Four Important Reasons to Exercise

Mental health and physical healthcare are intricately intertwined. Talk to any mental health practitioner and you will find out that physical activity of any form is highly recommended as a first line treatment of mental health disorders.

As an elderly man in my 60s I have been reflecting and understood that growing up in the village had great advantages. We walked everywhere and all the time. We walked to and from school, walked to the shops, walked to the river taking cows to quench their thirst etc. Exercise was our life and we didn’t need exhortation to go out and get active. It was simply our life. However, times have changed everything. Modernity and everyday conveniences have made life easier and therefore more sedentary.

It came to my attention that there are indeed four major reasons to commit to a consistent exercise routine.

  1. Exercise increases blood flow in the brain which is beneficial in multiple ways. It increases oxygen levels and nutrients to the brain giving one a healthy well nourished brain. OT removes dead or dying cells and clears all the unwanted by-products of the complex chemical activity that goes on there. Finally, the increased blood flow keeps blood vessels supple and young preventing or at least delaying aging of the brain.

  2. Exercise relaxes tension in muscles leaving one relieved of tension headaches and muscular pains that can be very distressing.

  3. Exercise induces production of endorphins within the brain. Endorphins reduce pain in the body and give on a few good glows. In fact intense workouts give a feeling like a literal high. People who exercise regularly will tell you they actually look forward to exercising because of this feel good aspect. This is one addiction that is perfectly acceptable, healthy and definitely legal. Patients suffering from anxiety depression and stressful situations respond faster when exercise is part and parcel of the treatment.

  4. Exercise sharpens the mind and tones the body making one efficient and increasing productivity. That’s why corporate pay for expensive gyms for their senior management. You will sleep deeper and wake up more rested when you are exercising. Furthermore exercise boosts immunity warding off infections and cancers

To exercise regularly, one has to be purposeful and deliberately plan the time in otherwise something will come up and it just won’t happen. It does not need to be expensive or exotic. Not at all! It is as simple as walking. Walking has always been and still remains the best exercise ever. If you don’t believe me ask the military how they get their recruits fit and how long they make them march everyday and in infinitum.

There are other options to getting exercise into our days. Working in the kitchen garden or taking care of the compound is great exercise and will save some money along the way. If one can swim and has access to a pool, take advantage of that and go take a dip as swimming efficiently works out every part of your body. If planned workouts are your favourite form of exercise, there are thousands of exercise programs available in gyms or on YouTube that would provide tried and tested routines.

Go ahead fancy yourself and exercise. Your body will thank you and your brain will not only give you a glow but it will serve you more efficiently.

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