Benefits of exercise

May 15, 2021

The benefits of exercise have been proven time and time again and don't need any further advocacy, right? Well, maybe a healthy reminder could help.

While we know exercise is beneficial – do we know exactly what it does for us?

Exercise is a mood booster

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym, a brisk 30-minute walk or partaking in your favourite physical activity – whether it be going for a jog or dancing around the kitchen – all of it can help.

Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost both your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Wanting to prevent high blood pressure? Being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This double dose keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage many health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls.

Exercise gives you energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to fall asleep? Or to stay asleep? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime or you may be too energized to fall asleep.

These are just some of the many benefits that being active has to offer, and the best thing is that the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking – regardless of your age, gender or physical ability.

All Manitobans can access Manitoba Blue Cross's counselling services to discuss healthy lifestyle changes, regardless of whether or not they have coverage with Manitoba Blue Cross. Find the available support that's right for you here.