Why working out is good for more than just your physical fitness

Embarking on a new fitness programme or maintaining a healthy habit of exercising regularly can be a daunting task, especially as we get older but there’s really no reason why you should be put off.  Finding the right club is a great place to start.  Not all health and fitness clubs are full of super-fit twenty-somethings working out.  Everyone should have access to the endless benefits from regularly exercising, regardless of your age or fitness level.  SmartFit35’s unique gym means it is with you every step of the way, offering support and encouragement for you to reach your goals, but if you are still in need of some gentle persuasion then read on…..

Staying active and social is vital at any age and even more so as we get older, and it’s never too late to start.  A recent study revealed that just one in four people between the ages of 65 and 74 exercise regularly.  This is a shockingly low percentage of people considering that exercise is proven to increase strength, prevent bone mass loss, improve balance and coordination, lift your mood and boost your memory, as well as ease the symptoms of many chronic conditions.

Partly to blame is the mind-set that seniors should no longer exercise, which simply isn’t true.  Exercise over a certain age isn’t pointless and can actually significantly delay the aging process.  In fact, exercise improves so much more than just your physical health.  It can also boost memory and help prevent dementia, as well as helping to maintain your independence – if you stay strong and agile, you’ll be much more likely to keep doing the things you enjoy in life for longer.

However, we automatically focus on the physical benefits of exercise and completely overlook the impact is can have on our mental health.  Mental health is an important part of our overall health so should be just as much of a priority.  Incorporating regular exercise in to our routines can have a positive impact on our mental well-being, something which shouldn’t be underestimated.  Here are a few additional benefits of exercise which are worth considering….

– Mood booster

Taking time out to workout can do wonders for your endorphin and serotonin levels, these are the ‘feel good’ chemicals.  This can lead to an improved mood and reduced levels of stress and anxiety, which in turn can reduce blood pressure.  Using the gym a few times each week and taking time out from the stresses of day-to-day life to focus on yourself can provide a great opportunity for relaxation.

– Alertness and concentration

Exercise can also provide a workout for the brain as it is proven to improve mental alertness as well as concentration.  Learning a new sport or taking part in a new class can all help to keep you on your toes and mentally active.  Various studies have linked regular exercise to increased brain function, improved memory as well as a reduced risk of developing dementia.

– Social benefits

Another mental well-being boost can be achieved through regular social interaction, so whether you visit the gym with a colleague, friend or family member or enjoy chatting to other gym-goers, a workout can provide a great opportunity to socialise.  Laugh together, sweat together and work hard together – whichever form of exercise you choose, make sure it’s fun, you’re much more likely to stick to it if you’re having fun along the way and can combine it with an opportunity to socialise.

To really see the benefits of exercise both mentally and physically, the key is to keep active.  This doesn’t mean pushing yourself to the limit but doing enough to regularly get your heart pumping and those all-important endorphins flowing.  Try incorporating a variety of activities that you enjoy in to your exercise routine, this will not only ensure you achieve the best result’s but you’ll also have fun taking care of your overall health.