The NHS recommends we do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity with strength exercises on two or more days per week. Moderate activity includes things like brisk walking, bike riding on a flat surface or even pushing a lawnmower. Vigorous activity includes running, uphill biking and tennis. But how does this exercise benefit us?
- Improved mood - Exercise changes the parts of our brain that regulate stress and anxiety, increases sensitivity to hormones like serotonin and even produces endorphins that make us feel positive.
- Maintain healthy weight - Those who exercise regularly are less likely to be overweight as it burns calories and creates healthy energy balance, which is most effective alongside a balanced diet.
- Builds and maintains bone and muscle - Hormones get released that promote the muscles ability to absorb amino acids. Muscle is maintained as we age, and exercise builds bone density when we're younger which helps us when we get older.
- Increases energy levels - Exercise has been proven to reduce fatigue, even in those with persistent fatigue.
- Reduces risk of chronic fatigue - A lack of exercise increases belly fat which can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
- Helps skin health - Production of natural antioxidants is increased as well as stimulated blood flow which induces skin adaptations which delays appearance of ageing.
- Improves brain health - Improved blood flow to the brain helps brain health and memory and reduces changes that lead to Alzheimer's.
- Helps relaxation and sleep - Energy depletion during exercise stimulates recuperative sleep process which makes you feel more energised during the day.