Getting your workout on is about more than just getting into shape or losing weight. Regular exercise has many benefits for the mind and body. And this year, self-care and one’s health has been vital for getting through stay at home orders.
Your workout routine has probably changed so much with the gyms and sports complexes closing and reopening that getting back into your regular exercise program might be challenging. You may have even stopped working out altogether during the quarantine.
But as summer is ramping up and businesses reopen, people everywhere are getting back to a new daily routine. For some, that will be returning to their old workout routine. Others may want to shed those quarantine pounds while some realize the importance of creating an exercise habit.
Regardless of what motivates you to workout, the known benefits of regular exercise in daily life are essential to maintain a healthy mind and body.
Reasons You Should Create a Consistent Exercise Routine
Exercise is more than just getting into shape, or fitting into that outfit. It’s about cultivating a lifestyle of holistic health and allowing you to push your body’s limits, energize your soul, ease the stresses in your mind, and keep you feeling young. Here are the top five reasons you should exercise daily.
#1 Exercise May Increase Your Immunity
Regular exercise causes an increase in your antibodies and white blood cells, making them circulate more quickly. It also helps release toxins in your body, which energize your cells and metabolism. And even if you hate it, sweating is good for you. By raising your body temperature, you help your body kill pathogens.
There is even some thought that exercise may help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways, which may reduce your chance of getting sick.
#2 Exercise Shows Your Body Some Love
Exercise is not only a great way to stay trim, but it also keeps your bones healthy and secure. Through regular physical activity, you can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.
Exercise helps decrease your risk of heart disease. It delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and improves your cardiovascular system allowing it to work more efficiently. Resulting in you having more energy to tackle the day at hand when you have a healthy heart and lungs.
#3 Exercise May Help Prevent Cancer
Being overweight is linked to a variety of cancers. Some studies have shown a link between weight loss and a lower risk of some types of cancers, such as breast cancer. Weight loss has been shown to lower the risk of some cancers.
Because of these studies and the research they have collected, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is finding that maintaining a healthy weight is essential to decrease your risk of cancer.
Just last week, the ACS released updated diet and exercise guidelines for preventing cancer. They now recommend nearly twice as much exercise, as previously stated. The ACS's new recommendation is in line with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for physical activity.
The physical activity guidelines for adults are either 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise every week.
#4 Exercise Improves Cognitive Function
What exercise does for the brain is probably some of the most fascinating benefits of regular physical activity. Through exercise the brain makes changes that end up protecting memory and thinking skills.
Did you know that regular exercise can help your brain grow new cells? It’s called neurogenesis, which is the process of creating new neurons and connections in the brain. By engaging your body and mind through regular physical activity, you allow your body to keep producing new brain cells that continuously improve your cognitive functions- like memory and thinking skills.
#5 Exercise Boosts Your Mood & Energizes Your Soul
More than 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety. And it’s not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to also suffer from depression (16 million adults in the U.S). With anxiety being the number one mental illness in our country, it is important to give people a healthy outlet that boosts their mood and energizes their souls.
A study done by Lancet Psychiatry in 2018 shows that people who exercise regularly reported 43% fewer days per month with poor mental health (stress or depressed feelings). People who exercise regularly are generally happier. Or you could say, people who are happier tend to exercise regularly.
Aerobic exercise slows down the release of cortisol and adrenaline and floods your system with feel-good endorphins. It also increases your serotonin and dopamine, which are the brain chemicals that calm you down and boosts your happiness.
And guess what, these happy endorphins that flood your system after 20 minutes of physical activity can boost your mood for 12 hours!
Move More, Sit Less
As standards change on how to keep healthy with exercise, it’s essential to develop a routine that works for you. The wellness challenge this month encourages you to build fitness habits that promote a healthy lifestyle throughout your workday.
For many people, their workweek includes a more sedentary lifestyle. A sedentary life can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and all-cause mortality.
It’s easy to be involved in a work project that you rarely get up from your desk and move. But it is essential to be as non-sedentary as possible in your workday.
The wellness challenge this month incorporates some changes into your daily routine that get you up and moving, focusing on keeping your body healthy through movement and exercise.
Say Goodbye to Sitting All Day
Since we know sitting all day is not ideal for one’s health, we want you to start a new practice at work. Every 60-90 minutes set your timer. When it goes off, get up and take a mental and physical break from your screen for 7 minutes.
The 7 Minute Office Stretch Break
Do each exercise for 30 seconds:
- Warrior Pose (Each Side)
- Boat Pose
- Side Plank (Each Side)
- Downward Facing Dog
- Child’s Pose
- Spinal Twist (Each Side)
- Walk around 2 minutes.
Make it your daily goal to do this five times a day while at work. Your mind, body, and eyes will thank you for it!
Be Physically Active 1 Hour a Day
Starting a fitness routine isn’t always easy. Just Google daily fitness routine, and you get 226 million results. That can make finding a routine daunting.
So to give you a boost towards creating a regular fitness practice, we put together a daily fitness routine to incorporate for your health and wellness. We did it based on all the great information we provided throughout this article.
First, we want you to practice developing a stretching routine. Our focus for this wellness challenge is on dynamic stretching, which consists of movement-based stretching.
It’s great to do dynamic stretching before an intense workout. Reserve static stretching for after a workout.
The 14 Minute Dynamic Stretching Routine
Do dynamic stretching at least two times a week. Stretch each major muscle group for 60 seconds per exercise. Regular stretching can help keep your hips and hamstrings flexible.
Do each of the exercises below for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each one. Complete the circuit twice.
- Jumping Jacks
- Wall Sit
- Abdominal Crunches
- Tricep Dips
- High Knees
- Lunges (Each Side)
- Push-up & Rotation
- Side Plank (Each Side)
Once you have completed your dynamic stretching routine, head into your cardio workout, get your body moving and your heart pumping with moderate to vigorous exercise.
Moderate exercises are any activity that requires as much effort as a brisk walk, biking, or gardening.
Vigorous exercises are any activity that is full-body or gets you sweating and significantly increases your heart rate. These activities can include playing sports, running, swimming, heavy yard work.
The 60 Minute Cardio Routine
Do one of these workouts five times a week.
Moderate: Go for a brisk walk. Try to walk 3 miles at under one hour.
Vigorous: Go for a run. Start with a 10-minute brisk walk. Then run for 30 minutes. End with a 10-minute cool-down walk.
If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that health and wellness routines are critical for keeping your immune system nimble and your mind healthy. Our wellness challenge will help you create a daily practice of self-care that allows you time to heal your body and mind through exercise.
Complete the wellness challenge and share your results with us.