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Benefits of Exercise on Human Life

Sentence outline ’10+ Benefits of Exercise’

  1. Regular Exercise results in psychological Benefits.
  2. Exercising provides resistance from diseases.
  3. Regular and proper exercising helps to ward off heart diseases.
  4. Type 2 Diabetes is also reduced and averted by regular exercising.
  5. Exercise help to burn fat and reduce obesity.
  6. Scientifically advised exercises help to reduce and avoid back pain.
  7. Osteoporosis also can be avoided by strengthening, weight management and balancing exercises.
  8. Certain types of cancers also can be averted through proper exercise.
  9. There are other benefits of exercise other than the ones listed above.
  10. Adequate exercise provides better sleep.
  11. Weight management and body structure can be ensured by doing exercise.
  12. The benefits of exercise in totality give a longer life.

Physical activity is generally defined as bodily movement that is produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle and that substantially increases energy expendi­ture (Bouchard, 1990). Therefore, physical activity is an all-encompassing term that includes exercise, sports, dance and leisure activities. In contrast, exercise is commonly undertaken with the intention of developing health and/or physical fitness (Corbin, Pangrazi and Frank, 2000). Exercise has vital role in maintenance of the health of mind and body. The process of exercising has proven benefits to help one to lead a better life.

The changed scenario of professional and personal life in the busy competitive world of today limits the possibility of physical exertion. The increased occurrences of diseases and psychological defects despite the modern medial and scientific facilities relates to lesser exercising and physical exertion of the people. However there are scientifically proven benefits of exercise which contributes positively to various values of life, be it that of physical health or that of mental stability. This essay discusses various advantages and benefits of exercise on human life.

Benefits of Exercise on Human Life Essay

Psychological Benefits of Exercise

It is anticipated that regular exercises will have a beneficial psychological effect on individuals. The popular saying that a good mind leads to a good body is accurate in terms of the relationship between exercise and psychology. Though the impacts of exercise on the mind and thought process may not be visibly evident as in the case of physical benefits of exercise, the psychological benefits of regular exercise is proved to be as significant as the physical ones. The relation of physiological improvisation in positively affecting the physical attributes has been reiterated by the studies conducted by James H.Capshew. (Capshew, H, J, 2008,p.12).

`However there are direct impacts and indirect impacts of exercise on human psychology. When factors like self esteem and attitude are indirect subjective results of exercise, there are more tangible direct impacts of exercise on human psychology. These impacts are mainly caused due to the direct effect of bio chemical activity catalyzed by physical exertion. The bio chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and endorphins which are released by the brain are proved to have strong effects on mood, by helping to reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. (Azmitia E.C, Whitaker P.M,1991, p4-16). There are twenty different types of endorphin found in the nervous system and the beta-endorphins secreted during exercise have the most powerful effect. The release of beta-endorphins is proved to reduce pain as well and this is the reason why running becomes easier after continuously running for twenty minutes. This brain chemical stimulates the feelings of euphoria which makes people more enthusiastic after doing exercise. The chemical secretions in turn strengthen the immune system as well. This is the reason that exercise is prescribed as remedial measure to people suffering from psychological problems like depression and anxiety.

The indirect benefits of exercise on human psychology also have indicated positive results. Exercise has proved to improve self esteem of an individual. It develops a greater sense of self reliance and self confidence. The professional accuracy of a person also improvises due to regular exercise as it has been proved that regular exercising improves the mental alertness of a person. Perception and information processing which are vital to survive in the ever increasing competitiveness in each and every profession is improved through regular exercise. The added psychological benefits of exercise are increased perceptions and acceptance by others. The limiting personal attributes of stress and tension is decreased by physical exertion. Disappointments and failures are quite expectable in the busy schedule of day to day affairs. The approach and the way one respond to these experiences of failure is decisive in the personal and professional success. Exercise has proved to have substantial impact on reducing frustration on facing with challenging situations. It in turn helps to have a more constructive response towards such failures and disappointments.

In totality the psychological benefits of exercising has to be considered equivalent to the more visible physical benefits. The way exercising makes an indirect impact on the personality and the success of a person through its direct impact on the person’s psychology makes the relevance of exercising quite evident.  The development of a number of psychology based physical exercises also proves the fact that exercising can substantially impact the psychological approach of a person.

Health Benefits of Exercise

Resistance from Diseases

The changes in the life styles, facilities and routines have minimized the chances of physical exertion. However an increase in many deadly diseases has been noted in the recent past as well. It would be quite meaningful to relate both these developments which are proving to be detrimental. Researches have confirmed that optimum amount of exercise in terms of exertion and time, at any age, is beneficial to ward off diseases. Though any levels of exercising is beneficial, the more one stay close to the optimum level of exercising, the lesser he or she is prone to diseases. However the bench marks for this optimum level may differ from person to person in accordance to the age, health, physique and presence of diseases. There are general recommendations available on the average amount of exercising to be done by people in general. The National Academy of Sciences has recommended a physical activity of an hour per day to stay healthy. (CNN,2008) With reference to the role of exercise in warding off diseases, the benefits can be direct or indirect in effect. The direct health effects would include weight loss, muscle and bone strengthening, and fat burning. In general the heath vigor that these direct effects would bring to ones body would help to develop disease resistance. However these direct benefits are expected to bring in long term positive health impacts helping to ward off detrimental diseases. The impacts of exercise on warding off a number of diseases as listed and explained below have been identified by modern heath science.

