Humans are physical creatures, and it is no secret that many of us get less than the recommended amount of exercise a day. Movement is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, losing weight, and retaining overall fitness. While the benefits of exercise apply to both sexes, some of those benefits are even more advantageous for women. Read on for inspiration, and let’s start to enjoy our workouts!
Exercise Improves Your Mood
Exercise, in general, is ideal for lifting a bad mood, but this can be particularly effective for women. Our menstrual cycles mean that ever changing estrogen and progesterone are constant within our bodies, impacting fertility patterns, and altering brain chemistry and mood. Immediately before a period, progesterone levels drop, and this can reduce the amount of serotonin, or ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. The result is more moody behavior, and increased susceptibility to depression and anxiety.
Exercise releases mood regulators known as endorphins. These chemical helps to balance out the loss of serotonin at these times, leaving you happy and relaxed following a workout. This effect can even be seen following menopause when the levels of estrogen and progesterone are permanently diminished.
Exercise Prevents Osteoporosis
As they age, women become far more likely than men to developing bone fractures and osteoporosis—eight out of ten Americans with osteoporosis are women. This is caused mainly by the thinner bones of women, and decreasing estrogen after menopause resulting in loss of bone strength. The consequences can be severe. Hip fractures can lead to immobility and even early death.
Starting an exercise regime as early as possible helps to build strong bones which can protect from osteoporosis. Fitness Informant’s advice is that this exercise should focus on weight-bearing and strengthening activities such as tennis, hiking, light jogging, and aerobics. Weight lifting is also valuable, as are activities which focus on strength and flexibility such as yoga and pilates. Putting in the time and effort earlier in life can help you to avoid major, potentially life-threatening, conditions and injuries later on.
Exercise Improves Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our bodies, and yet it is so callously neglected. Many of us struggle to fall and stay asleep and try dramatic solutions such as dietary changes, bedtime routines, and even sleeping pills. There is a far simpler solution right at your fingertips—exercise.
The physical workout and movement of exercise help to trigger an increase in the body temperature as we work up a sweat. The drop in temperature which follows can help to promote falling asleep. Our bodies have to be cooler for us to rest efficiently. As we have discussed, exercise can also help to reduce depression and anxiety, and so have a positive impact on sleep. The circadian rhythms of our body can also be affected by exercise, making it easier to fall into a regular and natural sleep pattern.
So there you have it, exercise helps improve your mood, strengthen your bones, and get a better night’s rest.