Benefits of exercise

Winter is on its way out, and as you pack up your coats and gloves, you should be gearing up for exercise and sunshine!

Exercise has many benefits, not only for your physical health but also mental health. Research has shown that exercise stimulates chemicals that improve your mood and the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning.

Exercise can  reduce the risk of illnesses like heart and lung disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia and alzheimer’s disease. Physical activity also helps people recover from other illnesses, health conditions and assists with weight loss.

Exercise circulates blood to the brain and increases the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and also increases the connections between the nerve cells in the brain. This can improve memory and helps to protect the brain against injury and disease. Through exercise, the brain releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve mood and reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation and other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety.

The Australian Government guidelines recommend adults do at least 30 minutes of moderate to intensive physical activity on most or all days of the week. You can make up 30 minutes over the day by combining shorter 10 – 15 minute sessions.

People may struggle finding motivation, or staying motivated for exercise. Think about ways you can make exercise part of your daily routine and lifestyle. Choose something you enjoy, and ask your friends or family to help motivate you and to keep you on track.

Ensure to combine your exercise routine with a healthy diet to boost your motivation and energy for exercise.