The benefits of exercise on the body are well documented. Foremost, its physical benefits include weight management, reduction in the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancers, and strengthening of muscles and bones.
As the body reaps these benefits, it becomes easier to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. For older people, it reduces the risk of falls and increases the chance of living a healthy, longer life. No matter what your age, though, exercise improves sexual health.
Exercise, however, provides benefits other than keeping the body active. It also has mental benefits that improve a person’s psychological being and social life.
When you exercise, the body releases hormones called endorphins that allow your mind to feel good. This hormone also relieves stress and boosts energy. As the mind bathes in positive emotions and thoughts, it becomes stronger at fighting cortisol, a stress hormone.
With this ability, exercise provides mental benefits that include reducing the risk of depression, increasing clarity of thought, improving mood, and enhancing brain function. It also makes you sleep better, and if you smoke, you’ll find it easier to quit when you exercise regularly.
Side Effects of Overtraining
As good as it may seem, exercise also has its side effects – if you overdo it.When you exercise excessively, you become more prone to suffer from overtraining syndrome (OTS), according to Livestrong Foundation, an organization that provides support for cancer patients. It is a condition that prevents your body from recovering after too much regular exercise or high-intensity workouts.
You can go through different stages before finally suffering from OTS. In its early stage, you’ll experience overreaching. Its symptoms are milder than OTS and thus, can be reversed. You initially feel soreness in your muscles. However, if you ignore this and continue your workout, it can become more serious and lead to OTS.
Unfortunately, there is still no set of criteria used to determine if a person is suffering from OTS. Patients are told to watch out for its symptoms often manifests itself with chronic and intense muscle and joint pain, fatigue, trouble sleeping, altered mood, and decreased performance. Your heart rate is still fast even if you’re resting. You start to lose appetite, which becomes evident in your weight loss. The usual time it takes for your body to recover is now prolonged. Because of this, you often feel weak and sick and suffer from frequent illnesses.
Excessive exercise also affects the mind. You start to lose your enthusiasm. Whereas playing your favorite sport or doing your usual workout excites you, this time, you no longer feel the same way. You are also incapable of mentally preparing yourself for any kind of physical activity.Doing too much exercise will also increase levels of cortisol in your body. This will leave you stressed and irritable.
Health Consequences of Lack of Exercise
At the other end of the spectrum, lack of exercise also has negative effects on one’s mind and body.The combination of a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating, and no exercise can significantly increase your chances of developing life-threatening conditions. In fact, experts have stated many times that this kind of lifestyle will shorten a person’s life, more so than high blood pressure and smoking.
Here’s what will happen to your mind and body with a lack of exercise:
According to Science Alert, lack of exercise can affect your cardiovascular health because you’re not providing enough stimulus to your heart for it to get stronger.Physical activity encourages the heart to pump blood more, which improves circulation, cardiac output, and blood pressure. Because the heart is a muscle, it becomes stronger with activity, thus making you healthier. If you don’t exercise, your heart becomes weak.
When your heart is weak, it can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome. These symptoms are associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What Should You Do Then?
To ensure you don’t go overboard or live a sedentary lifestyle, stay physically active with moderate intensity exercises. Aerobic exercises, swimming, running, hiking, and biking are good exercises you can start with or revert to.
Sports such as tennis, volleyball, basketball, catch, even game fishing can also provide you with the physical activity you need. Sportfishing, for example, trains your full body strength as it engages muscles in your legs, core, arms, back, and shoulders. When fishing, use a high-quality, sturdy reel, such as one of the popular spinning reels from Penn, to avoid over-straining yourself.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Don’t overdo your exercises, but don’t neglect them altogether. Avoid any of the negative effects of over-exercising and lack of exercise. But, do maintain regular physical activity to keep your mind and body healthy.