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Jan 8

Exercise – why is it so good?

You ALWAYS feel better after exercise

Exercise, or rather better movement is a physio mantra. It is the ‘why’ we do what we do. We understand the benefits exercise has to every single body. Here are a few reasons why exercise really is that good. This very short Youtube clip by David Butler physio and pain scientist summarises the benefits of movement.

Muscles, tendons and joints

The body tissues respond to ‘load’ or the stresses we apply to it. Exercise, performed consistently and at the correct frequency and intensity will allow muscles and tendons to build, strengthen and resist injury. They will also strongly resist the downward spiral that ageing throws at them. This means you will move with less aches.

The more you use your muscles in different ways the better or more efficient they become when a new situation presents itself. For example, lots of ‘step ups’ in the gym will help you walk on uneven ground, step up high steps or walk/ jog on trails in our national parks if that’s what you would like to do.

Joints and cartilage

Joints crave movement. Movement of a joint encourages the lubricating substance called synovial fluid to spread through the joint. Much like a metal based mechanical joint, the synovial fluid reduces friction within the join allowing for smoother (pain free) movement.

Movement results in pressure through the joint which forces fluid out of the cartilage of the joint. As the pressure comes off it is sucked back in (much like a sponge). With the water are all the nutrients which are also flooded to the joint through the circulation (which also increases with movement). This helps our cartilage regardless of its degenerative stage.

Them bones…

Strong bones are developed in childhood but must be maintained all our life

The more you apply a force to a bone end (in the general population) the harder/ more dense that bone will become. Bone density is site specific meaning you need to apply forces to ever area of the body to keep it all strong. Weight bearing (meaning on dry land) resistance (using some form of weight) is essential for both developing and maintaining bone strength.

Lifetime bone density is determine (in general) in our formative year for girls that is especially the 12-15 (approximately) years of age. Unfortunately this is also the age where we currently have a significant drop out of formal sport. We really do need to encourage out kids and teenagers away from the screens and outside doing some form of challenging weight bearing resistance exercise.

As we age we don’t lay down as much bone as we used to and the quality of bone we do lay down may not be as strong. This is why is so very important that as we age we don’t stop our hard exercise. We need to keep applying these forces to our body – all our body to keep us strong.

The brain

Exercise helps keep the brain young by constantly making it work. The more complex the movement pattern (within reason) the more of a brain work out you get. We must continually challenge our movement patterns to build our brains. If you consider the mental difference between walking on a flat clear path compared to walking on a conservation park trail. There are so many variables. Whilst it may be too much for some people, the same concepts can be used to make far safer exercise more challenging to the brain. Adding arm movements whilst doing squats, stepping over obstacles, side stepping or walking backwards, these all challenge the mind.

Mental Health

Exercising with friends further increases our happy hormones

Exercise triggers the release of chemicals into the brain that make us feel better. It’s that simple. Of interest that feeling of well being is the highest (for most people) AFTER the exercise session. This is the reason post run/cycle/ walk/ exercise coffee with friends feels so good. We need to make the most of these good chemicals and aim to give our self this boost regularly through each week.

This is the number one reason we at Vital Core want all of our pregnant and post natal ladies attending our classes. During these incredible periods of change (within the body but also within a lifestyle) there is an incredible risk to our mental health balance.

Gut health

Regular exercise helps to ensure your gut remains regular. It is a critical part of gut health. So before you add a powder to your cereal or a tablet at night to move your bowels in the morning, make sure you are exercising regularly.

Vital Core can help

We have a so many different exercise classes at Vital Core

Exercise is our life. Helping our community live active and healthy lives is our love.

We will listen to you. Help determine just what you are missing out on and why and then we will help develop a structured and tiered plan to get you back there.

As you all know we have so many exercise classes for you to choose from, just have a look at our timetable. Do you need to do your exercises at home? No problem, we use an internet based online exercise program called Physiapp which ensures you do the exercise correctly every time.

Please, if you or someone you love is not moving as well as they should be contact us and let us help.