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Five reasons to exercise (that have nothing to do with fitness)

Exercise might help keep you trim, but it also enhances your wellbeing from head to toe.

1.  To improve your mood.

People who exercise are considerably less likely to experience low mood than those who don’t.

“Physical activity increases the brain’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin,” says registered psychologist Dr Adriana Ventura.

“Serotonin, among other things, plays a major role in maintaining a balanced mood.”

It may also prevent future depression, with a small study from 2012 from the University of Maryland showing moderate exercise helps people better handle anxiety and stress long after a workout session.

2. To sleep better

According to the Sleep Health Foundation, up to 45 per cent of Australian adults aren’t getting enough sleep.

The Sleep Help Foundation recommends adults between 18 and 64 years old get between seven and nine hours of shut-eye a night. Dr Ventura says, “Serotonin plays a role in regulating sleep, which is crucial for optimal wellbeing.”

3. To avoid developing diabetes 

Regular exercise improves blood sugar control and can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, a 2017 Canadian study found this form of diabetes can be reversed in four months with an exercise regimen, as well as cutting calories.

4. To lower cholesterol levels 

Cholesterol is a waxy substance cells use to make hormones and vitamin D, and aids in digestion.

The body produces just the amount of cholesterol we need. High cholesterol mainly occurs when we eat foods high in certain fats, increasing the risk of heart disease.

However, a 2014 UK review of research found 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, helps lower cholesterol levels.

5. To protect your heart 

If you’re looking to live longer and avoid problems with your heart, best get moving. A 2013 US report found higher levels of physical activity were associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

The National Heart Foundation of Australia recommends 30 to 45 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week, and muscle-toning activities twice a week.


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