Ever been curious about how your body changes with regular exercise? What if you were to discover that the only reaction is not fat burning. More interested yet? Because the truth of the matter is that regular physical activity produces a tremendous spectrum of physical, mental and emotional benefits.
How your body changes with regular exercise goes far beyond building some muscle or slimming down your middle. Believe it or not, if you are typically sedentary and all you do is add a brisk walk to most days of your week, you’ll experience changes right down to the cells of your body. Your brain patterns will change. You’ll be at a lower risk of a huge list of diseases, including type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. The longer you keep up the activity, the better and broader the benefits.
Among the most common benefits experienced as a result of how your body changes with regular exercise includes the following: changes in your DNA (gene expression), improved sexual function, enhanced mood, better sleep and even clearer skin complexion.
Why? Because the biological effects of exercising regularly impact a large amount of your body and the way it functions. This includes improvements to your muscles and metabolism, to the efficiency of your lungs, to the health and effectiveness of your heart, and even to the health of your brain.
Both the joints and bones can also benefit from regular exercise. Bone density can be maintained or even improved through regular exercise – which is important to the prevention of osteoporosis. It can also help to lubricate the joints to reduce the risk and symptoms of certain kinds of arthritis. In fact, even without arthritis, regular exercise can ease the feeling of stiffness in the muscles and joints.
In fact, your brain is one of the areas of your body that will experience improvements the most quickly. As you exercise, blood flow to the brain increases. This brings more blood and energy – among other things – to the brain, improving its function nearly immediately. The result is that your brain will start to produce new brain cells. You’ll also feel more focused both during the exercise and for several hours afterward. Your ability to learn and retain information will get better, too.
The changes in the brain also include the release of certain chemicals such as hormones and neurotransmitters. These can include serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, GABA and glutamate, among others. It also decreases the release of the stress hormone called cortisol. This helps to combat depression while reducing stress and anxiety.
When considering those benefits, it’s certainly worth that daily brisk walk!