  • Heart Diseases

The effective functioning of the heart very much depends on the health of the heart muscles, valves, arteries and on the blood pumping. However the pumping of blood can be hindered by the plaques which are built up on the arteries. These plaques can affect the blood pressure and thus the blood circulation, leading to cardio vascular problems like stoke and high blood pressure. These plaques are caused by the accumulation of cholesterol and other products in the blood stream. (CNN, 2008) Cholesterols are lipoproteins and has two classifications as good cholesterol and bad cholesterol with relevance it its effect on health. A study by Peter P. Toth, (Toth, P.P, 2005, p.e89-e91) has defined the role of low-density lipoproteins in causing cardio vascular diseases. The study has also defined the differences between low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins.

A regular physical activity helps to strengthen heart muscles and also helps to lower the blood pressure. This in turn facilitates the effective functioning of heart and enhances better blood flow. However physical activity can cause an increase in heart rate without increased energy expenditure. (Melanson & Freedson, 1996, 934-940).  There are suggestions (Pollock, M. L et.al, 1998, p.975-991) that physical exertion in a scientific way would help to lower the concentration of low-density lipoproteins and also subsequently increase the concentration of high-density lipoproteins in the blood. A change in the life style in terms of diet and physical activity would help the reduction of low-density lipoproteins (Toth, P.P, 2005, p.e89-e91).  A chance of development of high blood pressure is also averted by regular exercise and eventually it also helps to reduce the high blood pressure which has already developed. A regular physical activity would promote a habit of rhythmic, deep breathing. This improves the respiratory system by helping the lungs to develop a greater air holding capacity and eventually benefiting from a higher intake of oxygen which in turn nourishes the cells in a better way. The process of exercise strengthens the lungs and the heart as well. This promotes the improvisation in blood and air circulation, providing the much needed oxygen and blood to the cells in an improved efficacy. This improvisation is felt as a quick result of exercise as a person feels more energetic and refreshed after doing proper exercise.

  • Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease marked by an increase in the blood sugar level. This disease has its occurrence in relation with the action of certain biochemical like insulin. The increase of blood sugar can lead to further complications related to health and physical activities. It is also reported that the treatment of diabetes medically also leads to much complications.

In the study ‘Effect of Acute Exercise on AMPK Signaling in Skeletal Muscle of Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes’, (Sriwijitkamol, A et. al 2007,836-848), the effect of exercise in regulating blood sugar has been proved. Physical activity can enhance weight loss which in turn increases the insulin sensitivity. The study  by Marcelo B.S. Flores, Maria Fernanda A. Fernandes, Eduardo R. Ropelle, Marcel C. Faria, Mirian Ueno, Lício A. Velloso, Mario J.A. Saad, and José B.C. Carvalheira (Marcelo, B.S et. al,2006, p.2554-2561) has included direct measurements of leptin and insulin signaling in the hypothalamus, and it documented increased sensitivity to these hormones in the hypothalamus. Thus Regular exercise coupled with dietary amendments is vital in controlling cases of Type 2 Diabetes’. A theory behind the fact that exercise helps to reduce blood sugar level is that while exercising, the muscles would contract which needs energy and thus utilizes a good share of glucose in the blood. This results in the reduction of excess blood sugar levels.

  • Obesity

Obesity refers to a condition of abnormal increase in body weight. This condition usually occurs due the accumulation of excess fat in the body. This accumulation process in turn happens due to the excess intake of calories coupled with lack of physical exertion. Some cases of obesity are also referred as genetically caused. However when looked into the ratio of the incidents of obesity with reference to the causal factor, it can be noted that the share of genetically relevant attributes and medical reasons are much less as compared to the other reasons. Obesity further leads to health problems. Over and above that obesity impacts his character and mobility. Several studies (Magarey, Daniels and Boulton,2001,p.561-564) has suggested an increase in cases of obesity especially among children and adolescents in the recent past.

Exercising helps to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass which catalyses the body’s ability to burn fat. Physical activity has an important role in helping to combat this serious problem. If lifestyle changes are to be made, physical activity for overweight and obese people should be provided in a setting that is enjoyable and capable of engendering a positive experience. (Pangrazi, Corbin and Welk, 1996, p.38-43).  When exercise is done in combination with scientific control of diet it would help to lower the body mass index which is a scale towards the measure of obesity.

  • Back Pain

Back pain can be caused due to a number of reasons including inappropriate posture, excessive body weight and over strain on the back bone.

