Year in full swing, you may be thinking of changing your lifestyle. You may want to eat healthier. Or get more sleep. The thought of (more) exercise may even fly by.
But, don’t let this last thought just fly by. Doing exercise can be an excellent lifestyle change. Because, it may lower your risk of heart disease and is good for your heart health.
If you need some more convincing, then consider these three proven benefits of exercise.
We love them and you might too.
INCREASE YOUR ENERGY
Exercise may increase your energy, according to a study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
In this study, researchers of the University of Georgia followed 36 volunteers to study whether exercise can increase your energy. They divided these volunteers into three groups:
- One group cycled for 20 minutes at moderate intensity, three times a week for six weeks.
- The second group cycled for 20 minutes during the same time period, but at low intensity.
- The third group (the control group) did not cycle at all.
Each week the researchers asked them to fill in a questionnaire to measure how energetic they felt.
They found that both groups who exercised felt more energetic than people in the control group. In fact, their energy levels were 20 percent higher.
Doing some vigorous exercise may help you live longer, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. This can be any kind of exercise that makes you breathe harder – such as jogging, cycling, and aerobics.
The researchers in this study followed more than 204.000 Australian people for about six years. They asked them to fill in questionnaires about what kind and how much exercise they did. They also noted their age, sex, height, weight, and lifestyle.
After analysing all these data, the researchers found a strong link between vigorous exercise and their longevity.
People who did vigorous exercise for at least 30 percent of their weekly workouts had a significantly lower risk of dying from all causes, compared to those who didn't.
This significant benefit of vigorous exercise applied to both men and women, whether they were obese or not.
This is great. But, if you haven’t done any vigorous exercise for many years, then you might want to see your doctor before getting started.
Exercise may help you sleep better, according to a study published in the Journal of Sleep Research.
During this six month’s study, the researchers followed 41 people who had trouble sleeping. About half of these people exercised for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. This exercise consisted of moderately intensive exercise – such as brisk walking. The other half of these people didn’t change their lifestyle.
At the beginning and end of the study, the participants filled in a questionnaire about how well they were sleeping.
The research team found that people who exercised for 30 minutes five days a week said they slept much better, compared to before the study. The people who didn’t change their lifestyle didn’t.
So, what do you think? Will you make (more) exercise part of your lifestyle?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.