Benefits of working out 

Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, September 27, 2022

As an exercise expert, I work with all fitness levels. I train beginners, intermediates, advanced, and even other personal trainers. The notion of getting in shape and staying fit is more popular today than at any time in history, but exercise first came into application sometime during the mid-1300s, and the word exercise ultimately derives from the Latin verb “exercere”, meaning “to train, practice, or to keep at work.” 

Even though most folks have grown to think of it exclusively in physical terms, the designation fitness is actually defined as “the quality of being suitable.” and comes from adding the Old English suffix-ness, meaning “the state of being.” to the root word fit, whose essence is “proper or suitable.”

Some of the advantages exercise presents are obvious and well documented, but there are other benefits to becoming more fit, that many folks might not be aware of. 

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Most everyone would like to boost energy levels, and exercise is a great way to go about it. Proper physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and helps the cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Conventional wisdom suggests that if you want something to last longer, you should go easy on it. Not so with the heart. This most important muscle works best when it’s used. 

Did you know that proper exercise can also help the act of digestion? Now, I teach clients that eating too soon before or after exercise, isn’t a good idea, because that can reduce blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract, which may add to the feeling of nausea because, during exercise, blood pulls away from the digestive system to fuel skeletal muscles. However, regular exercise helps the body digest foodstuffs more thoroughly, because the more fit you are, the more efficient all your muscles are, including the action of muscles in the digestive tract. That muscular action is called peristalsis.

Exercise can result in improved memory. For folks looking to combat cognitive decline, which can often accompany aging, one of the very best strategies is to work out. Studies show that regular exercise is a major way to slow the progression of memory loss, especially the kind associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Proper exercise helps promote and produce the hormone called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). CRF is the main element that drives the body’s response to stress. This hormone acts on specific areas of the brain, where it improves selective attention and memory. 

In addition to memory support, regular exercise has been shown to have profound effects on one’s mental well-being. In fact, incorporating strength training can make one feel more mentally engaged and boost mental energy and focus. Working out can also help smokers abstain from smoking. Smoking is one of the hardest habits to quit and presents a wide range of negative health effects. However, one of the best game plans to battle the effects of nicotine withdrawal is to engage in consistent exercise, as this can help redirect the mind from cigarette cravings. 

Now, we all know exercise help prevent bone disease, but it definitely merits mentioning again. Research demonstrates that engaging in strenuous exercise at least three times a week plays a huge role in circumventing bone disease and bone loss. In terms of activities that have been shown to have the greatest influence on bone disease, strenuous physical movements such as weight training provide the greatest effectiveness against bone loss. 

In addition to building physical strength, exercise can improve self-esteem. When exercise is performed in a strenuous manner, the body releases chemicals called endorphins. The endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain that enhances mood and reduce the perception of pain. Regular exercise also boosts self-confidence by providing a sense of accomplishment. I’ve seen firsthand how clients’ self-esteem soars when they achieved goals in the weight room they didn’t think were possible.

      David Crocker is a nutritionist and master personal trainer. Questions? Email David at or text to 864-494-6215.