January always seems to be the time of year when people decide to change their lifestyle. It’s a new year so let’s make some new goals or resolutions. One goal a lot of people make is to exercise more, lose weight and get fit and healthy. But are we looking at exercise as a method of weight loss and the change in physical appearance rather than its benefits for our mind and body.
I have recently started reading a book called ‘Train Happy’. This book was written for the main purpose of changing your mindset towards exercise and not using it purely as a method for losing weight. Yes, there is a correlation between regular exercise and weight loss, but exercise should be much more than that.
The question to ask yourself is why do I exercise? The author of the book, Tally Rye, aims to change our mindset of exercise only being for weight loss purposes, and to encourage people to look outside the box, to use exercise for mind and body health and enjoy it.
So What Are The Benefits of Exercise?
In an age where so many of us spend most of our days sat down, it is important to ensure that we keep moving every day. This doesn’t have to be a gruelling workout at the gym, but something we enjoy that keeps us strong, mobile and happy.
There are so many physical and mental benefits to regular exercise that improve our overall body health and strength and improve our state of mind.
- Improved posture
- Reduced back pain
- Improved strength
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased mobility
- Improved flexibility
- Increased stamina
- Improved sleep
- Improved self-esteem
- Greater body appreciation
- Improved memory performance
- Greater focus and productivity
- Better mood
- Helps manage anxiety
- Relieves stress
How Does Exercise Benefit My Eye Health?
When combined with a balanced diet, exercise can benefit your eye health in many ways and help to reduce the risk of sight loss. Evidence shows that when combined with a health diet exercise may reduce the risk of sight loss from the narrowing and hardening of arteries, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Narrowing and Hardening of Arteries.
Exercise has a positive influence on balancing the fats in our bloodstream, such as cholesterol and increasing the level of high density lipoprotein’s that protect the arteries from narrowing and hardening. Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of our arteries becoming blocked, ensuring the blood supply to our eyes and brain flows better.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is increasingly common with age and is linked to the hardening of the arteries. Very high blood pressure increases the risk of stroke and blockage of the retinal arteries. Exercising regularly has been shown to reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and keep blood pressure down once hypertension has developed.
Diabetes has become more common within our society and lack of exercise, obesity and diet are the main causes of diabetes. Lack of exercise and poor diet can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise can improve diabetes control and reduce the chance of developing sight threatening diabetic eye disease – also known as diabetic retinopathy.
Exercise doesn’t need be a trip to the gym or a run you may not enjoy. Anything that raises your heart rate is considered exercise, this could be dancing, going for a walk on your lunch break, an energetic bout of housework or taking the stairs instead of a lift.
So next time you go to grab your running shoes, why not think about the benefits your run will have on your internal and mental health instead of your physical health!