There always seems to be a new craze diet on the market. Books, elixirs, and pills are sold by the millions as people are desperately seeking a new easy way to a slim figure. Some manage to lose weight, only to see the pounds return in a few weeks. So what are they doing wrong? Attempts at weight loss without the benefits of exercise will fail. Diets burn calories, but the body starts to “believe” that it is starving and conserves its energy. One of the benefits of exercise is that it forces the body to burn calories whether it wants to or not. A successful program for weight loss and health cannot ignore the benefits of exercise, which cause the body to burn calories throughout the day, not just during the exercise session.
The benefits of exercise go beyond weight loss. Depending on your routine, exercise has cardiovascular benefits, tones muscles and generally produces a sense of well being. Many have reported that the benefits of exercise extend to the psyche and not just the body; aerobic exercise releases endorphins, which are like the body’s morphine, and produces a kind of “high”. Bosses report that employees who exercise often perform more efficiently and think more clearly than their sedentary counterparts. This has inspired many employers to offer incentives for employees to go to the gym, so that the benefits of exercise can extend beyond the gym and into the workplace.
One of the benefits of exercise that is often overlooked is its effect on insomnia. This is counterintuitive, since one might think that a person who leads an active lifestyle is less prone to sleep. A sedentary lifestyle aggravates insomnia, but, as anyone with toddlers knows, getting some of that excess energy out can actually promote sleep. The benefits of exercise are on the other side of the coin too; it has been shown that people who exercise regularly need less sleep than couch potatoes.