Why does exercise matter?

We do not need to remind you that exercise and a healthy diet help increase your fitness level. But this is not the only reason to start sweating. Here are some other important benefits of exercise and getting into the routine.

Why should I work out?

  • Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and boost your overall mental health.
  • Exercise releases brain chemicals called endorphins, which are great for boosting your mood.
  • If you exercise regularly, you have more energy to get through the day.
  • Exercise can also help if you have sleep issues. Read more about the importance of sleep.
  • Your muscles and bones will become healthier and stronger.
  • It may increase your self-esteem and confidence and help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Playing a sport is a great way to meet new people and have a social life.
  • Overall health – staying fit helps lower the risk of several health issues, such as heart disease, adult-onset diabetes, stroke, thrombosis, breast cancer and more.

What type of exercise should I do?

You can do any type of physical activity, as long as you are moving. Choose an activity you like and something that will keep your interest for a while or choose a variety of favourites to do throughout the week. 

Three main types of physical activity

  • Aerobic

This includes walking, running, playing team sports (football, basketball, rugby, etc) and swimming. Aerobic exercise increases your heart rate, raises your body temperature, thus making you sweat a little, and increases your rate of breathing. This type of physical activity improves your fitness and is best for heart health and weight loss.

  • Strengthening 

This mainly involves lifting weights, but also things like carrying shopping or school bags. Lifting weights can help you tone your muscles, lose weight, and build up your muscles. This will help you carry out everyday activities for longer without getting tired, improve the shape of your body and muscles, strengthen your bones and muscles and prevent injury. Some great ways to gain strength are bodyweight exercises, callisthenics and Pilates. But remember that you should be over the age of 16 to lift weights.

  • Flexibility

This includes stretching and yoga. Stretching maximises the benefits of weight training and aerobic exercise. It helps to prevent injuries and back pain, increase blood flow to your muscles and make them more efficient. Flexibility is important to prevent muscles becoming sore or injured, to help you perform everyday activities more easily and to improve posture. Why not try out some stretching exercises while taking a break from studying or during the ad break of your favourite TV show?

Remember to move at your own pace! When you start an exercise programme, take it easy at first and set yourself short-term goals. Do not expect miracles and reward yourself for achieving your weekly goals. Take some time to make physical activity a priority and habit in your life. If you do not take care of yourself, who will?

Tips for people who do not enjoy exercise

  • Try to walk as much as you can. If possible, avoid driving, taking public transport or using lifts.
  • When you start exercising, do not wear yourself out.
  • Dance to your favourite song.
  • Clean your house, mow the lawn or do other outdoor activities that make you sweat.
  • Exercise with a friend or walk your dog.
  • Exercise on local health trails or in outdoor training areas.
  • Jump on a trampoline or throw a frisbee.

You can also find exercise ideas and tips on YouTube. The topics covered in YouTube videos range from weightlifting to yoga or salsa.

The article is based on www.spunout.ie.

Spunout is Ireland’s youth information portal, providing high-quality and reviewed information to young people.

Skip to content