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Real-Life Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity
On this page:
Why is physical activity important?
Emotional benefits of exercise.
Exercise and physical activity are good for just about everyone, including older adults. No matter your health and physical abilities, you can gain a lot by staying active. In fact, studies show that “taking it easy” is risky. Often, inactivity is more to blame than age when older people lose the ability to do things on their own. Lack of physical activity also can lead to more visits to the doctor, more hospitalizations, and more use of medicines for a variety of illnesses.
Including all 4 types of exercise can benefit a wide range of areas of your life. Staying active can help you:
- Keep and improve your strength so you can stay independent
- Have more energy to do the things you want to do and reduce fatigue
- Improve your balance and lower risk of falls and injuries from falls
- Manage and prevent some diseases like arthritis, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and 8 types of cancer, including breast and colon cancer
- Sleep better at home
- Reduce levels of stress and anxiety
- Reach or maintain a healthy weight and reduce risk of excessive weight gain
- Control your blood pressure
- Possibly improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function , such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks or plan an activity
- Perk up your mood and reduce feelings of depression
Research has shown that exercise is not only good for your physical health, it also supports emotional and mental health. You can exercise with a friend and get the added benefit of emotional support. So, next time you’re feeling down, anxious, or stressed, try to get up and start moving!
Physical activity can help:
- Reduce feelings of depression and stress, while improving your mood and overall emotional well-being
- Increase your energy level
- Improve sleep
- Empower you to feel more in control
In addition, exercise and physical activity may possibly improve or maintain some aspects of cognitive function , such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks, plan an activity, and ignore irrelevant information.
Here are some exercise ideas to help you lift your mood:
- Walking, bicycling, or dancing. Endurance activities increase your breathing, get your heart pumping, and boost chemicals in your body that may improve mood.
- Yoga. This mind and body practice typically combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation.
- Tai Chi. This "moving meditation" involves shifting the body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply.
- Activities you enjoy. Whether it’s gardening, playing tennis, kicking around a soccer ball with your grandchildren, or something else, choose an activity you want to do, not one you have to do.
You may also be interested in
- Finding tips to help stay motivated to exercise
- Exploring safety tips for exercising outdoors
- Reading about the four types of exercise
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For more information.
YMCA 800-872-9622 [email protected] www.ymca.net
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 800-232-4636 888-232-6348 (TTY) [email protected] www.cdc.gov
MedlinePlus National Library of Medicine www.medlineplus.gov
This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.
Content reviewed: April 03, 2020
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The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
Best exercises for health and weight loss, how to exercise with limited mobility, home workout and fitness tips: exercising without the gym, walking: an easy way to get fit, how to build an exercise plan, dog walking: the health benefits of walks with your dog, senior exercise and fitness tips.
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Overcoming obstacles to exercising
Excuses for not exercising, how much exercise do you need, getting started safely, how to make exercise a habit that sticks, tips for making exercise more enjoyable.
- Easy ways to "sneak" more movement into your daily life
How to stay motivated to exercise
How to start exercising and stick to it.
Making exercise an enjoyable part of your everyday life may be easier than you think. These tips can show you how.
If you’re having trouble beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.
You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise instructions and workout plans are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach.
While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are mental. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your motivation quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.
Whatever your age or fitness level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life —there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.
Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don't have to spend hours in a gym or force yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.
Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you'll succeed in any given endeavor. So, don't beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.
Check your expectations . You didn't get out of shape overnight, and you're not going to instantly transform your body either. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can't accomplish or how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. Instead of obsessing over results, focus on consistency. While the improvements in mood and energy levels may happen quickly, the physical payoff will come in time.
Making excuses for not exercising? Whether it’s lack of time or energy, or fear of the gym, there are solutions.
The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch; one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You'll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can't find 30 minutes in your busy schedule? It's okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.
How hard do I need to exercise?
Whether an activity is low, moderate, or vigorous intensity varies according to your personal fitness level. As a general guideline, though:
- Low-intensity activity: You can easily talk in full sentences, or sing.
- Moderate intensity: You can speak in full sentences, but not sing.
- Vigorous intensity: You are too breathless to speak in full sentences.
For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don't assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There's no need to overdo it.
For more on the types of exercise you should include and how hard you should work out, read Best Exercises for Health and Weight Loss .
If you've never exercised before, or it's been a significant amount of time since you've attempted any strenuous physical activity, keep the following health precautions in mind:
Health issues? Get medical clearance first. If you have health concerns such as limited mobility , heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before you start to exercise.
Warm up. Warm up with dynamic stretches—active movements that warm and flex the muscles you'll be using, such as leg kicks, walking lunges, or arm swings—and by doing a slower, easier version of the upcoming exercise. For example, if you're going to run, warm up by walking. Or if you're lifting weights, begin with a few light reps.
Cool down. After your workout, it's important to take a few minutes to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to its resting rate. A light jog or walk after a run, for example, or some gentle stretches after strength exercises can also help prevent soreness and injuries.
Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it's properly hydrated. Failing to drink enough water when you are exerting yourself over a prolonged period of time, especially in hot conditions, can be dangerous.
Listen to your body. If you feel pain or discomfort while working out, stop! If you feel better after a brief rest, you can slowly and gently resume your workout. But don't try to power through pain. That's a surefire recipe for injury.
There's a reason so many New Year's resolutions to get in shape crash and burn before February rolls around. And it's not that you simply don't have what it takes. Science shows us that there's a right way to build habits that last. Follow these steps to make exercise one of them.
Start small and build momentum
A goal of exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and give up. It's better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you'll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals.
Make it automatic with triggers
Triggers are one of the secrets to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercisers rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there's nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you're out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers right by the bed and you're up and running. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.
People who exercise regularly tend to do so because of the rewards it brings to their lives, such as more energy, better sleep, and a greater sense of well-being. However, these tend to be long-term rewards. When you're starting an exercise program, it's important to give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new fitness goal. Choose something you look forward to, but don't allow yourself to do until after exercise. It can be something as simple as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.
Choose activities that make you feel happy and confident
If your workout is unpleasant or makes you feel clumsy or inept, you're unlikely to stick with it. Don't choose activities like running or lifting weights at the gym just because you think that's what you should do. Instead, pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.
Set yourself up for success
Schedule it . You don't attend meetings and appointments spontaneously, you schedule them. If you're having trouble fitting exercise into your schedule, consider it an important appointment with yourself and mark it on your daily agenda.
Make it easy on yourself. Plan your workouts for the time of day when you're most awake and energetic. If you're not a morning person, for example, don't undermine yourself by planning to exercise before work.
Remove obstacles . Plan ahead for anything that might get in the way of exercising. Do you tend to run out of time in the morning? Get your workout clothes out the night before so you're ready to go as soon as you get up. Do you skip your evening workout if you go home first? Keep a gym bag in the car, so you can head out straight from work.
Hold yourself accountable. Commit to another person. If you've got a workout partner waiting, you're less likely to skip out. Or ask a friend or family member to check in on your progress. Announcing your goals to your social group (either online or in person) can also help keep you on track.
As previously noted, you are much more likely to stick with an exercise program that's fun and rewarding. No amount of willpower is going to keep you going long-term with a workout you hate.
