HEALTH TALK: Rewards of exercise

Dr. Victor Emanuel MD
Dr. Victor Emanuel MD

If exercise is not part of every adult’s vocabulary, we all hear about it almost on a daily basis, probably from our doctors. And especially those with diabetes, hypertension, obesity, arthritis, among many other conditions.

So, why exercise? To begin with, exercise releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals. And sleep improves when you exercise. Here are some rewards of exercise, in addition to these.


If you’re cranky, get moving. Exercise makes you feel happier. As I just said, when you work out, your body makes endorphins – “feel-good” chemicals in the brain. You can actually start to feel better within a few minutes of moving. Those of you who are into exercising know this is true. Mowing my lawn does exactly this for me. The effects of regular exercise can last for a long time.


You might not expect it, but using energy to exercise gives you more get-up-and-go. Often when you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is move at all. But when you exercise regularly, that fatigue goes away and you find yourself with a lot more pep.


Get regular exercise to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. The harder you exercise, the more likely you are to have a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t matter when you exercise, as long as you don’t have trouble sleeping. If you do have problems, though, work out earlier in the day.


The success of walking a mile or running your first 5K can boost your self esteem and make you ready to conquer anything. Exercise makes you feel good about yourself.


Exercise calms your body and your brain. When your body works hard, the levels of stress hormones –like adrenaline and cortisol – drop. Stress and anxiety fade away, especially after aerobic exercise.


If you want to be more efficient at work, and I’m sure you do, take a break and get some exercise. One study showed that people who got moving in the middle of the day were much more productive when they went back to work. They also were happier and got along better with their co-workers.


Exercise and diet work together to keep your weight healthy. Whether you want to lose some inches around the waist or just avoid putting on some extra pounds, exercise is the key. Try to work out 30 minutes most days of the week.


Regular exercise can add years to your life. And that counts even if you’re not a hard-core fitness buff. All you have to do is just get moving. Even a little exercise can help you live longer than not exercising at all. The American Heart Association says each hour of exercise adds 2 hours to your life.


Your bones and muscles get stronger when you work out. It’s especially important to do weight-bearing exercises, such as weight-lifting, tennis, walking and dancing. This can help build bones as you get older. And it can help ward off osteoporosis and protect your balance and co-ordination.


It’s surely no secret that exercise is great for your heart. Regular exercise lowers your risk of heart disease, improve your blood cholesterol level, and help control and even prevent high blood pressure.


Regular exercise can cut your risk of some cancers, including colon, breast, and lung. And people who have cancer have better quality of life when they exercise.


If you have arthritis, regular exercise can help ease your pain. And it can make your daily activities easier. Try non-impact exercises like swimming. They can be easy on sore joints.

So there you have 12 rewards of exercise. Including long life, an impressive list of rewards, I’d say.
So start getting moving, not tomorrow, but start today.

See you soon.

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  1. neutral
    July 13, 2014

    I am 6feet tall and have never past 200 pounds. My heart rate is in the 70’s. All due to exercise. Some people just find it hard to get up and go. Some have the misconception that when you get fat you should exercise. I wish Dominicans would just add exercise to their weekday routine. Just make the effort, no excuse. I see too much overweight people in this place.

  2. MM
    July 12, 2014

    Life time changes, since obesity and other illness are on the rise ,exercise is very important, good article, in Dominica, there should not be obesity on the island, what I have noticed, is that, less people walking and exercising, everyone has a vechicle. Let us get moving, its of vital importance.

  3. Albert joseph
    July 12, 2014

    Sometimes it is strange,how a simple exercise can do wanders.But it is facinating how some of us don’t give a little as 30 mins a day,yet we waste so much time tearing each other apart with our strongest muscle,the tongue,it is so sad.
    But great article Doc. shot and sweet, so i like it.nice one.

  4. 1995 SMSS Form 5-1
    July 11, 2014

    Great article Doctor. So everyone let us start moving today

  5. Carlyn
    July 11, 2014

    Love this!! :)

  6. Ms Kubuli
    July 11, 2014

    min of 30 mins day ! :wink:

  7. SLIC
    July 11, 2014

    There are persons in Castle Bruce who are doing well on lifestyle changes, like excercising. Their Diabetes an Hypertension and well controlled on exercise and a better diet. The SLIC (Selfhelp lifestyle changes control CNCDs) programme is working well for them, and the records are there to show it. So thanks for highlighting the importance of exercises.

  8. true
    July 11, 2014

    This all true. it is sad that we are not listening to these fact and acting upon them. There are such great rewards to be derived from exercises.
    I can testify to how well exercise has worked for persons with Diabetes an Hypertension.

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