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We all know the great health benefits that exercise can give us, however, a lot of us find it difficult to stay committed to it or even start doing it. Still, it’s the best way to keep yourself in tip-top shape, both physically and mentally.
However, not everyone knows whether they’re getting enough exercise or not. Fret not though, for there are some obvious signs that your body is asking you to make exercise a daily priority. Read on to know more!
How to Know if You Need to Increase Your Physical Activity
The CDC recommends doing 75 to 150 minutes of exercise a week in order to be fit and healthy. A lot of individuals don’t fill that quota and end up with little to almost no physical activity at all. We’ve listed out several warning signs that can tell your body that you need to be working out more. Check them out!
You Have a High Blood Pressure
Spending most of your time sitting raises your likelihood of developing heart disease. When your blood pressure’s up and the longer it goes uncontrolled, the greater the damage it can do to you. Strengthening your heart is the best thing you can do to get your blood pressure under control, and the best way to do that is to exercise.
Increasing your physical activity can significantly lower your blood pressure. By simply adding 30 minutes of exercise to your everyday routine, you may be able to avoid taking hypertension medications and lower your pressure reading.
You’re at Risk for Heart Disease
Having high blood pressure is a big risk factor for heart issues like coronary artery disease and heart attack. Physical activity can keep heart diseases at bay because it keeps your heart strong and gets your blood pumping. Not only that, but exercising regularly can also reduce other risk factors such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes mellitus. Instead of sitting and worrying about developing heart issues, lower it by increasing your movement throughout the day.
You Suffer from Stiff Joints
Are you experiencing some neck pain, rigid knees, and aching joints? While those hard-to-move joints can be a sign of inflammatory health issues or an autoimmune disease, a lot of times, they can also be signs of physical inactivity. If you don’t exercise regularly, it may be the reason that your joints feel stiff or achy.
One common misconception about exercise is that it can be tough on your joints and may cause arthritis. However, studies have shown that arthritis patients engage in low to moderate exercises to improve joint stiffness. According to the Mayo Clinic, daily exercise can strengthen the muscle around joints and your bones, alleviating stiffness. Establishing an exercise regimen can help you and your joints feel better.
If you’re feeling all backed up, consistent exercise just may be the solution that you need. According to Harvard Health, exercise can stimulate intestinal activity, allowing waste to move through your digestive tract better, preventing constipation. The more you exercise, the less time it will take food to make its way through the large intestine. This in turn decreases the amount of water that your body absorbs from your stool, letting you have more regular bowel movements.
Your Metabolism’s Slower
People with “fast” metabolism may just move more than others. Even if those are small movements such as fidgeting in their seat or doing greater movements such as stretching for a couple of minutes in the day, exercise can help burn calories each time you move.
Harvard Health Publishing explained that if you eat and drink more calories than your body expends energy, you will gain weight and your metabolism can become slower. The best way to counter up your metabolism and achieve your weight loss goals is through exercising.
You Get Sick Often
If you find yourself catching colds numerous times in a year, you can pin the blame on having a sedentary lifestyle. Research published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found a significant relationship between exercise and the immune system.
The research stated that “exercise can improve the body’s defense system and metabolic health.” Essentially, it means that the more moderate activity you get, the lower your chance of catching cold or other germs. When you make exercising a part of your daily life, your immune system can get stronger.
You Have Poor Posture
Sitting straight is a challenge for most people, especially those who have desk jobs. Most tend to hunch over their desks and computers for long periods of time. Without a workout routine, the ab muscles can weaken, leading to postural imbalance and may even develop into spinal issues in later years. Healthy muscle tone in your abs can help support your torso and spine the way they should. Doing exercises such as pilates, yoga, and stretching can help make your core muscles stronger, preventing posture problems as you get older.
You Always Feel Hungry
If you’re not active, your body can trick you into thinking that your food intake is low and that you need to eat more. Having a constant appetite can mean that your body is producing too much ghrelin which is also known as “hunger hormones.” A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicines had some of its participants exercise while the other participants remained sedentary.
