Advantages and Disadvantages of Exercise

Whether you are overweight and trying to lose weight or want to improve your physical fitness, well-being and quality of life, exercise can be part of the equation. Gradually building up to a regular exercise routine has many benefits, but sometimes it's easy to fall into some of the disadvantages associated with exercise. By obtaining your doctor's approval beforehand and creating a solid game plan, you can make sure you'll enjoy the advantages of exercise.

Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. (Image: Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Enjoy Better Health

If you exercise on a regular basis, you can keep your bones, joints and muscles strong and enjoy better sleep at night. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They state that regular exercise reduces your risk of many health conditions, including type-2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and high blood pressure. Additionally, if you exercise on a regular basis, you can keep your bones, joints and muscles strong and enjoy better sleep at night. You're also less likely to suffer from cognitive decline and depression.

Pleasant Physical Changes

Regular exercise can make you look better. (Image: Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Regular exercise can make you look better. Whether you want to lose weight, improve muscle tone, increase muscle mass or simply maintain your current physique, exercise -- often paired with a healthy, well-balanced diet -- can do the trick. By keeping your body well-conditioned, you're less likely to have physical limitations. Everyday activities, like carrying grocery bags, climbing stairs and mowing the lawn, are done with ease, and your athletic performance might also improve.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Exercising too much can leave you feeling weak, tired and dehydrated. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Impulsively starting to exercise, overdoing it and neglecting to rest can expose you to the adverse effects of exercise. In addition to being more likely to suffer injuries, exercising too much can leave you feeling weak, tired and dehydrated. According to Washington and Lee University, over-exercising can also trigger heart problems, osteoporosis and arthritis as well as problems conceiving and loss of the menstrual cycle in women. In general, it's expert-recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio per week and include strength training on two days.

Dealing With Dietary Dilemmas

If you're trying to lose weight, regular exercise is often recommended. However, exercise burns calories, and after finishing your workout, your body wants to make sure you replace the burned energy. This is where you might fall victim to cravings and hunger triggered by hunger-stimulating hormones. If you don't adjust your diet, you might end up eating more calories than you burned during your workout, resulting in weight gain. According to Fitness magazine, this desire to eat after burning calories, hits women harder than men.

Time and Money

You can exercise right at home or outside. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

If you neglect to exercise because you don't have time or lack the money to pay for a gym membership, stop making excuses. Although insufficient time and money can be considered to be disadvantage, they don't have to be. If you're cramped for time, you can split up your workout into two or three sessions over the day to better fit your schedule, or you can exercise at a vigorous intensity and cut your workout in half. As for money, you can exercise right at home or outside. Go for a brisk walk through the mall or park or walk up and down a staircase. Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact.

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