Think outside the gym
Does the thought of going to the gym fill you with dread? If you find the gym inconvenient, expensive, intimidating, or simply boring, that's okay. There are many exercise alternatives to weight rooms and cardio equipment.
For many, simply getting outside makes all the difference. You may enjoy running outdoors, where you can enjoy alone time and nature, even if you hate treadmills.
Just about everyone can find a physical activity they enjoy. But you may need to think beyond the standard running, swimming, and biking options. Here are a few activities you may find fun:
- horseback riding
- ballroom dancing
- paddle boarding
- martial arts
- rock climbing
- Ultimate Frisbee
Make it a game
Activity-based video games such as those from Wii and Kinect can be a fun way to start moving. So-called “exergames” that are played standing up and moving around—simulating dancing, skateboarding, soccer, bowling, or tennis, for example—can burn at least as many calories as walking on a treadmill; some substantially more. Once you build up your confidence, try getting away from the TV screen and playing the real thing outside. Or use a smartphone app to keep your workouts fun and interesting—some immerse you in interactive stories to keep you motivated, such as running from hordes of zombies!
Pair it with something you enjoy
Think about activities that you enjoy and how you can incorporate them into an exercise routine. Watch TV as you ride a stationary bike, chat with a friend as you walk, take photographs on a scenic hike, walk the golf course instead of using a cart, or dance to music as you do household chores.
Make it social
Exercise can be a fun time to socialize with friends and working out with others can help keep you motivated. For those who enjoy company but dislike competition, a running club, water aerobics, or dance class may be the perfect thing. Others may find that a little healthy competition keeps the workout fun and exciting. You might seek out tennis partners, join an adult soccer league, find a regular pickup basketball game, or join a volleyball team.
Getting the whole family involved
If you have a family, there are many ways to exercise together. What's more, kids learn by example, and if you exercise as a family you are setting a great example for their future. Family activities might include:
- Family walks in the evening if weather permits. Infants or young children can ride in a stroller.
- Blast upbeat music to boogie to while doing chores as a family.
- Seasonal activities, like skiing or ice skating in the winter and hiking, swimming, or cycling in the summer can both make fun family memories and provide healthy exercise.
Try a mindfulness approach
Instead of zoning out or distracting yourself when you exercise, try to pay attention to your body . By really focusing on how your body feels as you exercise—the rhythm of your breathing, the way your feet strike the ground, your muscles flexing as you move, even the way you feel on the inside—you'll not only improve your physical condition faster but also interrupt the flow of worries or negative thoughts running through your head, easing stress and anxiety. Exercising in this way can also help your nervous system become “unstuck” and begin to move out of the immobilization stress response that characterizes PTSD and trauma . Activities that engage both your arms and legs—such as walking (especially in sand), running, swimming, weight training, rock climbing, skiing, or dancing—are great choices for practicing mindfulness.
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Easy ways to “sneak” more movement into your daily life
If you're not the kind of person who embraces a structured exercise program, try to think about physical activity as a lifestyle choice rather than a task to check off your to-do list. Look at your daily routine and consider ways to sneak in activity here and there. Even very small activities can add up over the course of a day.
Make chores count. House and yard work can be quite a workout, especially when done at a brisk pace. Scrub, vacuum, sweep, dust, mow, and weed—it all counts.
Look for ways to add extra steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park farther from a building entrance, rather than right out front. Get off your train or bus one stop early. The extra walking adds up.
Ditch the car whenever possible. Instead of driving everywhere, walk or bike instead when the distance is doable.
Move at work. Get up to talk to co-workers, rather than phoning or sending an email or IM. Take a walk during your coffee and lunch breaks. Use the bathroom on another floor. Walk while you're talking on the phone.
Exercise during commercial breaks. Make your TV less sedentary by exercising every time commercials come on or during the credits. Options include jumping jacks, sit-ups, or arm exercises using weights.
How getting a dog can boost fitness
Owning a dog leads to a more active lifestyle. Playing with a dog and taking him for a walk, hike, or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements than non-owners. One year-long study found that walking an overweight dog helped both the animals and their owners lose weight (11 to 15 pounds). Researchers found that the dogs provided support in similar ways to a human exercise buddy, but with greater consistency and without any negative influence.
In another study, public housing residents who walked therapy dogs for up to 20 minutes, five days a week, lost an average of 14.4 pounds in a year, without changing their diets. If you're not in a position to own a dog, you can volunteer to walk homeless dogs for an animal shelter or rescue group. You'll not only be helping yourself, but by helping to socialize and exercise the dogs, you'll make them more adoptable.
No matter how much you enjoy an exercise routine, you may find that you eventually lose interest in it. That's the time to shake things up and try something new or alter the way you pursue the exercises that have worked so far.
Pair your workout with a treat. For example, you can listen to an audiobook or watch your favorite TV show while on the treadmill or stationary bike.
Log your activity. Keep a record of your workouts and fitness progress. Writing things down or tracking them on an app increases commitment and holds you accountable to your routine. Later on, it will also be encouraging to look back at where you began.
Harness the power of the community. Having others rooting for us and supporting us through exercise ups and downs helps to keep motivation strong. There are numerous online fitness communities you can join. You can also try working out with friends either in person or remotely using fitness apps that let you track and compare your progress with each other.
Get inspired. Read a health and fitness magazine or visit an exercise website and get inspired with photos of people being active. Sometimes reading about and looking at images of people who are healthy and fit can motivate you to move your body.
- Guide to Physical Activity - Examples of physical activity that you might not have considered exercise. (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
- Exercise: How to Get Started - Exercise basics including stretches. (familydoctor.org)
- Fitness Basics - Including how to overcome barriers, creative ways to exercise, and types of exercise. (Mayo Clinic)
- Tips to Help You Get Active - A step-by-step guide to getting started. (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
- Boyd, J. E., Lanius, R. A., & McKinnon, M. C. (2018). Mindfulness-based treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder: A review of the treatment literature and neurobiological evidence. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience , 43(1), 7–25. Link
- Brand, R., & Cheval, B. (2019). Theories to Explain Exercise Motivation and Physical Inactivity: Ways of Expanding Our Current Theoretical Perspective. Frontiers in Psychology , 10, 1147. Link
- Breines, J. G., & Chen, S. (2012). Self-Compassion Increases Self-Improvement Motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 38(9), 1133–1143. Link
- Habitual exercise instigation (vs. Execution) predicts healthy adults’ exercise frequency. – PsycNET . (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2022, from Link
- How much physical activity do adults need? | Physical Activity | CDC . (n.d.). Retrieved February 5, 2022, from Link
- Johnson, R. A., & Meadows, R. L. (2010). Dog-Walking: Motivation for Adherence to a Walking Program. Clinical Nursing Research , 19(4), 387–402. Link
- Kushner, R. F., Blatner, D. J., Jewell, D. E., & Rudloff, K. (2006). The PPET Study: People and Pets Exercising Together*. Obesity , 14(10), 1762–1770. Link
- Nayor, M., Shah, R. V., Miller, P. E., Blodgett, J. B., Tanguay, M., Pico, A. R., Murthy, V. L., Malhotra, R., Houstis, N. E., Deik, A., Pierce, K. A., Bullock, K., Dailey, L., Velagaleti, R. S., Moore, S. A., Ho, J. E., Baggish, A. L., Clish, C. B., Larson, M. G., … Lewis, G. D. (2020). Metabolic Architecture of Acute Exercise Response in Middle-Aged Adults in the Community. Circulation , 142(20), 1905–1924. Link
- Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for Mental Health. The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , 08(02), 106. Link
- Westgarth, C., Christley, R. M., Jewell, C., German, A. J., Boddy, L. M., & Christian, H. E. (2019). Dog owners are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than people without a dog: An investigation of the association between dog ownership and physical activity levels in a UK community. Scientific Reports , 9(1), 5704. Link
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Strength training: get stronger, leaner, healthier.
