Why Your Exercise Routine May Help You Live Longer

Why Your Exercise Routine May Help You Live Longer

Your guide to taking care of yourself and the lesser-known benefits of exercise!

When someone tells us they don't want to exercise, we feel like yelling out the same thing many a scorned ex has heard - you don't know what you're missing!

People who exercise regularly get more than just a beach bod - they gain an enormous sense of wellbeing. They are usually more at peace with their mind and body. Regular exercise has been linked to lower levels of anxiety and stress. It is even effective against mild to moderate cases of depression.

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 in Singapore, when most of us have been confined to our flats, it's perfectly normal to struggle with taking care of ourselves. Remember that exercise is more a friend than foe during these times and can actually be the key to self-care during a lockdown!

We're here to shed some light on the relationship between exercise and wellbeing - and to get you "up and running" in more ways than one!

1. The Perfect Mood Booster.
Exercise is the perfect mood booster

There should be no fear in looking for ways to feel better, and there's certainly no shame in admitting that we're dealing with mental health struggles.

The pandemic has shown us just how important it is to take care of your emotional wellbeing. According to official statistics, anxiety, depression, and stress rose sharply from the onset of the pandemic in 2020. To make a bad situation worse, there were times we had to stay at home without the ability to talk about our troubles in person with a therapist or a friend.

Enter exercise, like a knight in shining armour. Physical activity has been scientifically linked to a plethora of mental health benefits. And, best of all, you don't need anything but yourself to get started on a basic exercise routine (although we've heard that some KYDRA activewear can't hurt).

Studies indicate that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication without the side effects. For example, a 2019 study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reported that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. If we were to drop some biology in here - exercise is known to increase the production of endorphins, which help produce those happy and positive feelings we love and reduce the perception of pain.

If we were to drop some biology in here - exercise is known to increase the production of endorphins, which help produce those happy and positive feelings we love and reduce the perception of pain. But if you could do without the science of it all (and we totally understand!), regular physical activity is one of the best ways to boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety or sadness.

2. More effective than Dr Pimple Popper.
Exercise is excellent for skin health

Move aside, Dr Pimple Popper - there's a new dermatological remedy in town.

Exercise is excellent for skin health, which is convenient because "maskne" (acne triggered by wearing face masks) is rising.

First off, the improved blood flow from a fulfilling workout session is terrific for your skin! This increased blood flow from exercise can improve circulation even when you're done with your workout and allows your skin cells to be replenished and repaired.

Additionally, decreased stress levels due to exercise - as we mentioned above - can also help stress-triggered chronic skin conditions, like eczema or certain kinds of acne.

Your body is way more interconnected than you realise, and exercise is truly one of the best ways to take care of all the bases, health-wise!

3. Catch those Zs.
Moderate exercise helps you sleep better

Listen up - there are certain things you may be able to fool around with, but sleep is not one of those things! Unfortunately, it's not rare to see your sleep patterns suffer when you're going through significant life changes, especially when you're so worried that you toss and turn the whole night.

Insomnia is a debilitating and challenging condition. It can make you feel sleepy and grumpy throughout the day (does it sound like we're listing dwarves from Snow White?) Luckily for you, research has proven that exercise decreases insomnia and other sleep complaints with patients.

And how much exercise do you need for better sleep, you ask? Just half an hour of mild to moderate exercise, like walking your dog, is enough to reap the benefits.

Think of it like this - starting your day off with a healthy sweat session helps you get the most out of your day, and by the time nightfall comes around, you're usually so content and tired that you drift right off to sleep!

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4. Balances your hormones.
Exercise decreases stress and makes you happier

This is truly one of the least-known benefits of physical activity - it can help to regulate and balance your hormones! For instance, exercise increases dopamine and serotonin, both feel-good chemicals that can decrease stress and make you happier! Remember, there's a type of exercise for everyone - depending on the type of hormonal imbalance you want to address, you can find specific workouts to suit your health needs.

The takeaway: Working out is the key to holistic wellbeing!

Working out is the key to holistic wellbeing!

Exercise is so much more than just improving your physical health, muscle mass and endurance. It's about getting in tune with your body and mind and then watching as that sense of wellbeing extends to every other aspect of your life. Your personal health and wellbeing should always come first, and a regular exercise routine might just be the best way to take care of yourself!

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