How exercise changes your body – Introduction
If you want to know how exercise changes your body, you’re in the right place.
Are you still sitting on the couch or searching for another ‘zero exercise’ diet?
Maybe it’s time to get off the sofa and start moving, no?
Especially if you still feel like you’re turning into a bowl of jello.
And it is not only about weight loss, because regular exercise results in tremendous positive effects for your body, inside and out.
For example, exercise can help you lose weight, improve your mood, sleep quality, heart health, lifespan, and energy levels.
It can also increase your muscular strength, endurance, and overall fitness.
Do you know a pill that can do the same?
I didn’t think so.
The bottom line is that exercise has many benefits for both your physical and mental health.
So what exactly happens inside your body when you start a regular exercise routine?
This article explains some of the most vital benefits of exercise and how it can change your body and, likely, your life!
10 Sensational Ways How Exercise Changes Your Body
#1. Cardiovascular system
Your cardiovascular system is responsible for transporting blood throughout your body.
When something goes wrong with even one component of your cardiovascular system, such as a heart attack or stroke, it can have serious, if not fatal, results.
Fortunately, you have a choice, and all you need to do is start moving.
The good news is that even 30 minutes of exercise each day can help reverse decades of inactivity.
Regular exercise improves the health of your cardiovascular system by improving your blood flow, reducing inflammation, as well as the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
That is only a drop in the bucket of how exercising changes your body.
But hold on, there is much more!
#2. Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States, killing approximately 659,000 people each year. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the leading cause of death in women and men. ¹
Therefore, heart health is important for both men and women because it’s the foundation of overall health.
There are many factors that can increase your risk for heart disease.
Some of these include: being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and a sedentary lifestyle.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
Make sure to get regular exercise; eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables (sound familiar?); avoid smoking, and manage your blood pressure and diabetes.
How much exercise do you need a day?
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
Types of Exercises
This recommendation includes enjoyable types of exercises like:
- cycling outdoors, or using an
- indoor exercise bike,
- air/fan bike,
- stair climbing,
- rock climbing,
- strength training,
- running, or
- walking at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes five days a week.
Use any of the exercises above to improve your cardiovascular health to strengthen your all-important heart muscle.
When it is strong and working correctly, it pumps more blood and oxygen throughout your body.
This increased blood flow helps deliver nutrients and removes toxins, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, and resulting in your looking and feeling better.
#3. Blood pressure
Regular physical activity can also have a profound effect on your blood pressure.
And not just because it helps you lose excess weight—a significant effect of any healthy exercise program.
Exercise widens your arteries and can lower your blood pressure.
It does this by reducing stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine in your system.
According to a recent study, researchers found that eight patients who wore a Fitbit blood pressure monitor were able to lower their systolic blood pressure by 15% with an increase in their activity level.
“These findings suggest that even modest amounts of physical activity can substantially impact blood pressure,” said lead researcher Professor Sujit Dey. ²
Therefore, if you discover that your blood pressure is sky high at a yearly checkup, before using amlodipine, think about your current exercise plan.
Suppose it is reaching for the remote control and flipping through the channels.
That’s not enough.
In that case, you could see incredible health benefits from a regular aerobic exercise regimen; even it is only walking!
Get yourself a FitBit Charge HR, Omron Evolve, a good pair of walking shoes, and get moving.
Consult your doctor about first trying diet and exercise before using medication.
#4. Growth of new blood vessels
Your body’s ability to grow new blood vessels – a process called angiogenesis – plays a critical role in healing wounds and repairing tissue damage.
But until recently, scientists thought angiogenesis only took place in the womb and early childhood.
Now, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have shown for the first time that exercise can promote angiogenesis in adults, helping your heart to remodel itself.
“These findings are important because they suggest that exercise may be able to stimulate repair and regeneration of tissues even in adulthood,” said study author Dr. Benjamin Levine, professor of medicine and cardiology at UTSMC. 4
#5. Resting heart rate
Did you know that the risk of developing heart disease and stroke is highest in people with resting heart rates above 75 beats per minute?
But, by lowering your resting heart rate to around 55 beats per minute, you can significantly reduce your risk of these diseases. 5
Also, having a lower resting heart rate reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and leads to an improved fitness level and better overall health.
A lowered resting heart rate can help you lose weight, increase endurance, and improve circulation.
The magic pill known as exercise can improve heart health in a variety of ways:
- Increase the size and strength of the heart muscle, lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke;
- Improve blood flow to the heart by promoting better circulation;
- Reduce stress levels, which may also lead to better heart health.
Last but not least, exercise has been linked with lower resting heart rates, meaning that it can help you reach your target heart rate and fitness goals more quickly.
#6. Improved immune system
If you are like most people, you probably think of exercise as a way to burn calories, stay slim and look good.
And while it’s true that a regular exercise program helps control your weight and improve your appearance, it also strengthens your immune system, helping you stay healthy all year round.
Exercise has a direct effect on the cells of your immune system.
