MOOV more, live better — The benefits of physical activity

Looking to boost your energy levels and have an improved sense of well-being? If so, then please read on.

Whenever that annual health check-up comes around, three things are (very) likely to happen: your blood pressure gets checked, your body weight is measured, and you’re asked: “what are your physical activity habits?”. The answer to the latter will inform your physician of how many times per week you engage in physical activities and the intensity of such activities, helping them (assuming you’re truthful) to determine your lifestyle and examine you accordingly quickly.

Nowadays, people move less and sit/lie down more. Even though our way of life differs from that of our ancestors, the medical community agrees: physical activity improves and protects every individual’s health and quality of life (healthy or otherwise). But is it really worth it to work up a sweat? Yes, it is, and believe us when we tell you that you’ll get more than a fit bod from doing so.

More energy, better sleep

Any physical activity that makes you sweat and increases your heart and breathing rates is known as aerobic exercise (e.g., running, swimming, and dancing). Studies show that regular aerobic physical activity reduces the time it takes for one to fall asleep and the number of nocturnal awakenings. If you sleep better, you’ll have more energy. Though closely linked, your energy doesn’t all come from a good night’s sleep.

When you’re actively moving around, oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to your tissues, consequently improving the work efficiency of your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This improved system efficiency gives you a greater “energy bank” for day-to-day chores.

Stronger muscles, healthier heart

Exercise builds and strengthens our muscles, which in turn helps to protect bones and joints from injury. In addition, it improves the muscles’ ability to pull oxygen from the blood without overloading the cardiovascular system.

Regular physical activity makes your heart pump more blood with less effort, which ends up lowering your blood pressure as the force of the blood circulating within your arteries decreases.

More brain cells, better mood, focus, and memory

The benefits of exercise go beyond increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. Simply moving your body also has on-the-spot and long-lasting effects on your brain. The immediate effects are mostly hormonal and include an increase in brain chemicals (a.k.a. neurotransmitters) like dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. These boost your heart and respiratory rates, improve your focus, decrease feelings of anxiety, and give you a sense of personal contentment, thus improving your overall mood. It’s no joke, try it! Get on the dotmoovs app, enter a dance challenge, and you’ll see how you feel afterward. The more regularly you MOOV, the more long-lasting the above-mentioned chemical-based effects will be.

When talking about long-lasting effects, it should be noted that it’s not all based on chemical changes. There’s indeed a hormonal component, but these chemical changes will eventually alter the brain’s structure. For example, scientists have reported that exercise stimulates the creation of new brain cells within a structure called the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped brain area involved in memory formation and storage, thus improving memory retention.

Research has also demonstrated regular exercise even protects against chronic diseases. One thing is for sure: moving remains “the best medicine”.

We could go on and on as physical activity has much more benefits than the ones briefly mentioned in this article. But we’ll just leave you with this conclusion: MOOV more, and you shall live better 😊

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