In today’s society, which has become sedentary and convenience based, we need to fit in time for exercise. Back in cavemen days, our ancestors wouldn’t need to schedule workout time - simply chasing down your dinner or chopping down some wood for a fire would be your exercise and living all rolled into one. Nowadays we have a huge selection of food all in a store, which we can cook by simply shoving in our oven.
Exercise reduces stress
Exercising releases a trigger of hormones which make us feel good. Endorphins etc. Research has shown physical activity reduces psychological stress and improves overall wellbeing (Norris, 1992).
In psychology research, happiness has been analysed and the elements important for making us happy were considered. It demonstrated happiness down into the 3 P’s – Pleasure, Passion and Purpose. Pleasure was the most basic of happiness levels, and included things such as buying new items or getting a new hairdo. Passion was a level higher and encompasses doing things that you desire and feel are important. Purpose is the highest level of happiness and can include things such as feeling part of a family, team or helping people.
Exercise can be a huge part of happiness as it can add to all of the 3 P’s of happiness. At the end of a hard workout you feel pleasure, continued effort in the gym or sport gives you a passion for it which fuels your desire to continue. Being a part of a gym team or sport team can give people an additional purpose to their lives and make them feel part of a community. All these elements accumulate into greater feelings of happiness in daily life
Exercise helps our immune system
Further research has shown both walking and vigorous exercise are associated with a substantial decrease in the risk of cardiovascular issues; further supporting the notion you don’t need to go crazy every day to get the immune system benefits of exercise. Regularity, rather than intensity is key. So whatever you are doing, make sure you keep doing it.
Exercise makes us more useful
Exercise can be used to make us stronger. Stronger people are more useful in all aspects of life. Moving furniture around? No problem. Pushing a broken down car? Easy. Strength really is an important function of the human body and making yourself stronger will stand you in good stead for most things in life. Not only that, building your strength up can reduce joint pain and ensures your body is moving in the best way possible. Strengthening up weak muscles reduces injury risk, and gives you a better quality of life in the longer term. How many older people do you know who are slowed down by niggles or joint pains? Keeping yourself as strong as possible is one of the keys to long term wellness.
Booth, F, Gordon, S, Carlson, C, and Hamilton, M (2000). Waging war on modern chronic diseases: Primary prevention through exercise biology. Journal of Applied Physiology.