BY TAMMY TOOR
We’ve all been told over and over again that exercise is good for us, so it must be true, right? Well, I am a person who always wants to know the ‘why’ or the benefits of something, so after some research and some personal experience of fitting exercise into my daily routine, here are a few reasons or ‘whys’for incorporating movement:
Increased energy – it may seem the opposite would be true with this one, but that’s not the case. Regular exercise can actually make you feel more energized throughout the day. Feeling lethargic in the afternoon? Try going for at least a 10-minute stroll. You will immediately feel more energized.
Better sleep – If you find yourself counting one too many sheep at night, you may need to incorporate some regular movement into your daily routine. Experts say that the best time to work out is in the morning or in the afternoon. Some people find that exercising too close to bedtime can keep you awake, so find a time that works best for you.
Decrease in stress – We all experience stress in some form, but studies show that exercise is one of the best ways to combat it. Exercise releases endorphins which are natural stress fighters. In addition, a good workout can take your mind off whatever is bothering you.
Improved immune system – Who likes being sick? Well, did you know that a recent study concluded that people who exercise regularly were half as likely to get a cold as people who didn’t? I like the improved odds of not getting a cold!
Longer life – The National Cancer Institute did a study on the effects of regular exercise and aging. They found that those who engaged in 30 minutes of physical activity could have a life expectancy gain of up to 7.2 years.
Feel happier – Put all of the above reasons together, and it’s sure to put a big smile on your face. Yes, those endorphins released during exercise do make you feel good, but the overall benefits will have your body smiling, too.
Looking for ideas on moving more so that you can reap all the benefits? Pick up a copy of the City of Nanaimo parks and recreation department’s new fall and winter activity guide, visit our website at www.nanaimo.ca or call one of our recreation experts at 250-756-5200. This season, move more and sit less!
Tammy Toor is a graphics and communications specialist with the City of Nanaimo’s parks and rec department.