How active is your lifestyle? If you’re like most men, the answer is probably “not very.” That is unfortunate because regular physical activity offers a host of benefits for men of all ages. Exercising doesn’t mean you have to join a gym or start running marathons; it simply means making some time for activity every day. It can be something as simple as riding your bike across your neighborhood or taking a jog every morning.
Living a sedentary lifestyle can have a negative impact on your health in many ways. Here are 10 compelling reasons why every man should make physical activity a priority.
1. Better Cardiovascular Health
You only have one heart, a critical organ that needs to last your entire lifetime. That means you should take advantage of every opportunity to keep it healthy and functioning properly. Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to do that. Exercise strengthens your heart muscles and helps it to pump blood more efficiently. It also helps to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease.
When your heart health is in check, you’re less likely to experience a heart attack or stroke.
2. Stronger Bones and Muscles
As you age, your bones and muscles gradually begin to deteriorate. This process is called sarcopenia, and it can lead to a loss of strength, balance, and mobility. Regular physical activity can help to slow down the effects of sarcopenia and prevent falls and fractures, which are common injuries in older adults.
Weight-bearing exercises like running, hiking, and lifting weights are especially beneficial for bone health. They force your bones to work harder, which helps to keep them strong.
3. Improved Mental Health
Do you ever feel stressed, anxious, or depressed? You’re not alone. Mental health issues are common among men, and they can have a significant impact on your quality of life. They can also lead to substance abuse and other harmful behaviors. They can also interfere with work, social life, and relationships. Instead of turning to substance use and other destructive behaviors, choose an exercise or seek professional advice from health experts to evaluate further and help you if you need to undergo a drug and alcohol treatment center.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise can also help reduce stress and anxiety by distracting you from negative thoughts and providing an outlet for pent-up energy. You’ll feel better mentally and physically after a good workout.
4. Better Sleep
Sleep is critical for good health, but it can be hard to come by. Experts recommend that adults get 6-8 hours of sleep per night, but many men struggle to get even five hours. They end up feeling tired during the day and may even suffer from fatigue, something that leads to poor work performance and a greater risk of accidents.
How can exercise help improve your sleep? One, it can help to regulate your circadian rhythm, the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Two, it can reduce stress and anxiety, two common causes of insomnia. Three, it can increase the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps you to fall asleep.
5. Reduced Diabetes Risk
Diabetes is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. It occurs when your body can’t properly regulate blood sugar levels. If left untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications like heart disease, kidney failure, and blindness. These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to do what you can to prevent the condition.
Regular physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce your diabetes risk. It helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. This is especially true if you’re overweight or obese, as carrying excess weight is a major risk factor for diabetes. If you’re already diabetic, exercise can help to improve your condition. Simple exercises like walking, yoga, and swimming can have a big impact.
6. Better Weight Management
Are you happy with your weight? If your answer is no, you need to do something about it. Excess weight puts you at risk of developing serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also lead to joint pain, sleep apnea, and respiratory problems. In addition to these issues, excess weight also makes you feel bad about yourself. Fortunately, regular physical activity can help you lose weight and keep it off.
Exercising burns calories, which can help you to lose weight. It also helps to build muscle, and muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. This means that even when you’re at rest, you’re still burning calories. In addition to helping you lose weight, exercise also helps to keep weight off in the long term.
7. Exercising Boosts Sex Drive
Do you feel like your sex life is wanting? Maybe you’ve not been feeling motivated to have sex or you perform poorly in bed. Poor performance can diminish your self-confidence and sometimes give you stress and anxiety. According to Dr. Laura Berman, sex educator and New York Times best-selling author, men can increase sexual stamina by staying active, eating right, and making relatively simple lifestyle changes. When you exercise, it increases blood flow to various body parts, including the penis. And with increased blood flow to the penis, you can experience better and stronger erections. Improved muscle activity also greatly contributes to a better sex life. Examples of exercises to do for improved sex drive are weight lifting, yoga, swimming, and Kegels.
8. Can Be Used to Fight Destructive Behaviors
Many men struggle with destructive behaviors like substance abuse and gambling. These behaviors can ruin your life, and they often go hand-in-hand with mental health issues like anxiety and depression. If you’re struggling with destructive behavior, regular physical activity can help.
When exercising, you get distracted by destructive thoughts and behaviors. It can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, two common triggers for destructive behaviors. In addition, exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. These endorphins can help to improve your mood and make it easier to resist destructive behaviors.
9. Improved Brain Function
As you get older, it’s normal for your brain function to decline. This decline can lead to problems with memory, focus, and concentration. However, regular physical activity can help to improve brain function and protect your brain against age-related decline.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which delivers the nutrients and oxygen that the brain needs to function properly. It also helps to stimulate the growth of new brain cells.
On the other hand, exercise might not be enough if you are already experiencing forgetfulness at times. Since memory deterioration is inevitable with aging, proper care is essential. Memory loss can impair brain function and make it impossible to accomplish daily tasks. Thus, memory care is vital for those with impaired memory and related disorders.
10. Better Social Life
When you’re physically active, you have a better chance of meeting new people and making friends. This is especially true if you join a sports team or take part in a group fitness class. As you interact with others, you’ll start to build social relationships that can improve your life in many ways. For instance, you’ll feel happier and experience reduced stress levels. These are just a few of the many benefits that regular physical activity can offer. If you’re not already active, now is the perfect time to start. You can start slow by doing simple exercises like walking, and then gradually work your way up to more strenuous activities. Remember, it’s never too late to start reaping the benefits of exercise. Your body will thank you for it.
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