Top 5 ways scientists say exercise improves your health

Research shows that exercising regularly is one of the best activities for improving our health. And to back up this notion, there are plenty of research studies that highly recommend and encourage to find a physical activity we each enjoy. 

So, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of being physically active.


  • Significant brain health benefits come from exercise



The benefits to brain health from exercise are well-documented in numerous studies. These studies have shown that exercise enhances memory functioning, attention-span, decision-making, improving blood flow to the brain, decreasing cell damage with the brain, and may lower risk of dementia.


However, in recent years, scientists have also discovered that our brain undergoes neurogenesis, the process of growing new neurons that appears to be related to people who regularly participate in aerobic exercise. The hippocampus of the brain, the area responsible for learning and memory, is the region of the brain capable of growing new cells. This is good news as the hippocampus also can “shrink” during depression and dementia.



  • Chronic inflammation calms down after exercise


Chronic inflammation is different from acute inflammation.  Acute inflammation occurs from twisting or scraping knee, which may result in swelling or significant bruising. To begin the healing process of acute inflammation, the body floods the injured area by sending signals to your immune system. 

Chronic inflammation refers to long-term inflammation that can spread throughout the body and constantly sends distress signals, putting the body in a constant state of emergency. Chronic inflammation is associated with conditions such as psoriasis, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, chronic inflammation can also promote the growth of cancer cells, such as prostate cancer, and provide them with an opportunity to thrive. However, regular exercise can help reduce chronic inflammation by stimulating the muscles to produce anti-inflammatory proteins that trigger an overall anti-inflammatory response throughout the body.

Research indicates that engaging in a moderate workout for 20 minutes can have a significant impact on our immune system. According to a study, individuals who either walked or jogged on a treadmill experienced a 5% decrease in inflammation after exercising.

Studies have also shown that a 20-minute moderate workout significantly impacts our immune system. One study found that participants either walked or jogged on a treadmill, and found that after the exercise, there was a 5% reduction in inflammation. 



  • Heart attack and stroke risk are reduced


Taking care of our hearts can be achieved through regular exercise. Engaging in physical activity helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are significant markers of heart disease. Research has demonstrated that even a 30-minute daily walk is effective in improving heart health, while light physical activities like gardening can also contribute to maintaining a healthy heart.


  • Physical activity slows aging


Living a longer life has been shown to be correlated with exercise. One reason why is from a study that found exercise is linked to longer caps or telomeres located at the end of chromosomes. Normally with age, telomeres will shorten, every time cells divide. People, who exercise regularly, had longer telomeres than people who skip exercise, meaning exercise makes you years younger than the average person. 


  • Exercise can help treat depression


Depression is a prevalent disability worldwide, but limited effective treatments are available. It can be a lengthy process to find the appropriate treatment. However, studies have shown that exercise can be a successful method for treating specific types of depression, as evidenced by the positive outcomes of people with depression who participated in exercise studies.

Research is now saying that physical activity can help reduce depression. This is because a brain chemical called serotonin acts as an anti-depressant and helps the brain grow new cells. Even if you don’t feel like exercising, just a few minutes of daily exercise can make a difference. And for those who don’t suffer from depression, regular exercise may prevent it from developing altogether.


 Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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