Time and again you hear and read it: Regular exercise is important for your health. But is that true? And if so, what effects does regular exercise have on our body? We will tell you whether sport is healthy or unhealthy and what impact sports training has on our cardiovascular system, our muscles, our bones and our metabolism.
Why is sport important?
Almost every second German nowadays does little or no sport anymore. Why there is no time for a regular sports program, there are many reasons: The professional life is often stressful and the rest of leisure is used for family rather than for family, friends or other hobbies.
Sport is essential to a healthy lifestyle. And sport is not a small walk around the block or the way to the next supermarket meant: At least 30 minutes you should at least moderately strain - ideally three to four times a week.
Sports: healthy or unhealthy?
Sport is healthy and it is healthy - at least if it is done properly. Because regular sports training strengthens, among other things, the immune system, keeps the cardiovascular system fit and can prevent a variety of diseases.
But if you overdo it with physical stress, sport can be unhealthy for you. The result of excessive stress can be sore muscles, but also sports injuries such as meniscal damage, cruciate ligament tears or ligament strains. Sport is also unhealthy when the body does not get enough time to regenerate after being stressed.
In order for sport to be healthy and not unhealthy, you should have your doctor check you thoroughly after a long break before you start exercising again. He can check how good your health is and which sports are (not) suitable for you. With existing illnesses, he can also work out a meaningful training plan with you.
Sport is healthy for the heart
Regular endurance training strengthens the heart muscles - the heart can thus work more economically. Thanks to the strengthened muscles, the heart can pump more blood into the body with each stroke and thus has less chance of beating. This protects the heart and allows the heart muscle to be better perfused in the intervals between two strokes.
Regular movement also keeps the blood vessels elastic - resistance in the blood vessels is reduced and the risk of high blood pressure drops. With existing high blood pressure, sports training can contribute to lowering the increased levels again. Here, however, you should create a suitable training plan together with your doctor.
In addition to the cardiovascular system, sports training also has a positive effect on cholesterol levels: while 'bad' LDL cholesterol is reduced by sport, 'good' HDL cholesterol is increased. As a result, atherosclerosis and thus also secondary diseases such as a stroke or a heart attack can be prevented.
Prevent diabetes with sports
During a sporting load energy is increasingly consumed - including in the form of sugar - consumed. Through this process, the blood sugar level drops. In addition, less insulin is needed, because during a load, the glucose is absorbed by appropriate transport proteins in the muscle fibers. Thus sports can prevent diabetes mellitus.
Regular physical training can also have a positive effect on existing diabetes. Because in diabetics as well as healthy by movement of the blood sugar level is lowered. But as with hypertension is also true for diabetes: Talk to your training plan beforehand with your doctor to avoid possible risks or damage.
Strong bones through sports
Through sportive training our bones are stimulated to form new bone substance. This process becomes more and more important with increasing age, as the bone density slowly decreases from the 35th to the 40th year of life and the risk of osteoporosis increases. The right workout can prevent the loss of bone.
Suitable sports include jogging, walking and hiking as well as strength training. It is important that the set stimulus is not too gentle. For example, swimming or cycling alone probably does not have a positive effect on the bones.
Healthy weight loss through sport
Regular physical activity has a positive effect on our body weight in two respects: on the one hand, a lot of calories are burned during exercise. How many calories are accurately burnt depends on several factors. In addition to the sport, the body weight as well as the duration and the intensity of the training are decisive.
On the other hand increases by regular movement but also the basal metabolic rate. This indicates how much energy the body consumes in peace. The more muscle you have, the higher the basal metabolic rate. If you are well trained, you burn more energy in peace than an untrained person. That is why it is worthwhile to lose weight not only an endurance training, but also a regular, targeted strength training to build muscle.
Fight belly fat
Regular physical training helps to lower body weight - and thus also the dangerous belly fat (visceral fat). It lies deep in the abdominal cavity and covers the internal organs there. It is dangerous because it is an ideal breeding ground for various pro-inflammatory messengers. From the abdominal cavity, these can be distributed throughout the body and permanently increase the risk of vascular disease or diabetes.
To reduce the belly fat, especially endurance sports such as jogging, walking, swimming or cycling are suitable. If you are doing any of these sports, move at least half an hour or better a little longer. Only then does the fat burning really get going.
Mentally fit thanks to sports
Sport has an impact on our physical fitness: athletes appear much younger than peers who do not exercise when looking at physiological parameters such as the cardiovascular function. In addition to the physical, regular exercise has also effects on our mental fitness.
Sport should increase our mental performance on the one hand through improved blood circulation. If the brain is better supplied with blood, it is supplied with more nutrients and more oxygen. On the other hand, the brain should be able to be rejuvenated and used more effectively through regular sports training. However, the impact of regular exercise on our brain has yet to be explored.
The inner bastard is usually the biggest opponent on the way to a more active lifestyle. To overcome it, it is important that you do not overburden yourself right at the beginning. Rise leisurely and let it slow down a bit. Then the entry is usually not so difficult.
Instead of starting directly with three training sessions a week, you should first start with a sports unit. Put it on the weekend, because you have more time than during the week. If you get used to the training, you can start a second training session during the week. This may or may not have the same content as training at the weekend: If you go jogging or walking at the weekend, try swimming during the week. Or do a little gymnastics and strengthening program at home.
Depending on your mood, you can introduce another training session or extend the duration of the first two sessions in the next step. So you can gradually increase your athletic workload. Of course, three or four at least 30-minute units per week are considered optimal. But even a slightly lower sports program is better than not to move. The most important thing is that you enjoy the sport - because this is the only way to stay in training for the long term!