From neurons to hormones: Why your body needs a workout.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
Part four of
- REDUCES THE RISK OF ARTHRITIS. The most commonly experienced chronic illness in middle-aged and older adults, arthritis occurs due to abnormalities in the cartilage and outgrowth of bones in the joints. Unlike the other physical benefits of exercise, reducing the chances of arthritis doesn’t depend on heavy duty activity or even weight training. In fact, you may actually heighten your risk of arthritis if you do too much of the wrong kind of exercise. Running on the pavement, particularly in shoes that aren’t appropriately cushioned, can cause you to be more likely to get arthritis. Instead, you need to engage in stretching and flexibility training to increase the range of movement of your joints. This will lower your risk of injury through muscle tears or torn ligaments, and in the process protect your joints from damage caused by overuse.
- IMPROVES SEX LIFE. Keeping your muscles active through use helps promote the demands placed on your endocrine glands to produce more hormones. With more muscle mass comes greater stimulation to produce androgens which help both men and women maintain their sexual functioning. You are also likely to feel more fit and be more fit, which in turn will benefit your interest in and ability to carry out sexual activity. Your emotional resilience will also be greater if you exercise, which also benefits your relationship health.
- BRINGS ABOUT BETTER SLEEP. Although sleep experts recommend that you not exercise right before you go to bed, exercise during the day benefits your sleep at night. The physical exertion you engage in during the day helps your body’s circadian rhythm keep in tune. Sleeping better at night also improves, in turn, your immune functioning and even lowers your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive impairment. A win-win for sure!