Benefits of exercise

Thirty minutes of moderately intensive exercise every day provides many health benefits and gains.

The benefits of exercise are physical, psychological and social.

    The benefits for your body are:

    • smaller risk of cardiovascular disease;
    • less risk of elevated blood pressure;
    • lowering the total fat content in the blood and improving the ratio between good and bad cholesterol;
    • stronger muscles and bones;
    • mobile and flexible joints;
    • greater resistance and lower susceptibility to infections;
    • easier weight control.

    The benefits for your mental health are:

    • relaxing;
    • important tool to reduce stress;
    • better sleep;
    • greater concentration;
    • pleasant feeling;
    • fewer feelings of depression or anxiety.

    The benefits for your social life are:

    • contacts with friends, relatives, neighbors, colleagues;
    • new contacts with people who share the same interests;
    • group feeling and team spirit.

    Strong heart muscle

    Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death in Belgium. So it is in your interest to keep your heart in shape. Regular exercise is important.

    Regular exercise for long enough makes the heart muscle bigger and stronger. To improve fitness and endurance , the intensity of your exercise activities is important. If the heart rate is too low, you are not exercising intensively enough and your condition will not improve. If the heart rate is too high, you will not be able to sustain it for long and the risk of overload and injuries increases. Cycling and jogging are examples of activities that accelerate the heart rate, deepen breathing and that you can continue for a sufficient period of time.

    For a positive effect on your endurance, preferably exercise at an intensity between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate .

    Less belly fat

    Extra belly fat increases a number of health risks.

    If your energy balance is disturbed and you absorb more energy than you use, you accumulate extra fat reserves in your body. That excess accumulates as subcutaneous fat that is most visible around the waist and as abdominal fat that settles around the organs. Belly fat in particular increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and probably some forms of cancer. Fat accumulation in the abdominal area is more common in men than in women.

    No miracle solution

    There is no miracle solution that will get rid of belly fat immediately and easily. Only with a balanced energy balance can you avoid building up too many fat reserves. Although several foods are said to help you reduce belly fat, exercise is still the only effective method .

    • If you lead a sedentary life, it is best to start with thirty minutes of moderately intensive exercise every day (e.g. walking or swimming), but this will not immediately result in significant results.
    • Then you can gradually increase the intensity of your efforts. Cardio training that increases your heart rate is good for fat burning.
    • Walking, cycling or exercising on the elliptical are great for eliminating belly fat. Half an hour to an hour of exercise is necessary.
      Do you want a tight stomach? This also requires strength training of the abdominal muscles, the large muscles in the lower back and the upper legs.

    Don't be disappointed if you lose little or no weight after a period of more intense exercise. By exercising more you gain more muscle mass , which affects your weight.

    Healthy employees

    Adults spend more than a third of their active time at work. A good reason to also work on your health at your workplace.

    About half of employees exercise too little. However, it has been proven that sufficient physical activity has a beneficial effect on your work motivation and productivity. You experience less stress and you feel more relaxed. Employees who exercise sufficiently are absent due to illness less often and for a shorter period of time.

    Plenty of possibilities

    In some professions, sufficient exercise is not a problem, such as nurses and construction workers.

    For people with a sedentary job or assembly line workers, exercise during working hours is not self-evident. However, there are a number of options for sufficient physical activity in and around the workplace.

    • Cycling to work
      Many companies have a bicycle allowance for their employees and have shower facilities. Getting some fresh air after a working day is an extra plus. Is the distance between your home and work too far? Park your car a little further from your workplace and go on foot.
    • Get off at the stop earlier
      Do you go to work by tram, bus or metro? Get off one stop earlier and cover the last part on foot.
    • Lunch walking
      Take a short walk during your lunch break. You breathe in the fresh air, it costs you nothing and it is not prone to injury. It's even more fun if you do this together with colleagues.
    • Fitness at work
      Some companies have a fitness room that you can use after work. Others take out a collective membership or subscription at a nearby fitness center. This allows you to enjoy the exercise offer at a reduced rate.

    Smaller initiatives

    Do these initiatives mean nothing to you? Then there are certainly other smaller actions you can take yourself.

    • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
    • Place the coffee maker, mail trays or other necessities a little further away, so that you are forced to stretch your legs .
    • Commit yourself to stand up and move at least once an hour . This reduces the risk of back problems.
    • Meet with colleagues and motivate each other. You can maintain exercise activities for longer and it improves the working atmosphere.

    Less discomfort during menopause

    Menopause is often accompanied by a lot of changes in your body and mood. Fortunately, there are tricks to keep these changes under control. A good portion of daily exercise has several benefits .

    • You avoid extra kilos
      During menopause, estrogen production decreases. This slows down your metabolism and you burn two hundred fewer calories per day. You mainly gain extra kilos on your stomach . Paying attention to your diet can help to avoid this. Exercising more is the only real cure .
    • You feel better about yourself
      When you exercise, your body produces endorphins . This substance makes you feel better about yourself. In addition, regular exercise has a beneficial effect on your figure. And this of course boosts your self-confidence and appearance .
    • You will suffer less from hot flashes and other ailments
      Do you suffer from hot flashes and mood swings? Research shows that exercise also helps here. Women who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from these ailments during menopause.
    • You have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease
      As you get older, you have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Regular exercise makes your heart stronger and cholesterol builds up less quickly in your arteries.
    • You prevent osteoporosis
      Due to the reduced production of estrogen, your bones deteriorate faster, which increases the risk of osteoporosis. You can combat this by exercising more. This makes your bones stronger . In addition, it is also useful to absorb sufficient calcium through dairy products.