Lifeline Connections

10 Benefits of Exercise and Why It’s Important

Okay, you probably know the cardinal rule of a healthy body: eat right and exercise. You may even know how to exercise, and what to eat. But having the tools to be healthy doesn’t always mean anything if you don’t have the motivation to use them. Think about these reasons as you are on your journey to a healthy recovery, and it may help you to use those tools as frequently as you need.

There are many reasons to live longer. If you have a family, friends, and a job, your longevity not only matters to you, but it also matters to them. People who don’t exercise regularly are much more likely to die at a premature age from heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers.

Better Mental and Emotional Health
Exercise is one of those practices that releases happy hormones. These hormones help you get over anxiety, depression, and stave off Alzheimer’s. Consistent exercise can help you regulate these hormones. When you are feeling down, consider a walk or run. These practices are healthy coping mechanisms if used correctly.

Better Memory
Needing a new skill or hobby? Exercise will help your brain retain information better and longer. If you love learning, exercise is going to be your best supporter. Not only that, but if you have kids and they see you exercise, maybe they will join in, assisting with their brain development!

Help Control Addiction
Exercise can be used as a great coping mechanism in lieu of drugs and alcohol. It releases the brain chemical dopamine, which affects the part of the brain used for pleasure. If you look for your triggers such as problems sleeping, dealing with negative feelings, and avoiding boredom, exercise can accommodate for all of those things!

Better Ability to Relax
Did you know that exercise has been proven to help you sleep better? It’s true! Check out this nugget of information from “Moving around five to six hours before bedtime raises the body’s core temperature. When the body temp drops back to normal a few hours later, it signals the body that it’s time to sleep.”

Control Weight
Sure, this may be the most obvious reason why most people begin to exercise. But what about when you lose the weight? Going back to your previous routine of not exercising can easily put you back on track for weight gain, loss of energy, and greater likelihood of eating unhealthy. One of the best things about exercise is that it helps you with all of the aspects that go into weight gain, not just burning calories. You’re more likely to eat better, drink more water, feel energized (which helps you keep moving) and just make some overall better choices.

Deal With Trauma
This is what has to say about this, “Evidence suggests that by really focusing on your body and how it feels as you exercise, you can actually help your nervous system become ‘unstuck’ and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD or trauma.”

Besides looking better and feeling better, exercising regularly often coincides with creating attainable goals for yourself. When you create big goals with a lot of smaller goals, the more you feel like you’ve accomplished during your routine, the better you’ll feel. Think about it, each day you could make a goal to do one more push up, one more sit up, or walk a half a mile more, these are easy ways to feel more accomplished. Accomplishment helps you boost your self-esteem in more sustainable ways than just looking good.

Reduce Risk of Cancer
The CDC reports that people who are active have a lower risk of colon and breast cancer. It is also possible that lung and endometrial cancer will be added to that list when research is more final. These are very common forms of cancer that can affect young and old. If you have a family history of these types of cancers, it would be wise to take your daily exercise more seriously since you are more likely to develop them at an earlier age.

Physical Strength
Again, it seems obvious that exercising regularly would provide this result. But before you write it off, consider the positive consequences of stronger muscles. If you like to spend time with your kids, you’ll have more endurance to last as long as they can and we all know that kids can play for very long periods of time! If you garden or do other types of yard work, (or have always wanted to) having a stronger body will make it easier and possibly more enjoyable.

At Lifeline Connections, we emphasize overall wellness- that for us includes developing a healthy exercise routine. For our residential treatment, we provide a fitness room, which includes free weights, stretching bands, and various other types of exercise equipment. Take the next step to recovery with us and give us a call 360-397-8246 ext. 7580 or email at

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