Brussels fitness experts Aspria say even 60 minutes of physical activity offers many benefits.
Reaching your ideal weight or body shape may take time, but having a significant positive impact on your body and mind comes easy: the 60 minutes route.
Whether you have just started a new work-out style for improving your strength or have gone through a long-term training plan for weight loss, there are always moments when you feel results take too long to notice.
Don’t get discouraged! While reaching any fitness goal requires effort and determination, your activity has other benefits, which you can focus on to keep you motivated.
Think back to your last really satisfying workout and how you felt when you left the club… The feeling of being refreshed, positive, full of energy and totally relaxed? That temporary endorphin boost is not the only positive effect of physical activity, as scientific research concludes time and time again. Regular exercise, even one hour a week and regardless of its intensity, can prevent depression. A significant benefit, more important than ever in the context of lifestyles being affected by the pandemic.
According to a 2021 study on the ‘Effects of Physical Activity and Training Routine on Mental Health During the Covid-19 Pandemic and Curfew’, elite athletes as well as those with high level of physical activity “experienced the lowest distress” and highest adaptability to the crisis in its early stages.
The research also found that later in the pandemic, “prolonged physical inactivity had negative effects on mental health” across all categories of people, but that elite and recreational athletes were still able to maintain higher wellbeing compared to those completely inactive.
2. Immunity boost
Another aspect of physical activity that took centre stage during the Covid-19 crisis related to its substantial positive effect on our body’s resilience. By improving blood circulation, exercising enables the immune system’s cells and molecules to be transported better throughout the body. Impressively, this immune-protective effect can last a few days after your workout.
Experts advise however that the golden rule to ensure your exercising is beneficial to your immunity and does not strain your body involuntarily is to limit yourself to sixty minutes of moderate activity per day. Read our article on the topic to find out more about this and other key factors that can help strengthen your immune system.
3. Cardiac health
It is well known that sport is beneficial against the risk of chronic disease by reducing risk factors such as obesity, cholesterol, insulin and body fat. The problem is that it takes weeks or even months for these risk factors to actually be reduced.
Fortunately, in his 2018 research, a professor of cardiovascular physiology at Liverpool John Moores University in the UK, found that regular exercise provides immediate and constant protection for your heart. Even more surprisingly, his review found that a single exercise session can help reduce the gravity of a heart attack, an effect that can last for several days.
Look on the bright side
The next time you feel demotivated when you look in the mirror or step on the scales, think of the good you are doing to your body and mind by staying active and keep going!