Strength training and exercises pertaining to posture improvement would help to reduce back pain. Exercises have scientifically proven abilities to strengthen bones and muscles. To have a good posture and have strong abdominal muscles are the effective defense against back pain. Proper posture and body mechanics are important when doing exercises for resisting back pain. Activities that involve twisting of spine or bending forward from the waist should be strictly avoided as this may add to the complications. A consultation on the selection of exercises should be ideally done.

  • Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become weak and thin to a point and they become fragile and break easily. In cases of osteoporosis bones in the hip, spine, and wrist most often break but any bone can be affected. The structural cavities within the bone become larger which causes reduction of bone density and strength. The outside portion of the longer bones called the cortex also thins to resultantly weaken the bone. Although this disease can occur to people of any age it is more common in older people especially older women.

Exercise can make bones and muscles stronger and helps to slow down the rate of bone loss. The basic strategies to be followed while exercising are strengthening, balancing and weight- bearing with reference to the exercises to prevent Osteoporosis. Strength training and weight-bearing exercises would help to develop bone mass and bone density. Weight-bearing exercises are recommended to be done three to four times a week to develop bone health. Examples of weight-bearing exercises are walking, jogging, playing tennis and dancing. CNN (2008). Strengthening and balance exercises will help to improve the balance and coordination which avoid falls and reduce the chance of breaking a bone.

  • Cancer

Researches have proved that regular exercise helps to lower the risk of cancers of the colon, prostate, uterine lining and breast. The process of exercising reduces body fat and decrease estrogen production which in turn is a factor promoting cancerous growth in female cancers including breast and endometrial cancers. Though not scientifically proved there are indications that exercise contributes to the restriction of combat colon cancer and prostate cancer.

Other Advantages of Exercise

  • Better Sleep

The goodness of sleeping depends very much on the physical and the mental health. Exercise of at least three hours before bedtime can help to relax and sleep better in the night. (CNN,2008)

  • Weight and Structure Management

Proper exercising helps to maintain the weight of the body to appropriate levels through burning calories. Burning more calories than the actual intake leads to reduction in body fat which gives a healthier body composition. This would not only contribute towards healthy medical conditions but also improves the personality and outlook of the person. Reduction of body weight would reduce the pressure exerted on bones and joints which prevents conditions like arthritis.

  • Longer life

The benefits of exercise in totality would provide healthier long life. In a study conducted by Harvard graduates, men who burned 2,000 or more calories a week by walking, jogging, climbing stairs or playing sports lived an average of one to two years longer than did those who burned fewer than 500 calories a week by exercising. Exercising also contribute in a positive way to the quality of life. (CNN,2008)

Conclusion

Regular exercising has proven benefits on human life. Exerting the body in optimum levels causes benefits in terms of psychological impacts, disease aversion, and other benefits which add positive values to life. Occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, back pain, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes and even certain kinds of carcinogenic diseases can be averted through proper and optimum exercising. However a scientific approach has to be ensured while doing any kind of exercise so as to avoid it affecting the body adversely.

To have a healthy mind and body is vital in order to lead a happy and successful life. To feel better in every moments of life, to have better energy to live life up to the expectations and to live longer, exercising has to be an integral part of ones routine. Optimum levels of exercise in a daily basis would significantly help to improve the overall health, well being and quality of life. However the most important factor is the regularity, optimum level and precision in the methodology of the exercise activity.

References;
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  • Bouchard, C.(1990). Discussion: Heredity, fitness and health. In C. Bouchard, R.J Shepherd, T. Stephens, J.R Sutton, M. C Pherson (Eds.), Exercise, Fitness and Health, Campaign, New York: Human Kinetics.
    Capshew, H. J.(2008), History of Psychology. APA Journals. 22. 12
  • CNN (2008) Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity. Retrieved November 20, 2008, from http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/HQ/01676.html
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  • Magarey,A.M. Daniels, L.A & Boulton, T.J (2001). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian children and adolescents: reassessment of 1985 and 1995 data against new standard international definitions. Medical Journal of Australia.174:561-564
  • Marcelo, B.S. Maria, F.A. Eduardo, R. R. Marcel, C. F, Mirian, U. Lício, A. Velloso, Mario, J.A. and José, B.C. (2006) Exercise Improves Insulin and Leptin Sensitivity in Hypothalamus of Wistar Rats. Diabetes. 55:2554-2561
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  • Pollock, M. L., Gaesser, G. A., Butcher, J. D., Despres, J., Dishman, R. K., Franklin, B. A., & Garber, C. E. (1998). The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30, 975-991.
  • Scully, D., Kremer, J., Meade, M.M., Graham, R., Dudgeon, K. (1998). Physical exercise and psychological well being: a critical review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 32, 111-120.
  • Sriwijitkamol, A et al (2007). Effect of Acute Exercise on AMPK Signaling in Skeletal Muscle of Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes.56.836-848
  • Toth, P.P. (2005). The Good Cholesterol:  High Density Lipoprotein. American Heart Association.111.  e89-e91.

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