Results showed that exercise had a “positive effect on reducing appetite which is related to reduced acylated ghrelin responses over time” in the participants. Aerobic exercise such as biking, swimming, walking, and running can help in decreasing your appetite.
Your Skin isn’t Healthy
Have you noticed that your skin is looking dull and aged even if you’ve stuck with your skincare routine? If you’re not engaging in any kind of exercise program, your sedentary lifestyle may be contributing to your dull skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, exercise increases blood flow to the skin, which helps reduce premature skin aging. This increased blood flow also helps in providing nutrients and oxygen to the skin cells, giving your skin a desirable glow.
Being diagnosed with pre-diabetes can be very alarming but don’t panic just yet, as there are steps that you can take to reverse this. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, making physical activity a part of your life can help in keeping your blood glucose under control.
Studies have shown that individuals who engaged in aerobic exercises such as brisk walking or biking each week can improve glucose intolerance by an average of 7%. Having stable blood sugar levels can help keep you from crossing the type 2 diabetes danger zone.
A Lack of Movement Hurts More Than Just Your Physical Health
Your physical health isn’t the only thing on the line when you don’t work out. A lack of physical inactivity can also affect your mental health negatively. Studies have shown that people who lead sedentary lives have a decrease in psychological well-being and quality of life. Here are a few more red flags that suggest you need to exercise more often.
You’re Forgetting Things and Have Trouble Concentrating
If you find that you’ve become forgetful and you’re having difficulty focusing on your work, it’s time for you to work up a sweat. Regular exercise lets your body know to make more chemicals called growth factors as they can boost blood vessel production in your brain. Moderate exercise boosts your memory and thinking skills. Moreover, the more blood that gets to your brain, the more you can improve your attention, alertness, and motivation.
You Feel Anxious
Constant worries, sweaty palms, and racing heart are just some signs of anxiety and they can be debilitating, especially if you experience them often. Your bouts of anxiety could be due to a lack of movement. Physical activity is known to be a way to release the accumulated anxious energy inside you, leaving your body feeling calm and restful.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise produces endorphins and improves mood, which is why many psychologists prescribe this to their patients. The increase in body temperature that goes hand-in-hand with vigorous exercise can also have a calming effect on you.
You Have Difficulty Dealing with Stress
Are you constantly feeling overwhelmed and frazzled? Or maybe you’re starting to feel more tightly wound up? According to the Harvard Medical School, when the body is enduring physiological stress, it experiences physical symptoms such as muscle tightness, headaches, neck aches, clenched jaw, chest tightness, and the like.
Engaging in a regular exercise routine can “reset” your body’s reaction to stress. You may not be able to get rid of the root of your stress entirely, but physical activity reduces stress, allowing you to have a clearer, better perspective of the things surrounding you.
You’re Having Trouble Sleeping
Noticed that your sleep’s shot? Or perhaps you haven’t been getting any good sleep? While your bad sleep may be the result of a myriad of reasons, one of the biggest contributors to that is the lack of exercise. Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., the medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard Country General Hospital states, “There is solid evidence that physical activity promotes improved sleep quality and efficiency.” Moderate exercise can tire out your body, making it easy to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper once you do.
You Feel Tired and are Always Out of Breath
Sitting for long periods of time can sap your energy, making you feel lethargic and exhausted even during simple everyday movements. This means that your body isn’t getting the right amount of fuel it needs to keep going. The muscles that help your lungs move in and out as you breathe lose strength too if they don’t get enough of a workout.
Exercise helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, giving you the burst of energy you need to power you throughout the day. Sports medicine experts have noted that having a workout routine can help boost cardiovascular health, giving you greater endurance, and making it easier to tackle life’s daily tasks.
Add Moderate Exercise to Your Daily Routine
Physical activity can help improve mood, keep the body fit, increase energy, and reduce the risk of certain diseases, leading to an overall better quality of life. If you’ve noticed any of the signs we listed, it’s high time you get off your seat and start moving more instead.
You can start your fitness routine by doing desk exercises, stretching, aerobic workouts, cardio exercises, and more. Remember, if you feel any discomfort during workouts, always seek the advice of a professional health care provider.