The benefits of exercise

The benefits of exercise

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If you follow me on Instagram then it will come as no surprise to read that I am pretty passionate about being active and keeping fit. I’ve always been an active person – at school, I was in every sports club going and as I got older I have, at various stages been into the gym, running or swimming. Basically, things that keep my body moving and keep me fit and strong.

After having the three children I was (unsurprisingly) carrying more weight than I have in the past and the effects of three pregnancies in close succession and the inevitable effects of not being in my early 20s anymore has meant that I’ve had to push that little bit harder to get myself back into shape.

I’ve written before about why I exercise – there are, for me, significant short-term┬ábenefits. On days when it’s been hard going with the children I really do find that getting into the gym and pushing myself to work harder, lift a heavier weight or jsut test my body means that I leave feeling like I’ve achieved something. I set myself small targets and, with the help of my PT, am hitting them, which in itself is a huge confidence boost. I am stronger and fitter and it has the added effect of leaving me more energised and sharper in my mind.

But it’s not only those short-term or immediate effects – there are so many longer-term benefits to exercise. For instance, for women there is a risk of decreasing bone density as you age (amid hormonal changes that take place) – lifting weights is proven to help ward off some of those effects. I want to stay strong and I wanted to make sure I can lift up my children as long as possible – they’re only getting heavier so I need to be able to keep up.

Cancer Research also indicates that by being active and losing or maintaining a healthy weight, you reduce your risk of developing 13 different types of cancer. If you’re doing a lot of exercises, then there is evidence to suggest that it can help to prevent breast and bowel cancer. This is all down to how the hormone levels are managed in the body – so for instance where breast cancer is concerned, doing a lot of exercise can reduce the levels of oestrogen, which in turn can help to prevent breast cancer (oestrogen can encourage cells in the breast to divide and multiply more often).

So, as well are the shorter term and immediate benefits there are also the longer term ones – and to be honest, if one of those benefits is to help to ward off breast or bowel cancer treatment then I’m all for spending time in the gym.

But being active doesn’t just mean hitting the gym. Running in the park with children, going on walks or playing football are all ways to help stay active and reduce weight to maintain a healthy wasitline.

You can read more about the benefits of exericse here on the NHS website . There is also more information about the evidence on reducing risk of cancer on the Cancer Research website here.

 

 

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