Strength training is an important part of an overall fitness program. Here's what strength training can do for you — and how to get started.
Want to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle mass and burn calories more efficiently? Strength training to the rescue! Strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness for everyone.
Use it or lose it
Lean muscle mass naturally diminishes with age.
Your body fat percentage will increase over time if you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time. Strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass at any age.
Strength training may also help you:
- Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Manage your weight. Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories.
- Enhance your quality of life. Strength training may enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities. Strength training can also protect your joints from injury. Building muscle also can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls. This can help you maintain independence as you age.
- Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, depression and diabetes.
- Sharpen your thinking skills. Some research suggests that regular strength training and aerobic exercise may help improve thinking and learning skills for older adults.
Consider the options
Strength training can be done at home or in the gym. Common choices may include:
- Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try pushups, pullups, planks, lunges and squats.
- Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing is inexpensive, lightweight tubing that provides resistance when stretched. You can choose from many types of resistance tubes in nearly any sporting goods store or online.
- Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools. If you don't have weights at home, you can use soup cans. Other options can include using medicine balls or kettle bells.
- Weight machines. Most fitness centers offer various resistance machines. You can invest in weight machines for use at home, too.
- Cable suspension training. Cable suspension training is another option to try. In cable suspension training, you suspend part of your body — such as your legs — while doing body weight training such as pushups or planks.
If you have a chronic condition, or if you're older than age 40 and you haven't been active recently, check with your doctor before beginning a strength training or aerobic fitness program.
Before beginning strength training, consider warming up with brisk walking or another aerobic activity for five or 10 minutes. Cold muscles are more prone to injury than are warm muscles.
Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.
Research shows that a single set of 12 to 15 repetitions with the proper weight can build muscle efficiently in most people and can be as effective as three sets of the same exercise. As long as you take the muscle you are working to fatigue — meaning you can't lift another repetition — you are doing the work necessary to make the muscle stronger. And fatiguing at a higher number of repetitions means you likely are using a lighter weight, which will make it easier for you to control and maintain correct form.
To give your muscles time to recover, rest one full day between exercising each specific muscle group.
Also be careful to listen to your body. If a strength training exercise causes pain, stop the exercise. Consider trying a lower weight or trying it again in a few days.
It's important to use proper technique in strength training to avoid injuries. If you're new to strength training, work with a trainer or other fitness specialist to learn correct form and technique. Remember to breathe as you strength train.
When to expect results
You don't need to spend hours a day lifting weights to benefit from strength training. You can see significant improvement in your strength with just two or three 20- or 30-minute strength training sessions a week.
For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends these exercise guidelines:
- Aerobic activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise during the course of a week. Greater amounts of exercise will provide even greater health benefits. But even small amounts of physical activity are helpful. Being active for short periods of time throughout the day can add up to provide health benefits.
- Strength training. Do strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least two times a week. Aim to do a single set of each exercise, using a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 12 to 15 repetitions.
As you incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness routine, you may notice improvement in your strength over time. As your muscle mass increases, you'll likely be able to lift weight more easily and for longer periods of time. If you keep it up, you can continue to increase your strength, even if you're not in shape when you begin.
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- AskMayoExpert. Physical activity (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2020.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition. Accessed March 4, 2021.
- American College of Sports Medicine. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: Guidance for prescribing exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2011;43:1334.
- Four types of exercise can improve your health and physical activity. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/four-types-exercise-can-improve-your-health-and-physical-ability. Accessed March 4, 2021.
- Real life benefits of exercise and physical activity. National Institute on Aging. https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/real-life-benefits-exercise-and-physical-activity. Accessed March 4, 2021.
- Brown LE, ed. Types of strength and power training. In: Strength Training. 2nd ed. Human Kinetics; 2017.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic. March 11, 2021.
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Health and Fitness Essay for Students and Children
500+ Words Essay on Health and Fitness
We have always heard the word ‘health’ and ‘fitness’. We use it ourselves when we say phrases like ‘health is wealth’ and ‘fitness is the key’. What does the word health really mean? It implies the idea of ‘being well’. We call a person healthy and fit when he/she function well physically as well as mentally.
Factors Affecting our Health and Fitness
Good health and fitness is not something which one can achieve entirely on our own. It depends on their physical environment and the quality of food intake. We live in villages, towns, and cities.
In such places, even our physical environment affects our health. Therefore, our social responsibility of pollution-free environment directly affects our health. Our day-to-day habits also determine our fitness level. The quality of food, air, water all helps in building our fitness level.
Role of Nutritious Diet on our Health and Fitness
The first thing about where fitness starts is food. We should take nutritious food. Food rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates is very essential. Protein is necessary for body growth. Carbohydrates provide the required energy in performing various tasks. Vitamin and minerals help in building bones and boosting our immune system.
However, taking food in uneven quantity is not good for the body. Taking essential nutrients in adequate amount is called a balanced diet. Taking a balanced diet keep body and mind strong and healthy. Good food helps in better sleep, proper brain functioning and healthy body weight.
Include vegetables, fruits, and pulses in daily diet. One must have a three-course meal. Having roughage helps in cleaning inner body organs. Healthy food habit prevents various diseases. Reducing the amount of fat in the diet prevents cholesterol and heart diseases.
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Impact of Exercise on our Health
Routine exercise helps improve our muscle power. Exercise helps in good oxygen supply and blood flow throughout the body. Heart and lungs work efficiently. Our bones get strong and joints have the pain free movement.
We should daily spend at least twenty minutes in our exercise. Daily morning walk improves our fitness level. We should avoid strenuous Gym activities. Exercise burns our fat and controls the cholesterol level in the body. Various outdoor games like cricket, football, volleyball, etc keeps our body fit. Regular exercise maintains our body shape.
Meditation, Yoga, and Health
Meditation and yoga are part of our life from ancient time. They not only make us physically fit but mentally strong as well. Meditation improves our concentration level. Our mind gets relaxed and thinking becomes positive.
A healthy mind is key for a healthy body. Yoga makes us stressfree and improves the endurance power of the mind. Yoga controls our blood pressure. With yoga, a strong bond with nature is established. Meditation is considered the best way to fight depression.
A person stays happier when he/she is fit and healthy. A fit and healthy person is less prone to chronic diseases. The healthy mind reacts better in a pressure situation. The self-confidence of a person is increased. Risk of heart failure is reduced drastically. With the increased immunity power body could fight cancerous cells. The intensity of the fracture is decreased with regular exercise.