It increases the number of white blood cells, which fight infection, and it also increases the activity of these cells.
Regular exercisers are 40% less likely to catch a cold than their sedentary counterparts.
And if they do get sick, they will usually recover faster.
#7. Insulin resistance
The hormone Insulin is responsible for transporting sugar from the bloodstream into the cells, where it is converted to glucose and stored for energy.
Insulin resistance is the condition when your body can no longer use the hormone insulin effectively.
However, when insulin resistance develops, the body produces more and more insulin to compensate, eventually leading to type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes
According to the ADA, a whopping 37.3 million people in America have diabetes (11.3% of the US population). 6
Contributing factors include being overweight or obese, eating high sugar and refined carbohydrates, and having a sedentary lifestyle.
Obesity and chronic inflammation are the two most important risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
The good news is that there are many things that you can do to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes!
First, focus on unprocessed foods like vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and minimize the amount of highly refined junk food.
Second, exercise regularly, and there are plenty of workout strategies to choose from in Body Transformation: the ultimate guide.
I have you covered on that too with How to lose 20 pounds in 3 months, the principles I wish I knew decades ago.
Resistance training, also called strength training, is a type of workout that uses resistance to create muscular contraction.
Fifth, exercise helps you burn fat, which can also help to improve insulin sensitivity.
Sixth, get your blood sugar under control with medications like insulin or oral medication therapy if prescribed by your doctor.
While there is no single cure for insulin resistance, you can put your Type 2 diabetes into remission with the right lifestyle changes.
In general, diabetes experts say with medication and lifestyle changes; diabetes patients could notice a difference in three to six months. 7
#8. Bone Density
Bones are the foundation of your body and are crucial for movement.
They are constantly changing due to the stresses you put on them.
Resistance exercise, such as weightlifting, is one of the best ways to increase bone density and prevent bone loss as you age.
#9. Weight loss and caloric burn:
When you exercise, your body works harder and burns more calories, which can help you burn fat, lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
In a study by the University of Missouri, obese women who exercised for 30 minutes three times a week lost more weight and body fat than those who did not exercise.
But, it was not till I was 55 that I finally learned the value of compound exercises for weight loss.
For decades I languished on the overweight and obese roller coaster till I felt completely hopeless that I’d ever be able to see over my distended stomach.
After 50, the issue was not only cosmetic; it was health because all my numbers were pointing in the wrong direction.
My physician did not make things better when he said my cholesterol, A1C, and blood pressure numbers were so bad that he would not be surprised if I collapsed from a cardiac event in the middle of Manhattan.
But what else could I do?
I tried every diet out there for many years, went to the gym, walked on the treadmill, and did some machine weights or dumbbell curls and shoulder presses.
But, it was to no avail.
So, it’s not only about burning calories.
You need to eat clean and use multiple different muscle groups simultaneously – consistently.
Then you will see the miracle of your body transformation.
#10. Muscle growth (hypertrophy)
Individual muscle cells that contract and produce strength make up your muscular structure.
Exercise helps you build muscle by causing these muscle cells to contract more frequently and with greater force, increasing your strength.
As a result, this new muscle growth can improve physical performance and increase bone density.
Stronger muscles help you burn fat because your body has to ‘spend’ more calories to maintain your new muscle mass for every pound of muscle you build.
The bigger and stronger your muscles, the more energy they can generate, which will help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are back lounging on the lazy boy.
You do need a good day of rest from time to time to recover and prevent overtraining.
How Exercise Changes Your Body – Wrapping up
Exercise has many benefits for your body, both physically and mentally.
These benefits include reducing stress levels, improving heart health, boosting the immune system, promoting weight loss and overall fitness.
According to ACE, people who exercise regularly are up to 78 percent less likely to develop chronic diseases such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.
Also, most importantly, regular exercise can help you look and feel younger.
The takeaway is that exercise changes your body and body shape in multiple ways, all of which are beneficial.
It increases muscle mass and strength, helps protect against chronic disease, and even influences your emotional wellbeing.
Though the body changes wrought by exercise are numerous and impressive, it’s important to remember that they take time.
You won’t see or feel the full benefits of an exercise program overnight; rather, they accumulate gradually over time.
But with patience and persistence, you can definitely expect to see a transformation in your body—and your life.
So how long will you wait till you begin?
Get started on your fitness journey today!
To get a picture of life before clean eating and only one compound exercise (the deadlift) and life after, see:
- 11 Getting Fit at 50 Before and After Photos; Fit Apprentice, and
- Deadlift body transformation: 27 Sensational Ways How Deadlifts Change Your Body.
- Can Type 2 Diabetes Be Reversed Permanently? Is it Curable?
- Top 10 Benefits of Physical Activity for Your Health & Fitness
- 5 Easy Fitness Assessment Tests You Can Do at Home
- The Obesity Code Summary Can Spark Your Weight Loss
- 13 Remarkable Ways How Rowing Changes Your Body & Life