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How Exercise Affects the Body

Exercise can be incredibly beneficial for your physical and mental health. Find out how some simple exercises can benefit you.

by Joe Graceffa, on February 16th, 2017

Exercise is one of those things that every doctor recommends and almost everyone tries to avoid. Many think they can improve their health and wellness by changing their lifestyle or diet, hoping that if they can just do well enough in those areas they can forgo those unpleasant hours in the gym. Though many know that exercise is incredibly important for the body, many aren’t aware of just what benefits can come from mild, regular exercise. To try to highlight some of these benefits and show people that exercise can be fun and easy, we’ve put together this helpful guide.




Let’s start with the easiest. Walking is something that almost everyone should be doing more of. According to the Mayo Clinic, a daily brisk walk can help maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage certain conditions, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood, and improve balance and coordination. Walking can also aide digestion. Walking is the kind of exercise that requires almost nothing except a little time. Taking a nice, brisk walk around the neighborhood, around a local park, or even romantically along the beach proves to be a positive and enjoyable experience, which is partly why daily walks contribute to an improved mood.


If you want to get the most out of a daily walk, plan a music playlist or queue up your favorite podcast, get the right gear (which you can save on using our handy Nike promo codes), and set some time aside every morning or night. If your lifestyle doesn’t afford you enough time every morning or night, consider purchasing an activity tracker or simply paying more attention to the step counter that comes with most smartphones. Setting a daily goal and slowly working towards it every day can also be very beneficial for your health. Make sure to warm up your muscles before a walk by stretching and cool down by walking slowly. Setting aside 20 to 25 minutes a day to walk could add seven years to your lifespan!


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Weight Training


When you think about weight training, you may think of strongman competitions or 80’s action movie montages, but weight training is actually an excellent and approachable aspect of a good exercise regimen. The health benefits of weight training are many, from increased metabolism (which combats obesity and helps to resolve metabolic disorders), increased endurance, and significantly improved coordination. By strengthening your body’s muscle fibers, you can actually achieve many of the same benefits associated with exercises like running, swimming, or walking. Additionally, building muscle tissue increases the demand for glucose, which means that glucose is pulled from the bloodstream preventing blood sugar levels from rising to dangerous levels. In other words, weight training can help prevent diabetes. If you commit to a well-organized weight training regimen, you can begin to lower your risk for cardiovascular diseases, too. For elderly persons, weight training has been shown to keep the brain active and the nervous system and body tuned to the coordination of movement, which helps prevent Sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass that begins in our 40s. Light to moderate weight training can be done inexpensively, at home, and without sacrificing a lot of time.


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One of the best exercises you can do for your body is swimming. Swimming is a relatively low-impact way of performing extremely beneficial cardiovascular exercises. Other popular forms of cardio, like cycling or running, can be harmful to your joints, ankles, and bones. Over time, this amounts to more harm than good for your body. Swimming burns calories without the physical damage that occurs to your body over time. Additionally, swimming is a full body workout, which means that your whole body benefits from the time you spend swimming, as opposed to a single area or group of areas. Swimming is known to improve your breathing, and can even improve some symptoms of asthma. There are also mental health benefits from swimming. Swimming is known to improve your mood and decrease levels of anxiety and depression for those who suffer from fibromyalgia. If you’re looking for a great way to improve your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke in a fun, low-impact way, swimming may be the right exercise for you.


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