5 Exercise Facts That Might Surprise You
Updated: Oct 2
Warning: reading this blog may induce the urge to work out. Besides the obvious reason, to look good, there are several health benefits that should not be ignored. In fact, don't be surprised if you're more motivated to partake in regular workouts when you discover just how important exercise is. The key to good health truly is exercise.
1. Reduces aging
If you want to ward off the aging process, maintaining healthy cell function is key and exercise is the way to make that happen. By increasing your heart rate and circulation with exercise, a boost of nutrients and oxygen is delivered throughout the skin cells of the face and body.
The rise in vitamins and oxygen to the cells, fuel them to reproduce and repair the damage to the skin from years past. In addition, these nutrients feed the connective tissue cells called fibroblasts which produce the age fighting nutrient collagen. Along with strength training, this can prevent the skin from appearing old and droopy by increasing muscle tone and skin elasticity.
Exercise also increases the number of powerhouse cells called mitochondria which improve your body’s ability to produce energy. These cells transform energy from food into cellular energy. When you put a high demand on your cells to produce more energy, such as strength training, a higher quantity of mitochondria is required, improving the body’s ability to produce energy and boost strength. When we don’t exercise, the number of mitochondria in our cells decreases, which means our body doesn't have the necessary fuel to maintain healthy cell function.
“After six months of twice weekly strength training exercise, the biochemical, physiological and genetic signature of older muscles is ‘turned back’ nearly 15 or 20 years.” - New York Times
2. Increases brain performance
As we age, certain areas of the brain, including the hippocampus and amygdala, decrease in size. Exercise is a crucial part in retaining brain function and reducing risk of degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. The physical act of working out gives your mind the power to tackle challenges.
Muscles need more blood when they engage in exercise, and their response to regularly performed exercise is to create new blood vessels. By increasing the amount of blood flow to the brain, an increase in oxygen and nutrients become available to the brain cells. This in turn encourages the brain to form new neurons in the hippocampus. Exercise also increases the neurotransmitter serotonin, which aids in memory, cognition, and learning.
Working out sharpens your memory and brain performance and studies indicate that strength training specifically has the greatest impact on cognitive function. It has also been shown that using heavier resistance or weights, can improve the nervous system and mental pathways. Your brain develops stronger neural connections in order to make the muscles work harder. Strength training will not only build muscle, it will also build the connections in the brain.
3. Strengthens immune system
By keeping the body in a strong and healthy state, our body’s immune response increases. The thymus gland is responsible for producing progenitor cells, which mature into T-cells for the immune system to grow properly. The body uses these cells to fight infections and destroy cancer cells. After birth, the thymus gland begins to shrink and this deterioration speeds up after puberty, decreasing T-cell production.
It is said that by age 65, we are unable to make new T-cells. However, research has shown that the decline of T-cell production in older adults who are physically active is trivial compared to those who do not exercise. In fact, the physically active adults appear to have younger-looking, healthier immune systems in regard to the thymus. Their bodies are producing just as many T-cells as a younger person.
Regular workouts are a key component for a strong immune system. Committing to consistent exercise throughout our lives will allow us to not only live longer, but also live healthier.
4. Boosts metabolism
The main reason people usually want to increase their metabolism is to burn more calories and building muscle is an effective way to achieve this. Because muscle is continually being broken down, repaired, and formed, energy is required to make this process happen. The more muscle you have, the more energy it takes to continue the cycle.
Building more muscle increases your everyday basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body requires during times of rest. Similar to the amount of gasoline a car expends while idling in park. It is estimated that each pound of muscle burns six calories a day at rest. One pound of fat roughly burns two calories a day. Because muscle is more expensive metabolically, by simply building more muscle, you’ll boost your metabolism and burn more calories even at rest. Timed static contraction strength training is an effective way to stimulate muscle growth and it's something you can do right at home.
"The metabolic demand of a pound of muscle is greater than it is for a pound of fat, so just sitting around, the amount of energy needed to maintain a pound of muscle per day is greater than that of a pound of fat. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day."
5. Improves sleep
Sleep is important on many levels. The quality of our night’s sleep often determines how good of a day we will have. Waking up after a restful night’s sleep allows us to be productive, efficient, and happy. Most importantly though, sleep is when the body heals and repairs itself, making it a vital part of our health.
Exercise, especially strength training, plays an important role in a quality night’s sleep. It also regulates blood pressure and metabolic rate, while reducing cortisol levels, therefore balancing stress in the body.
Exerting your body sufficiently, fatigues the muscles and releases tension in the body allowing you to feel relaxed. The energy expended during a quality strength training session will require your body to repair and replenish, causing you to experience a deeper night’s sleep.
“Not only does weight training take credit for helping you sleep better, some researchers also say it helps you fall asleep faster and even sleep more deeply.”
Well worth it
Now that you know how important strength training is to your health, hopefully you're chomping at the bit to start working out regularly. The best part is, you don't need to go to an expensive gym, buy bulky equipment or figure out a complicated routine. In fact, the TSC-90 Workout is an effective, portable, workout you can do at home, and you can start right now! Get access to the full-body TSC-90 Workout videos today. What are you waiting for?