How Regular Exercise can Overhaul your Health

by Dr. Dana Rockey, DMD, Owner, Prescott Sleep Solutions

One thing all health professionals agree on is that it’s essential to move your body daily and to exercise regularly.

Exercise strengthens your muscles and bones, and helps every organ in your body work better.

I’m a dentist and sleep specialist, and I’m also a health coach endeavoring to help you make healthy living choices to enhance your vibrancy and well-being.

One of the most immediate benefits of exercise is that your body releases endorphins that make you feel good.

When you exercise, your blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow to all of your organs, including your brain. When you breathe deeply during exercise, you get more oxygen into your blood.

Regular exercise is one of the best ways you can prevent age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Healthy, young brains benefit from exercise, too. You can expect increased processing speeds, greater attention and focus, and improved memory.

Obesity contributes to just about every chronic disease there is, including diabetes. Losing unnecessary pounds lowers your risk for such conditions such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Metabolic disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some forms of cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sarcopenia
  • Dementia

Building and maintaining strong muscles avoids sarcopenia (muscle wasting) and osteoporosis (bone thinning). Strong muscles exert healthy force on your bones, to keep them producing new bone cells.

If you’re overweight, exercise helps you shed extra pounds. It burns calories, of course. But when you add resistance exercise to aerobic exercise, you do more than burn calories and lose fat. You also build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than fat does. Adding muscle to your frame speeds up your metabolism so that it’s easier to take off and keep off weight.

Regular exercise helps your body discharge excess energy so that you feel less stressed and more relaxed at bedtime. Combined with good sleep hygiene — such as keeping a regular bedtime and avoiding late meals or screen time — exercise allows your body to get the restorative rest it needs.

Not to mention, there is the possibility that you may lose weight, which can play a big role in causing sleep apnea.