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WATCH: Why you should continue to exercise, even as the temperatures are taking a dip

File image.

File image.

Published Jun 14, 2022


Johannesburg - Temperatures might be dipping as winter officially settles in, which makes motivating yourself to exercise even more challenging.

But health experts insist that working out at least three times a week has multiple physical and mental benefits.

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“Regular exercise is excellent for keeping both your physical and mental health in check,” Striide, an at-home, on-the-go fitness and gym equipment organisation, explained.

Here are Striide’s reasons to include at least three workouts in your weekly routine:

Improve your overall health

Striide believes that human bodies are made to move, so it’s no secret that exercise improves your overall health. “Exercise boosts your blood circulation, improves insulin activity, strengthens your muscles and heart, increases blood flow, and helps maintain general good health,’ they said.

They added that in some cases, something as serious as heart disease could be prevented or controlled with regular exercise.

“Strength training, on the other hand, builds muscle and promotes healthy joints as you age, and this type of exercise helps decrease arthritis pain and can improve glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.”

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They added that you don’t have to start working out for hours on end, every single day, to reap the benefits of regular exercise. “Research has shown that just three days of moderate to high-intensity exercise per week can have dramatic effects on your overall health.”

“The trick is to find something that works for you, and you’re more likely to stick to something if it’s convenient.”

Feeling more productive

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While there are many well-documented physical benefits of engaging in regular exercise, another great reason to get moving is that it will help boost productivity. Research has shown that exercise improves brain function.

“People who are physically active tend to score higher on cognitive tests than those who live sedentary lifestyles. It’s also been proven that there is a link between physical fitness, brain function, and reduced stress at work,” Striide said.

They added that when you exercise, you increase the blood flow to your brain, and as your blood flow increases, your brain is exposed to more oxygen and nutrients.

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“This also induces the release of beneficial proteins that keep brain cells (neurons) healthy, and promote their growth so basically, when you move, your mind functions better than if you were to stay still all day.”

Improved sleep quality

Striide believes that regular exercise has a major impact on the amount of deep sleep you get. “Deep sleep is also known as slow wave sleep, a sleep that affords the brain and the body an opportunity to rejuvenate with virtually no interruption,” they said.

“The exact correlation between exercise and deep sleep is still mostly unknown, but it could be linked to the way we use our energy during the day.”

The fitness and gym equipment company explained that due to the fast pace of daily life, our brains tend to struggle to wind down, messing up our body’s internal clock.

“We stay up later because we can’t switch off, and this creates stress, and we don’t sleep well, waking up feeling unrested and fatigued only to repeat the cycle.”

“But, when you exercise regularly, you increase the energy you have in the day, which in turn helps you be more productive.”

Stride suggests that the next time you’re struggling to sleep, try incorporating exercise into your day.

“When you start exercising regularly, you’ll start to reap the benefits almost immediately. It may seem like a challenge now, but the most difficult part is getting started.”