- NextStep New Zealand
3 benefits of exercise you don't know about until you stop exercising!
Exercise has a huge impact on how elastic your arteries are. Arteries carry blood loaded with fresh oxygen away from your heart out to all the tissues, organs and muscles around your body. Think of a large hose with the water going through it as your blood, if we don't use the hose regularly it gets stiff and is more likely to start to leak or not flow as effeciently as we would normally see. This is what happens with our arteries when we are inactive, over time they can stiffen up and if there's any plaque build ups they can lead to a block in the pipe and that isn't good news! While we can't easily measure your arterial stiffness some signs that can show that your arteries are not up to scratch are an increase in blood pressure and a higher heart rate. Because the arteries are tighter it forces your heart to increase the pressure and pulse to get adequate blood supply around your body. Exercise is a magic pill for this and works by stretching and relaxing your arteries while exercising thus keeping your hose nice and flexible. Its not until you stop that you might notice that actually that regular exercise was doing something for my heart health!
Bone density - why would we ever think about bone density? Bone health is usually measured by how dense, typically meaning thick and strong they are. Generally we have no issues with this because we are playing sports, doing physical jobs and participating in recreational activities however as we get older we start to do less while our bones are also structurally changing. Losing bone density can lead to more fractures and so on limiting our movement and decreasing our fitness. Again exercise is perfect to add load to our bones within a safe environment, thus decreasing our risks. Another benefit of exercise we don't really even think about until we have stopped and something happens!
Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and this rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60. This involuntary loss of muscle mass, strength, and function is a fundamental cause of and contributor to disability in older people. Now we all think going to the gym is about getting big beach body muscles but actually there are hundreds of muscles throughout our body that need to be challenged so that we can maintain a healthy functioning body throughout life. Structured regular exercise ticks this box and help us slow down the rate of muscle mass loss so that during older age we are able to keep doing the things we love!
So, 3 little things that are actually really important for your health that can be improved by doing safe, structured exercise regularly throughout the week without even noticing that you are doing them. If you need some help making sure that what you are doing is enough or you don't know where to start, our team is always ready for a chat just send us a through a email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can give you a call!