Step right up! It’s the miracle cure we’ve all been waiting for. It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to
get some. Its name? Exercise.
Why not schedule some time for exercising in your diary, even if it’s just 15 minutes?
How does exercise improve brain function?
During exercise, one’s heart rate and blood pressure increases in order to supply the increased demand for oxygen (As a response to the increased workload of the muscles). Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin (a feel-good hormone) in the brain, which leads to improved cerebral clarity.
Why should you exercise?
Exercise has various benefits but one that is worth mentioning is the effect of exercise on blood pressure. Exercise reduces your systolic blood pressure (the pressure of the blood pulsing through your arteries while the heart is contracting) by improving the stroke volume of the heart.
The stroke volume can be defined as the amount of blood that is pushed from the distrusting chamber of the heart in one contraction. This improvement in stroke volume means that the heart works more efficiently as it is able to pump more blood to the rest of the body within less beats. Thus, this reads to a reduction in resting heart rate and blood pressure.
Exercise and the effect on ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)
Activities of daily living is often referred to by medical specialists as ADL’s. This term is used as a global term for various activities that form part of our day to day living. This includes activities such as ambulation and picking up objects. In order to perform ADL’s, we are required to have adequate flexibility, mobility, stability, strength and endurance. As part of the aging process one will notice stiffer joints, weakness when performing certain activities which you were able to do at an earlier stage of your life.
This directly affects one’s ability to perform ADL’s and subsequently decreases our quality of life. Exercise is thus extremely important as it helps us maintain strength, mobility and flexibility in order for us to have the best quality of life that we possibly can.
Exercise is not only needed due reverse the effects of the natural aging process but also for rehabilitation after surgical procedures. Orthopaedic surgery is usually followed by a period of immobilisation. This immobilisation leads to stiffening of joint capsules and the muscles surrounding these joints. This increased stiffness makes it really hard to perform ADL’s as one has now all of a sudden limited range of motion within the joint (mobility).