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Physical Exercises and Their Health Benefits Essay
Exercises that include physical activities are very essential to both body and mental health of human beings. In fact this is one of the areas where many studies have been conducted by scholars from different parts of the world to show that exercise is essential to all people regardless of their age, sex and occupation. Healthcare givers also recommend that patients with chronic sicknesses should do some workouts to facilitate their healing. According to the recent studies on the importance of exercise to human beings, it is evident that people have begun to realize the need for doing exercise. In fact people from different parts of the world participate in various exercises and other physical activity in order to keep fit and remain healthy. This paper highlights some of the major importance of workouts to our bodies and why people should do exercises.
One of the major benefits of exercise is that it helps in maintaining a healthy body weight. Cases of people being overweight are common in the modern society due to people shying away from physical activities and desire for junk food. Change of lifestyles has made many people to be overweight and this comes with health complications. Participating in physical activity burns calories and this promotes weight loss. Exercises also help in maintaining weight loss among those working on how to lose some of their body weight.
Exercise makes an individual stronger and boosts the body energy. Some people are very weak to an extent that they are heavily fatigued by simple duties such as doing shopping or doing basic domestic chores. Regular exercise improves bone and muscle strength and give gives the body endurance to tiring activities. When you participate in regular workouts, oxygen and other necessary nutrients are delivered to the lungs, heart and other vital body organs to ensure that they are functioning well. Consequently, a person is able to do simple routine tasks without getting easily exhausted.
Exercise also improves moods and looks. Studies show that people who do not participate in any physical activities and workouts are mostly in bad moods and gloomy. Ordinarily, people get involved in some activities that may lower their moods and exercise helps in improving moods and maintain the charming appearance. Simple workouts stimulate the brain to release some chemicals that make an individual feel happy and relaxed. This also improves the facial looks therefore raising self-esteem and confidence. For those who want to keep fit and maintain certain body looks such as models, sports people and celebrities, exercise helps in achieving the desired physical body appearances.
Exercise is also believed to promote good sleeping habits. Sometimes it becomes difficult to fall asleep or to remain asleep especially after a busy day. Regular exercise can help in promoting better sleep and ensure that it is a continuous one. To the married people, sex life is important and cannot be taken for granted. However, this has become a major challenge to the modern couples because many people retire to their beds feeling too tired to participate in physical intimacy. Exercise makes helps in maintaining a positive sex life and it promotes arousal for both women and men. Studies show that regular physical activity helps men to overcome erectile dysfunction making sex life more enjoyable.
Exercise is also paramount for maintaining better health. Regular workouts improve the immune system and this reduces the chances of getting sick. However, it is worth noting that over exercising can destroy the body immune system. Additionally, regular exercise reduces stress thereby contributing to a healthy living. Regular workouts take the body and mind from the stressing activities and this relieves the body the weight of the stress. The energy used in handling stress is therefore used for other productive processes of the body. Some people suffer from poor digestion and metabolism especially the elderly ones. Exercise helps in ensuring that digestion and absorption of food in the body take place as well. Workouts also increase the rate of metabolisms and the end result is good health. For those doing trainings such as weight lifting and muscle builders, workouts promotes muscle buildup and helps in changing the body shape to the desired body shape. Regular exercise also improves the body stamina and enhances flexibility and stability. Workouts stretch the body and ensure a good posture. This is vital for body stability and it also prevents early body aging. It also reduces the chances of getting easily injured when doing routine duties.
Generally, it is evident that exercise is good for both our mental and body health. It is also worth noting that exercise is enjoyable and can be used to bring people close to their friends. Physical activity is fun and it gives people an opportunity to participate in things that make them happy. Participating in a dance class or soccer club is very enjoyable and makes you to feel relaxed. However it is important for the people with special health conditions to ensure that they have consulted their healthcare for advice on the best workouts to avoid more harm to their body.
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Fitness experts share how to build a workout routine as a busy college student
Personal trainers and fitness experts gave advice on how students can add exercise to a busy college semester.
According to research by Mohammed About Elmagd of RAK Medical and Health Sciences University , regular exercise can help individuals stay healthy, energetic and independent as they age.
“Physical activity and exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, boost happy chemicals, improve self-confidence, increase the brain power, sharpen the memory and increase our muscles and bones strength,” Elmagd wrote. “It also helps in preventing and reducing heart disease, obesity, blood sugar fluctuations, cardiovascular diseases and Cancer.”
Mandy Christensen, a professor in the BYU Department of Exercise Sciences, said that a busy class and work schedule can make it challenging for students to fit in exercise.
“I would say that time is always the biggest obstacle for anyone who’s trying to exercise, and certainly college students have a lot of demands on their time,” Christensen said. “How do you overcome that? I think it’s individual and specific, but I think the biggest thing I would want to tell people is that anything you do counts and everything you do counts.”
Heather Scruggs, a BYU Student Wellness Instructor and Nutrition Counseling Coordinator at Integrative Health Group , said students with packed schedules may benefit from adding exercise to their calendars.
“It can be hard to find time to exercise if you don’t pencil it in,” Scruggs said. “If exercise is a priority then make it a priority by scheduling a time to do it, otherwise the day slips by and then it’s too late or you are too tired to exercise.”
Ingrid Roundy, who has a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from BYU and works as a prenatal and postnatal exercise trainer, agreed that college is a stressful time with many things to balance. She suggested a daily planning method for adding in a workout.
“Whether you’re an agenda-type planner or not, I recommend quickly reviewing the activities of your day either the night before or the morning of,” Roundy said. “Think about the places you have to be and when and find 30 minutes of time where you can squeeze in a workout. Make it one of your priorities.”
Roundy said if those 30 minutes are not a priority, they will get filled with something else. She added that after a year of getting in those 30 minutes, individuals will see an increase in happiness and health.
“If a workout doesn’t happen — because some days it won’t — don’t hesitate to squeeze in a few small exercises at night,” Scruggs said. “Something is better than nothing, so maybe when you’re brushing your teeth, you do a walk squat and then a few push-ups before bed.”
Roundy shared a similar sentiment, explaining the importance of being flexible and adaptable with one’s time.
“Be open to fitting in your exercise … whenever you get a bit of time,” she said. “Even if you only end up having 10-15 minutes at night before your preferred ‘bed time,’ go for a small walk or turn on some music and crank out some push-ups.”
Christensen explained that it’s more important to do something rather than nothing at all. She emphasized the importance of consistency.
“I always tell my students that it’s consistency that brings success, not perfection,” Christensen said. “And so, I would say just be consistent in what you’re doing and also give yourself some slack. Those times when you miss it, it’s okay.”
Scruggs said exercise can help with improving mood and energy levels, reducing stress, better quality sleep and better overall health and strength. She said prioritizing exercise is important, especially for those benefits.
Roundy explained that muscles weaken if they are not worked. She said many studies show exercise to be as effective as therapy and medication when it comes to mental health and exercise can also improve efficiency in studying and serving others, Roundy said.
Christensen added a psychological perspective to the mix of exercise benefits, saying individuals feel better about themselves when they are physically active. She explained that much of this comes from getting better sleep and feeling better in general.
“You get all those happy hormones that are produced when you exercise,” Christensen said. “Your mood improves and your cognitive functioning improves.”
Roundy said 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week is beneficial.
