It is estimated as many as two-thirds of UK adults are either overweight or obese and, as a nation, we're getting fatter. Maintaining a healthy weight is therefore a vital component of good health. Getting rid of excess weight can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce joint and mobility problems, and improve energy levels and mental health. Maintaining a healthy weight is also the key to avoiding serious health issues such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
One of the best ways to maintain your heart health is to give it a bit of a workout. Regular aerobic exercise improves the heart's ability to pull oxygen out of the blood, so reducing the need for it to pump more blood to the muscles. It helps to lower your blood pressure, reduces 'bad' cholesterol that increases your risk of heart and circulatory diseases, and reduces stress hormones that can put an extra burden on the heart.
As we age, we all gradually lose muscle and bone mass, which can in time lead to joint problems. Building and maintaining joint strength through staying active is a key way to preserve your musculoskeletal health. Exercise improves bone density and keeps the muscles surrounding your joints strong, so helping with conditions such as arthritis. It increases your strength and flexibility, co-ordination and balance, all of which become increasingly important as we grow older.
Exercise brings real benefits for mental health and emotional wellbeing. Exercise releases endorphins that can improve mood and give you more energy. By also releasing the hormone cortisol, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Especially if it gets you out in the great outdoors, exercise can allow you to reset yourself mentally and emotionally. By making you feel more tired at the end of the day, regular exercise can improve your sleep.
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