Why Women Should Exercise Regularly
Exercise is not only good for your body, but also for your mind, mood, and overall well-being. Whether you are young or old, fit or unfit, healthy or sick, exercise can benefit you in many ways. In this blog post, we will explore some of the specific benefits of exercise for women and how you can incorporate it into your daily routine.
1. Exercise controls weight
One of the most obvious benefits of exercise is that it helps you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you need to. When you exercise, you burn calories and fat, which can prevent excess weight gain or obesity. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers¹.
To control your weight, you need to balance the calories you consume with the calories you expend. The amount of exercise you need depends on your goals, your current weight, and your metabolism. According to the Mayo Clinic¹, for most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Examples of moderate aerobic activity include brisk walking, swimming, or mowing the lawn. Examples of vigorous aerobic activity include running, cycling, or playing tennis.
- Strength training
exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. Examples of strength training exercises include lifting weights, doing push-ups, or using resistance bands.
- If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more than the recommended amount. You can also try to increase the intensity or duration of your workouts.
2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases
Exercise is not only good for preventing diseases, but also for managing them. Exercise can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and inflammation levels, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases¹. Exercise can also improve your insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, which can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes².
Exercise can also help prevent or treat some specific health conditions that affect women more than men, such as:
- Osteoporosis: Exercise can strengthen your bones and muscles, which can prevent bone loss and fractures. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, or dancing, are especially beneficial for bone health².
- Breast cancer: Exercise can lower your estrogen levels and body fat percentage, which can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society³, women who get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week have a 6% lower risk of breast cancer than those who are inactive.
- Depression and anxiety: Exercise can boost your mood and self-esteem by releasing endorphins,
serotonin, and other brain chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Exercise can also reduce stress and improve sleep quality, which can improve your mental health¹.
3. Exercise improves mood and cognitive function
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but also for your mental health. Exercise can enhance your cognitive function by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your brain, stimulating the growth of new brain cells and connections, and protecting against age-related cognitive decline⁴. Exercise can also improve your memory, attention span, creativity, problem-solving skills, and learning abilities.
Exercise can also improve your mood by reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline⁴. Exercise can help you cope with negative emotions such as anger, frustration,
sadness, or fear by providing a healthy outlet for them. Exercise can also increase your social interaction and support by giving you opportunities to meet new people or bond with friends and family.
4. Exercise enhances sexual health
Exercise can improve your sexual health by improving your physical appearance, confidence,
energy levels, and blood circulation¹. Exercise can also increase your sexual arousal,
sensitivity, orgasm quality, and satisfaction by stimulating the release of hormones such as testosterone and oxytocin⁴.
Exercise can also help prevent or treat some sexual problems that affect women more than men,
- Low libido: Exercise can increase your sexual desire by improving your mood,
and body awareness⁴.
- Vaginal dryness: Exercise can increase blood flow to the genital area,
which can improve lubrication and reduce discomfort during intercourse⁴.
- Dyspareunia: Exercise can reduce pain during intercourse by relaxing the pelvic floor muscles,
which can prevent spasms or contractions that cause pain⁴.
- Urinary incontinence: Exercise can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles,
can prevent urine leakage during coughing,
## How to start exercising
If you are convinced by the benefits of exercise for women,
you may wonder how to start exercising or how to make it a habit. Here are some tips to help you get started and stay motivated:
- Consult your doctor before starting any exercise program,
especially if you have any medical conditions,
- Choose an activity that you enjoy and that suits your fitness level and goals. You can try different types of exercise,
such as aero
or balance exercises,
or combine them for a balanced workout.
- Set realistic and specific goals and track your progress. You can use a fitness app,
or a calendar to record your workouts and achievements. You can also reward yourself for reaching your milestones or overcoming challenges.
- Find a workout buddy or join a group class to make exercise more fun and social. You can also seek support from your friends,
or online communities to share your experiences and challenges.
- Schedule your workouts and make them a priority. You can plan your workouts ahead of time and mark them on your calendar. You can also find ways to fit exercise into your daily routine,
such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator,
walking or biking to work or school,
or doing household chores.
- Listen to your body and rest when you need to. You can vary the intensity and duration of your workouts depending on how you feel. You can also take breaks between exercises or days off to recover and prevent injuries.
Exercise is one of the
best things you can do for your health and well-being as a woman. Exercise can help you control your weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improve your mood and cognitive function, and enhance your sexual health. Exercise can also make you happier, healthier, and more confident in yourself. So, what are you waiting for? Start exercising today and enjoy the benefits!
Source: Conversation with Bing, 8/20/2023
(1) Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity - Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389.
(2) Health Benefits of Exercise for Women | Sutter Health. https://www.sutterhealth.org/health/womens-health/health-benefits-of-exercise-for-women.
(3) 8 Benefits Of Exercise For Women's Health | TheHealthSite.com. https://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/exercise/8-benefits-of-exercise-for-womens-health-948518/.
(4) The 7 Key Benefits of Working Out for Women | FitRated.com. https://www.fitrated.com/benefits-of-workouts-for-women/.