“I recommend getting a variety of strength and cardio in during the week, and don’t forget to stretch,” Roundy said. “If you don’t take a little bit of time to stretch after each exercise, you will most likely get injured and have to cut your exercise goals short while you recover.”
Scruggs shared that workout splits, or the types of exercises an individual usually assigns to each day of the week, should be personalized.
“When it comes to exercise splits, types and things like that, I personally don’t like to give a general recommendation,” Scruggs said. “Exercise is so individualized. The best kind of exercise is the one a person will do, so unless I know a person’s interests, their experience and resources, I hesitate to recommend anything.”
Scruggs further explained that though students often want an easy, recipe-like answer, individuals have to discover their own passions and develop skills to get there. She said that this is a process that takes patience, grace and persistence until one finds the right balance and system.
However, for those creating their own exercise splits, Scruggs recommended rotating which area of the body is worked each day so the same thing isn’t worked back to back. She claims that this method creates balance and allows healing.
Whether someone is creating an exercise split, deciding to become an avid hiker or creating a marathon plan, the key to success in exercise is finding something that is enjoyable for the individual, Christensen said.
“If you don’t enjoy doing it, it makes it so much harder to [exercise],” Christensen said. “Finding something that you love is the most important thing, and then again just the consistency of doing it regularly, which doesn’t mean every day necessarily — it means whatever your schedule will allow.”
Christensen urged students to be kind to themselves, especially with how toxic she said the fitness industry can be.
“Just be happy with who you are and be healthy with your body, because the health that you can achieve is going to be different than someone else’s,” Christensen said.
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Home — Essay Samples — Nursing & Health — Physical Exercise — The Effects Of Regular Exercising On Everyday Life
The Effects of Regular Exercising on Everyday Life
- Categories: Physical Exercise
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Published: Apr 2, 2020
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Essay on Benefits of Exercise
Students are often asked to write an essay on Benefits of Exercise in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.
Let’s take a look…
100 Words Essay on Benefits of Exercise
Exercise is a vital part of our daily routine. It helps in maintaining our health, improving our mood, and enhancing our overall well-being.
Exercise strengthens our heart and lungs, reducing the risk of diseases. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight and promotes better sleep.
Regular exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that make us feel happier and relaxed. It also boosts our self-esteem and improves concentration.
In conclusion, exercise benefits us in many ways. It’s an excellent tool to stay healthy, happy, and focused. Therefore, we should include it in our daily routine.
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250 Words Essay on Benefits of Exercise
Exercise, often underrated, is a potent tool for enhancing physical and mental health. It is a universal remedy that offers numerous benefits, transcending age, gender, and physical ability.
Physical Health Benefits
Exercise primarily enhances physical wellbeing. Regular physical activity strengthens the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart diseases. It aids in maintaining a healthy weight, thus preventing obesity-related illnesses. Moreover, exercise improves bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, and enhances muscular strength and flexibility, thereby preventing injuries.
Mental Health Benefits
Beyond physical health, exercise significantly contributes to mental wellbeing. It stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, leading to reduced stress levels and increased happiness. Regular exercise can also alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, enhancing overall mental health.
Exercise also plays a crucial role in cognitive function. It promotes better sleep, aids in maintaining focus, and improves memory. Studies suggest that regular physical activity can delay the onset of cognitive decline in later years, reinforcing its long-term benefits.
In conclusion, the benefits of exercise are manifold, spanning physical, mental, and cognitive domains. It is a cost-effective, accessible strategy to enhance overall health and wellbeing. As college students, embracing exercise as a regular habit can significantly contribute to academic success and lifelong health. The adage, “A healthy mind in a healthy body,” indeed holds.
Packed in 152 Informative Pages
500 Words Essay on Benefits of Exercise
Exercise, often regarded as a panacea for numerous health-related issues, has been a subject of extensive research over the years. It is a powerful tool that aids in the enhancement of both physical and mental well-being. This essay aims to explore the multifaceted benefits of exercise, ranging from improved physical health to enhanced cognitive abilities.
The first and most apparent advantage of exercise is its profound impact on physical health. Regular physical activity strengthens the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Exercise aids in the regulation of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two significant risk factors for these conditions.
In addition to cardiovascular health, exercise contributes to better respiratory health by enhancing lung capacity and efficiency. It also plays a crucial role in weight management, as it helps burn calories, preventing obesity and associated diseases like diabetes and certain types of cancer.
The benefits of exercise are not limited to physical health; they also extend to mental well-being. Regular physical activity has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It stimulates the production of endorphins, often referred to as ‘feel-good’ hormones, which elevate mood and promote a sense of well-being.
Exercise also aids in stress management. Engaging in physical activity diverts the mind from stressors, providing a respite from negative thoughts. Furthermore, the accomplishment of fitness goals often boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Recent research has unveiled the cognitive benefits of regular exercise. It has been found to enhance memory and thinking skills. Exercise promotes the growth of new brain cells and improves connections between neurons, leading to better brain health. It can also slow down the cognitive decline associated with aging, thereby reducing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Exercise often serves as a social activity, providing opportunities to meet new people and strengthen relationships. Participating in group exercises or sports can foster a sense of community and belonging, which is crucial for emotional well-being. Moreover, it can also enhance teamwork and leadership skills, which are invaluable in various aspects of life.
In conclusion, the benefits of exercise are manifold, ranging from physical health improvements to mental and cognitive enhancements. It is a cost-effective and accessible method to maintain overall health and improve quality of life. As college students, integrating regular physical activity into our routine can provide us with the stamina to deal with academic pressures and equip us with skills that are beneficial in the long run. Therefore, exercise is not just about maintaining physical fitness; it is a comprehensive approach to holistic well-being.
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The Best Exercises to Prevent Neck Pain
Neck pain is common, but working on your posture and strengthening your spine can help.
By Hilary Achauer
Experts estimate that up to 80 percent of people will experience some form of neck pain in their lives, and as much as half of Americans will suffer from it this year alone.
Whether as an isolated episode for a few days or a more chronic complaint, neck pain is “almost guaranteed,” said Dr. Ram Alluri, an assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California who specializes in spine surgery.
While nothing can totally prevent such discomfort, there are things you can do to lower your chances. It starts with building up the muscles in your neck and spine as well as, not surprisingly, improving your posture.
Neck pain starts in the spine.
While some neck pain is caused by accidents, falls or other traumatic events, most often it results from everyday movements like sitting on the couch, working on the computer, eating at the dinner table or driving, said Julia Bizjack, an orthopedic physical therapist for the Cleveland Clinic.
When you are young, hunching over your laptop for eight hours might not have much of an impact, but as you get older, the disks in your spine, which act as shock absorbers, lose their effectiveness , a condition called degenerative disk disease , Dr. Alluri said. The biggest driver of this disease, which is a form of arthritis, is genetics , he said. However, avoiding unhealthy habits, like smoking, can help prevent it, because smoking can accelerate disk degeneration .
The best way to prevent neck pain is to strengthen the paraspinal muscles, which stretch from the base of your skull down the length of your spine and support your back and help maintain your posture, along with the abdominal muscles.
“If those muscles can be kept strong,” Dr. Alluri said, “they can prevent increased motion at the level of the actual disk and joints, and that can minimize or get rid of neck pain.”
