Exercise and Health

Author: Abhinav Kotapati

Introduction

When you think about exercise, you may think you don’t need it because you're skinny, but actually, that’s not true. According to Alice G.Walton, a health researcher at Forbes, exercise has only a 5% impact on your physical weight. So what is the true effect of exercise on the human body? Well, exercise has a staggering impact on one of the most vital organs in the human body, the brain.


Exercise and The Brain

There is an area in your brain called the hippocampus, located about an inch above each ear, that has ascendence over your learning and memory. According to Dr. Shawna Charles, a nurse practitioner, when the human body is in a state of physical activity, the hippocampus strengthens, whereas when sedentary or even depressed, the hippocampus can enervate. To keep your hippocampus strong and energized throughout your life, it is crucial to exercise and avoid depression in any way, shape, or form. Speaking about depression, some think that it’s uncontrollable, but exercise is a natural medicine that is proven to work, according to multiple studies. The reason for exercise’s natural ability to help depression is connected to the brain which releases a chemical called serotonin, a natural antidepressant. Also, physical activity kicks up endorphin levels, which is a chemical produced by the brain and spinal cord that produces happy feelings. It is even said by the American Psychological Association, also known as the APA, that 53% of teens say they feel sanguine after exercising. All these better feelings work towards making you, as a human being, healthier, stronger, and happier.


Exercise and Stress

These feelings also have a direct effect on stress, significantly lowering it. When you exercise, you increase your heart rate, which, said by Dr. Shawna Charles, reverses stress-induced brain damage by producing neurohormones like norepinephrine. According to the APA, which said that 68% of teens who say they exercise to help manage stress elucidated that the technique is very or extremely effective. If the human body is always content, which according to multiple sources is achieved through exercise, then the brain has better conditions.


Exercise and Cancer

Not only will your brain as a whole improve with exercise, but you are 33% less immune to all-cause mortality diseases with 150 minutes of weekly exercise, says the Center for Disease Control, also known as the CDC. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that the main reason for mortality is all the exercise controllable diseases, like heart disease and cancer. Yes, you heard that right, exercise, and cancer are closely related topics that have a huge connection to each other, which is explained by Harvard Researchers. People that are physically active have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer such as bladder, endometrium, esophagus, and stomach. A study from the National Cancer Institute strongly supports that regular exercise reduces the risk of cancer. This study had 1.4 million people from Europe and the United States. Participants were noted but their daily activities, exercise, lifestyle, and pre-existing diseases with 190,000 cases of cancer. The most active people in the group had a cancer rate of about 7%, while the least active had a rate of about 45%. That is a big difference, and as staggering as this sounds, this is true, if everyone exercised daily, half the deaths from cancer would have never occurred, which is backed up by Alice G.Walton, a health researcher. Regular exercise makes changes in the body including better immune function, and higher levels of natural antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cancer.


Conclusion

The biggest concern that children and adults have is that they can’t find the time in the day to exercise. Your schedule may be filled up with work and activities, but exercise is something that does not need a selective time in your schedule, any type, any form, or any shape of exercise will make a huge difference in your life. Simply, just trying harder in gym class or really working out in extracurriculars will do it. According to the CDC, you should strive to incorporate some sort of exercise each and every day, that doesn’t have to be achieved by going to the gym. Instead of watching a TV show for 30 minutes on the couch, watch the exact same show while you run, or walk on the treadmill. If you have 5 minutes of time to spare, then pace around while you talk on the phone or scroll through Instagram. If you honestly have no time, then just stand more, then sitting, the small things do make big differences. If you exercise appropriately, not only will you be in a better physical shape, but your whole life will turn to a different page. Any small piece of exercise you implement in your life will only impact your life for the better.

 

Author: Abhinav Kotapati

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.waldenu.edu/online-bachelors-programs/bs-in-psychology/resource/five-mental-benefits-of-exercise

  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/youth-fitness-exercise-helps-children-excel-school

  3. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm

  4. https://www.mdanderson.org/prevention-screening/manage-your-risk/physical-activity.html

  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/05/23/6-ways-exercise-benefits-the-body-and-brain/

  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/leading-causes-of-death

  7. https://www.popsci.com/what-is-muscle-memory/

  8. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/exercise-good-for-you-but-does-it-help-weight-loss




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