WeedMD’s Tips for Healthy Living. Tip #9: Move

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

It is widely understood that exercise makes you happier, helps you to live longer, and that exercising regularly is essential for living a balanced, healthy life.  If you need a reason to start exercising, we can offer you several.  Regular exercise improves mood, encourages goal setting, reduces the risk of illness, improves sleep quality, increases strength, flexibility, and self-confidence, and improves memory.  Exercise can improve your performance at work, make you less vulnerable to disease and can improve life expectancy.

When you exercise, even for short bursts of time, whether it’s a mild or vigorous workout, your body releases endorphins that provide a healthy boost of happiness.  Developing consistency in your workout routine can also help you learn to set and achieve your goals.  Regular exercise can even reduce the risk of heart disease, allowing you to limit or avoid the use of medications altogether.

Exercise helps you sleep better by strengthening the body’s circadian rhythms.  You’ll fall asleep more easily and keep you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed during the day.  Strength training and stretching help build muscle mass, which becomes increasingly important as we age.  In addition to burning more calories, these types of exercises improve balance and circulation.

Workouts benefit the mind as well as the body.  A 2014 study provides evidence that aerobic exercise improves memory.  Other studies suggest that it can also increase one’s self-confidence and boost work performance.

Furthermore, exercise fortifies the immune system, making you less susceptible to some diseases and reduces stress-induced hormones that may increase the risk of certain illnesses.  And, research from 2012 that included in excess of 650,000 people found that a moderate exercise regimen can increase one’s lifespan up to 3.4 years!