For many people who are carrying extra weight it can be difficult to start an exercise program. This can be due to various factors such as low levels of fitness, joint issues, fatigue, difficulty finding a suitable activity, feeling uncomfortable and generally not enjoying the feeling of exercise initially.
However, there are many health reasons to exercise apart from reducing the amount of fat that is stored with in the body. In fact, even a small amount of exercise daily can help improve health significantly.
It has been stated by the ACSM (2014) that ‘exercise training is modestly effective in reducing weight, particular visceral fat within the abdominal cavity; and combined with a healthy nutritious diet, individuals can achieve significant reduction in their body fat percentage’.
However, let’s have a look at other reasons to exercise and the positive impact it has on the body apart from reducing body fat.
- Exercise has a positive effect on glucose metabolism (the amount of glucose that is in your blood and utilised by the body). Exercise assists in decreasing fasting glucose, decreasing fasting insulin, increasing glucose tolerance and increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Exercise has the potential to increase EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or in general terms, the amount of energy used post exercise) particularly if two shorter exercise sessions per day are implemented which results in increased overall metabolism.
- Resistance exercise can assist with maintenance of lean muscle mass. The more muscle an individual can build or maintain, the higher their resting energy expenditure will be. This results in higher calorie usage throughout the day. Increased muscle mass can also assist with the ability to perform every day activities with more ease.
- Exercise can also lower the risk of chronic diseases. Regular exercise can help prevent or manage high blood pressure. It can also raise high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the so called “good” cholesterol, and lower low density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Regular exercise can also assist in helping prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancers.
- Exercise can also improve your mood and is great for stress relief and is now used in conjunction with other therapies for the treatment of depression and other mental health disorders.
- Exercise can assist in the ability to have good night’s sleep and can improve concentration and productivity throughout the day, and help by assisting the body to fall asleep faster and deeper at night.
- Exercise improves joint health by improving blood flow to the joint, aiding lubrication and reducing friction.
As you can see from the above there are many reasons to exercise, that can have a large impact on your health, apart from losing weight. So even if you are exercising regularly and not getting the weight loss results you were hoping for, rest assured you are still having a positive impact on your overall health.
If you’re needing help with motivation, check out my FREE 5 Day Mindset Program here.
Or you might enjoy my free E Book, Fuel The Fat Burn, that has all my tips to assist with increasing metabolism and assisting with dropping those unwanted kilo’s. You can access it here.
Alternatively, I have a 6 week online program helping people develop a lifestyle that suits them to achieve health and fitness goals. Check out my Back To Basics Bootcamp here.