A recent meta-analysis found that strength training, stretching and walking most likely reduce the recurrence of neck pain. Furthermore, Dr. Bizjack said, building the muscles in your upper back, chest and core helps keep your body in an upright position, which will also help prevent neck pain.
Build the Back to Protect the Neck
Most people lose strength in their upper back — including the paraspinal muscles — as they age, whether they have arthritis or not. This causes the shoulders and head to slump forward. The best way to counter this is to strengthen the back and shoulder muscles that hold your torso up straight, as opposed to rounded. You can get started at home without any weights or equipment with some neck-specific exercises .
A simple one to do at home or work starts in a chair with back support. Place your hand across your forehead and push forward against it as hard as you can while holding your head back with your hand. Push for 10 seconds, relax and repeat three times. You can also do this exercise with your hand on the back of your head, pushing your head backward.
Another at-home exercise to strengthen your core, back and shoulders is a plank , either in a push-up position or propped up on your elbows.
If you have access to weights, you can work your upper back with upright dumbbell rows . In this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing and bend at the waist until your chest is parallel to the floor, knees slightly bent. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the dumbbells back toward your waist. If you have access to a gym, Dr. Bizjack recommended lat pull-downs rather than pull-ups, because it’s easier to maintain the correct form.
While Dr. Bizjack said there aren’t any particular exercises she would tell people to avoid, she said it is important to maintain good form when strength training, and as always, stop if something hurts.
Sit up straight.
While strong paraspinal muscles will help keep your shoulders and neck from collapsing forward, it’s also important to make a conscious effort to overcome poor posture , Dr. Bizjack said. Whether you’re at the computer, driving or watching TV, make sure your shoulders are up and back, not rounded. Your head should be in line with your straight back, not tilted forward.
Imagine getting as tall as possible and think about elongating your spine as if there’s a thread running from the top of your head to the ceiling. When working at the computer , adjust the height of your desk or your monitor so it’s eye level, which will prevent you from tilting your head forward while working.
Dr. Bizjack recommended getting a sticky note, writing “posture” on it and putting it on your computer. You can also set periodic reminders on your phone or fitness tracker to check your posture, especially if you spend long hours at your desk or in a car.
When driving (or sitting in an office chair ) make sure you have proper lumbar support that helps you sit up tall. Instead of leaning forward over your steering wheel, bring your head back a bit toward the headrest, in line with your spine.
Finally, watch how you use your phone. Being hunched over it for hours will inevitably cause neck pain .
If you’re settling in for a night of reading and scrolling on your phone, Dr. Bizjack recommends propping your device on a pillow. Bring your phone close enough so you can keep your head upright, instead of bending forward, and take breaks or change positions — even lying on your back — to give your neck a rest.
Hilary Achauer is a freelance writer covering health and fitness.
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Skipping weekday workouts? Weekend-only exercise offers similar benefits, study finds
By Jericka Duncan, Sara Moniuszko
November 24, 2023 / 10:09 PM EST / CBS News
For many people, weekdays mean a lot of work and not a lot of time for working out. But according to recent research, you may not need to exercise during the week if you work out for at least 150 minutes over the weekend.
The study , published in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, followed almost 90,000 people, and found that moderate to vigorous activity, concentrated during one or two days a week, offers similar cardiovascular benefits to a similar amount of exercise spread throughout the week.
"I think it's empowering to say it doesn't matter so much how you get it. The important thing is that you do get it," says Dr. Shaan Khurshid , a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who led the study. Whether it's a weekend run, bike ride, soccer match or a brisk walk — it all counts.
"As a physician, there's frequently kind of a rule of thumb that we say, you know, 30 minutes, five days a week," Khurshid says. "It makes sense in certain schedules, but that is also very difficult to achieve for other people who only have the weekend available or only have one or two days a week."
- Been a while since you worked out? Expert tips on how to ease in
The research is also great news for weekend warriors like Kathy Odds, who meets up with a running group on Saturdays.
"I work for a bank, so it's a pretty long day most days. So finding the times to fit exercising can be tricky," she told CBS News. "What I love most about the weekend exercise (is) the opportunity to socialize. So not only is it my physical well-being that I'm looking after, it's also my mental well-being." Utilizing time on the weekend to workout can also help when the days get shorter and darker sooner .
Other research, however, has shown benefits of less intense but more frequent movement, especially for those who sit a lot during the workday.
Dr. Keith Diaz, an exercise physiologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, previously told CBS News his research found quick strolls throughout the day could go a long way for your health.
"We found a five-minute light walk every half-hour offset many of the harms from sitting," he says. Spending too much time sitting can increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
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The 6 best pre-workouts, according to fitness and nutrition experts.
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Rigorous training and demanding exercise calls for an extra surge of energy courtesy of pre-workout supplements. Featuring a blend of useful ingredients, including caffeine, creatine and amino acids, pre-workout is designed to boost energy, promote focus and aid in recovery. But like so many fitness supplements, it can be difficult to source a pre-workout formula that meet your needs.
For those looking to integrate pre-workout products into their routine, I consulted with fitness and nutrition experts to examine the nuances of these supplements, delving into factors such as key ingredients, price per serving and whether or not products were tested for banned substances. In doing so, I’ve identified the best pre-workouts that are both effective and worth your money.
Level up your sweat sessions with the best pre-workouts.
Before adding pre-workout to your routine, you should first be mindful of the supplement industry's inherent vagueness "It's important to keep in mind that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate these supplements," says Brittany Werner , a registered dietitian nutritionist. Because "very little oversight on the integrity or quality of ingredients" exists, it's important to look critically at all your options before using pre-workout. You should consider not only what you’re taking, but why you’re taking it and how it makes you feel.
In discussions with Werner and fitness expert Eric Cohen —a Crossfit L1 Trainer and two-time Crossfit Games athlete—we pinpointed pre-workouts that not only cater to the energy demands of intense training but also distinguish themselves for their ability to improve athletic performance.
- Best Pre-Workout Overall: Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pre-Workout
- Best Pre-Workout For Men: Ascent Pre-Workout Powder
- Best Pre-Workout For Women: Honey Badger Pre-Workout Powder
- Best Tasting Pre-Workout: GU Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel
- Best Value Pre-Workout: MyProtein The Pre-Workout
- Best Sweetener-Free Pre-Workout: Naked Nutrition Naked Energy Pre-Workout
Best Pre-Workout Overall
A popular blend that's packed with a variety of ingredients, optimum nutrition gold standard pre-workout.
Energy source: Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine| Price per serving: $0.83 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
Chances are you've heard of Optimum Nutrition—the company has been around since 1986, before powders and shakes were mainstream. And since then, they've perfected the Goldilocks of pre-workouts—the aptly named ‘Gold Standard Pre-Workout’—by combining high-quality ingredients with a range of flavors in a manner that’s fairly affordable. Its blend of key ingredients, including caffeine, creatine and beta-alanine, aids in increasing energy and performance without the jitters or crashes sometimes associated with other pre-workouts.
"Beta-alanine is meant to help you do high-intensity exercises ," says Werner. "It may help spare your lean mass during intense workouts, meaning you'll burn more fat and keep that precious muscle. Beta-alanine has also been shown to lower fatigue and enhance recovery in some athletes, like sprinters."
