The importance of getting out to exercise

Mekenzie Clark , Reporter

We know that exercise has it’s physical benefits, providing us with increased energy, as well as helping our muscles, skin, and bones. So what about mentally? Turns out, exercise helps us just as much physically as mentally, whether it’s improving our brain and memory, our mood, and even our sleep, exercise plays an important role in our overall health. 

Physical benefits, our bone and muscle health is extremely important especially as we age. Strengthening our muscles aids in the release of hormones that help muscles to absorb amino acids which helps our muscles grow and slows the breakdown of our muscles which could cause injuries and disabilities later in life. Exercise also helps to build bone density which is proven in preventing Osteoporosis. For example, In an article called “The Benefits of Exercise” it says “aerobic, muscle-strengthening, and bone-strengthening physical activity at a moderately-intense level can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age.”

On top of this, exercise also helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to our tissues and helps our cardiovascular system work more efficiently. When our heart and lungs improve you have more energy to do regular activities. Exercise also burns fat in the body and contributes to weight loss if that is a goal. Aiding in building mass and muscle tone strengthening.

Our mood is directly linked to mental health and luckily exercise has an impact.  How we think is how we feel. When we exercise our brain releases chemicals called endorphins which make us feel happy. These endorphins work to reduce anxiety and increases the likelihood of feeling good which relates to your self esteem. Mara Lawson, mother of two Fruita alum, says, “I fell in love with hiking because it is not only good for physical health but also my mental health. Outdoor exercise made me feel more connected to nature and gave me time to reflect as well as be reminded of all my blessings.”  Exercise also sharpens our memory and thinking, by improving our blood circulation in our body, and in specific our brain tissue. This helps us  concentrate better. In an article called “The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise” it says “Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.” On another note, sleep is also a big benefit of exercising. It’s said that exercise contributes to more sound and restful sleep as well as increasing the amount of time spent in deep sleep which is the most restorative sleep phase. 

There are many ways you can get exercise in, but when you can, exercising outdoors provides many perks. Soaking in the sunshine also means soaking in some valuable Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps protect us from diseases and conditions like Osteoporosis and cancer. The sun also adds a boost to our mood, after all what is better than getting outside and enjoying nature. Whether you are doing a workout outside, going for a run, or even just a walk. 

Exercise comes with a variety of benefits, some of which are just too good to pass up. 

Creating a habit of getting the heart rate up or even just being active is a good way of ensuring a long healthy life and avoiding those annoying aches and pains that come with growing older. So whether you are in it for the mental or physical aspects, exercise comes with a sense of well being and accomplishment that you can only get from putting in the effort.