Werner adds that creatine, when combined with exercise, helps you gain strength and replenish “your ATP stores (a compound that releases energy used for muscle contractions), giving your muscles energy. It can also help you increase your lean body mass. Creatine is one of the most well-researched and recommended supplements on the market." Pre-workout flavors include blueberry lemonade, green apple, watermelon candy and fruit punch, so there’s bound to be a formula that’s both effective and tasty.
Best Pre-Workout For Men
Long lasting fuel with protein for recovery, ascent pre-workout powder.
Energy source: Caffeine, whey protein | Price per serving: around $0.95 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
"For gym sessions, I like Ascent's Pre-Workout as it doesn't have a lot of ingredients," says Cohen. "In my experience, simpler is better."
In fact, what sets Ascent apart is its commitment to transparency and purity—its products are free from artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. The short list of ingredients also underwent rigorous testing to ensure each component met the highest standards for effectiveness and safety. Each serving contains 150mg of caffeine to help maximize performance, 250mg of electrolytes to boost hydration and five grams of protein powder to support muscle recovery, which isn’t as common in pre-workout blends, but it’s a helpful ingredient nevertheless.
"Not all pre-workouts contain protein, I like the ones that do as protein is the building block of muscle, so why not make sure it's readily available when your body needs it," Cohen says. Find Ascent Pre-Workout in a variety of flavors, including raspberry lemonade, orange mango and blueberry raspberry.
Best Pre-Workout for Women
Vegan-friendly energy for demanding workouts, honey badger pre-workout powder.
Energy source: Beta-alanine, caffeine | Price per serving: $0.76 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
What sets Honey Badger's pre-workout apart is its powerhouse blend of workout-enhancing ingredients that not only increase energy levels but also promote sustainable endurance and focus.
"The ingredient list is short, as Honey Badger Pre-Workout uses only clinically studied dosages and ingredients," Werner notes. "It's also extremely clean with zero additives or artificial sweeteners."
There's caffeine, citrulline and beta-alanine to increase energy and prevent fatigue, and tyrosine, pterostilbene and electrolytes for increased focus and hydration. Expect flavor offerings to lean on the fruity side, with options that include peach mango, blue raspberry, fruit punch, wild berry and pink lemonade.
Best Tasting Pre-Workout
On-the-go energy gels packed with carbs, gu roctane ultra endurance energy gel.
Energy source: Carbohydrates, caffeine | Price per serving: $2.25 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
Cohen says he often reaches for GU's Roctane Energy Gels when he's training outdoors or on the go, as there's no mixing needed, and they come in convenient single-serving pouches. They're particularly handy for prolonged exercises, like marathon training, where athletes must refuel multiple times throughout the workout.
The Energy Gels are packed with a blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes, amino acids and, in certain flavors, caffeine to provide an immediate and sustained energy boost.
"Carbohydrates are your fuel during your workout," Cohen explains. "Ingesting additional carbs is particularly important for sessions extending beyond 90 minutes, such as a long run or a long weightlifting workout in the gym. For shorter sessions, carbs will make it less likely that you'll have a post-workout energy crash."
The inclusion of 1425mg of branch chain amino acids per serving helps support muscle function and reduces fatigue, while the electrolytes aid in maintaining hydration and preventing cramping.
"BCAAs, or branch chain amino acids, are essential amino acids, meaning our body doesn't make them on its own," Werner says. "Supplementing with them before a workout can help fuel muscles for long-duration or endurance events."
Flavors include options like tutti frutti, pineapple, blueberry pomegranate, cold brew coffee, chocolate coconut, vanilla orange, cherry lime, salted lime and more, so chances are you'll be able to find one you like. And if the consistency of GU gels makes you gag, opt for the brand’s energy chews that deliver carbs, amino acids and energy via caffeine in the form of a gummy.
Best Value Pre-Workout
Light on the wallet, not on the energy.
MyProtein The Pre-Workout
Energy source: Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine | Price per serving: $0.80 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
MyProtein's The Pre-Workout is one of the options Werner recommends to her clients because "It's a plant-based, budget-friendly option that also happens to taste great."
With 150mg of natural caffeine (roughly the equivalent of a cup and a half of coffee) derived from guarana and green tea extracts, you can expect an energy boost shortly after taking a few sips, but you won’t find yourself overstimulated.
"Caffeine can be helpful as a pre-workout for early morning training," Cohen says. "If you are a regular coffee drinker, you'll need your caffeine fix to feel your best. If you don't consume caffeine often, it will give you a boost to go harder."
There are also four grams of citrulline, 50mg of theacrine and 2,500mg of betaine anhydrous to help push users through their workout and promote muscle growth.
Flavors include lemonade, peach ring and blue raspberry.
Best Sweetener-Free Pre-Workout
Energy without the unwanted sugar, naked nutrition naked energy pre-workout.
Energy source: Caffeine, beta-alanine | Price per serving: roughly $0.90 | Tested for banned substances: Yes
True to its name, Naked Nutrition’s pre-workout contains only clean, essential ingredients that make it free from artificial additives, colors and sweeteners. It’s an easy choice for users who want to know exactly what they're putting in their bodies. And it's for these reasons that Werner recommends it as her personal favorite among sweetener-free pre-workouts.
The carefully selected ingredients, including beta-alanine, natural caffeine from unroasted coffee beans and electrolytes, work in tandem to enhance endurance, focus and overall performance, no matter if you're pumping iron at the gym or going on a long run. Choose from simple flavors that include citrus and fruit punch, or opt for the unflavored powder.
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The best cyber monday tv deals you can still shop right now, how we chose the best pre-workouts.
Before selecting any of the pre-workouts on this list, I consulted with experts who use and recommend pre-workouts on a regular basis. One such expert was Brittany Werner , a registered dietitian nutritionist and Director of Coaching at Working Against Gravity . Brittany earned a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics and a Master of Science in Dietetics and Human Nutrition, and she holds a number of certifications, including that of NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist. I also tapped Eric Cohen for his perspective as a fitness expert who uses pre-workout on a regular basis. Eric is a Crossfit L1 Trainer, two-time Crossfit Games athlete and the founder of 99Walks , a virtual walking challenge for women.
Insights courtesy of Werner and Cohen guided my evaluation as we assessed included ingredients, taste and price per serving, weighing these factors against customer reviews. Our analysis resulted in a curated selection of the best pre-workouts that reflects a balance of performance, flavor, affordability and adherence to the highest standards in the realm of supplements.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
Our extensive coverage of fitness and wellness topics , from massage guns to rowing machines and beyond, demonstrates a commitment to delivering comprehensive information on a wide range of products. Our reliance on expert insights ensures that every product recommendation is grounded in expertise, ensuring that each pre-workout supplement not only serves a specific purpose but also represents a worthwhile investment. By consistently prioritizing quality, purpose and value for money in our recommendations, we aim to empower you, the shopper, with the knowledge you need to make informed and effective choices for your fitness journey.
This story is updated frequently to ensure that our reviews contain accurate information with up-to-date options. It was last updated in November 2023.
Are Pre-Workouts Worth It?
The worthiness of pre-workouts depends on your individual preferences, fitness goals and sensitivities. For some athletes, pre-workouts provide a boost in energy, focus and performance during training sessions. However, they may not be suitable for everyone. It's important to consider personal health conditions, tolerances to stimulants and your specific fitness goals. Additionally, recognizing that different formulas cater to diverse needs is essential; some focus on energy, while others prioritize endurance or pump.
Is It Okay To Use Pre-Workout Every Day?
Using pre-workout supplements daily is a decision that should be made only after considering your tolerance, health status and fitness goals. While some people may benefit from regular use, others may experience negative effects, such as disrupted sleep, increased heart rate or tolerance buildup. It's essential to read and follow the recommended dosage on the product, and cycling off pre-workout periodically may help prevent tolerance. Consult with a healthcare or fitness professional to ensure that your consumption habits aligns with your specific needs.
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Exercise may help treat and even prevent postpartum depression. Researchers recommend this weekly routine
Researchers have apparently stumbled on a new prescription for postpartum depression (PPD)—one that’s free, easily accessible, and doesn’t involve pharmaceuticals.
It’s well known that working out provides a wide variety of physical health benefits, from protection against heart disease and diabetes to improved sleep and lower blood pressure. But it can also cause physiological changes that counteract mental health conditions like depression—through a release of mood-boosting endorphins during high-intensity exercise, and a release of proteins during sustained low-intensity exercise that causes nerve cells to grow and form new connections.
Those benefits extend to PPD, according to researchers in China. They examined data from 26 studies involving 2,876 women who were pregnant or had recently given birth, in a bid to determine what type of exercise—and how much—is most effective at combating the condition, defined as depression occurring within a year after delivery.
The most effective regimen, they found: three to four sessions a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, with each session lasting 35–45 minutes. Group exercise classes and exercise led by an instructor or trainer appear to provide even greater benefits.
While there is still much to understand regarding the ways in which exercise improves PPD, Columbia University psychologist Catherine Monk told Fortune she was pleased to see new data on the topic.
Many patients with PPD are uncomfortable taking pharmaceuticals and have a hard time fitting therapy into their schedules. While exercise doesn’t solve the problem of PPD and expanded access to mental health care is still needed, she was excited to see increased focus on “behavioral health interventions like exercise that could be really helpful.”
Potential non-drug treatments for PPD
PPD affects roughly 13 million women worldwide annually, making it the most common complication following childbirth. While treatments are available, including therapy and medications, the vast majority—90%—of cases go untreated, due to the high cost of therapy and potential negative side effects of medication.
The good news: Exercise offers a number of physical and psychological benefits to postpartum women, according to researchers behind the new paper, including:
- reduced urinary stress incontinence
- less lactation-induced bone loss
- reduced postpartum weight retention
- lower levels of anxiety
- lower levels of depression
Patients with PPD often experience reduced motivation to exercise, making developing the habit challenging, authors of the new paper wrote. They encourage medical providers to craft individualized exercise programs for pregnant and postpartum women that take into account their fatigue levels and interests.
Study participants engaged in a wide variety of physical activity, including:
- aerobic training classes
Further research on the topic is needed, they added, encouraging providers and patients to interpret the study results with caution.
Other potential non-drug treatments that may help ease PPD, according to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, include :
- counseling or therapy, including art therapy
- social support from groups like La Leche League, or community groups based at religious centers, libraries, and/or public health centers
- copious of amounts of rest in the weeks after birth, with the support of others
- a minimum of five to six hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time, with another caregiver handling feeding
- avoiding the consumption of too much caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
- dietary additions that may fight depression, including fish, nuts, and green vegetables, all of which contain omega-3 fatty acids, and foods that are rich in B vitamins and folate , like dark, leafy vegetables, fruit juices, sunflower seeds, and aquatic foods
- adopting the Mediterranean diet , which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and folate thanks to staples like fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, and healthy fats like olive oil
- taking supplements like Vitamin D, ashwagandha, lemon balm, and St. John’s wort
New fast-acting PPD pill recently made available
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in August approved the first pill designed specifically to treat PPD : zuranolone, trade name Zurzuvae—a steroid that works to rapidly repair dysregulated neuronal networks in the brain. It was only the second drug approved for the condition, which is thought to affect one in seven women. The other, Zulresso (brexanolone), was approved by the FDA in 2019 . But it’s administered via IV over time and requires a hospital admission, making it inaccessible to many women.
Such a barrier doesn’t exist with the newly approved drug, taken at home once daily for two weeks. For many women, one or two courses of the medication over a year will be enough to send them into remission and keep them there, Dr. Kristina Deligiannidis —director of women’s behavioral health at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, N.Y., and lead clinical trial investigator for the drug—told Fortune at the time.
In trials, zuranolone showed a “rapid reduction of depressive symptoms starting as early as day three—after two doses of medicine—and showed continued improvement through day 15,” Deligiannidis said, adding that the drug continues to work even after patients stop taking it, for 45 days in all.
The fast-acting, temporary nature of the drug stands in contrast to standard-of-care antidepressants that might otherwise be prescribed. Such medications—typically SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which increase serotonin levels in the brain—usually take four to six weeks to begin to work, and two to three months to fully kick in, according to Deligiannidis.
Women with postpartum depression are busy sustaining a new life, their own life, and perhaps the lives of other children as well. They can’t wait months for relief, she said: “Especially for women with severe postpartum depression, this could be a lifesaving option.”
“It’s like Z-Pak for depression,” Dr. Craig Chepke, medical director of Excel Psychiatric Associates in Huntersville, N.C., and occasional consultant for Zuranolone codeveloper Sage Therapeutics, told Fortune at the time.
Because zuranolone works differently than standard depression treatments, and much more quickly, “it offers a lot of hope for people who haven’t done well in the past,” he added.
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Lauren Sanchez says fiancé Jeff Bezos is a 'monster' in the gym — here's what his fitness routine looks like
- Lauren Sanchez told Vogue that fiancé Jeff Bezos is a "monster" in the gym.
- Bezos has had a huge fitness transformation since retiring as CEO of Amazon.
- His gym routine incorporates low-impact, high-resistance training options.
Jeff Bezos and his fiancée Lauren Sanchez seem to like doing just about everything together, but there's one thing Sanchez won't share with him — an exercise routine .
Sanchez told Vogue that the two often work out together but have their own regiments.
"We cannot do the same exercises," Sanchez said. "He's on a whole different level than I am. He is a monster in the gym."
It's not the first time she's touted his dedication to fitness . Over the summer, she posted shirtless pics of Bezos on vacation .
After seeing the post, Body and Soul speculated Bezos's body fat was about 12-14%.
He's one of a few Silicon Valley stars getting jacked — joining him is Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg , who regularly does jiu-jitsu and CrossFit routines .
So how did the man himself get so cut?
His personal trainer Wes Okerson — who previously trained Tom Cruise, per Bustle — worked with Bezos on building strength and endurance, per Body and Soul.
When working out, Bezos does a variety of low-impact, high-resistance exercises , like rowing and lifting weights. He also takes his workout outdoors, where he might kayak , paddleboard, or run hills, Body and Soul reported.
Bezos also focuses on his diet, eating high-protein, high-fat meals , often incorporating Mediterranean options , per Body and Soul.
He has denied rumors he is taking human growth hormones or other steroids to reach his fitness level, Body and Soul reported. Instead, Bezos credits his success to his workouts, diet, and — famously — getting eight hours of sleep each night.