Exercise is a much-vaunted, well-encouraged form of activity for people in the UK, and forms a core part of the government’s health messaging. But at a time when people are struggling to justify the cost of their gym membership, it can be important to remind oneself exactly how helpful exercise can be. Here are the key benefits of exercise in brief, as well as the specific benefits of exercise as a form of rehabilitation.

Physical Benefits

The physical benefits of exercise are no secret; indeed, they are taught to every schoolchild and widely reported media, popular culture and even advertising. Even still, though, people often misunderstand the extent to which exercise can improve their health.

Adopting a regular, varied and balanced exercise routine enables you to not only target any number of key health goals – whether controlling weight levels or building strength – but also to improve your health in less visible ways. As a key example, increased regular exercise can help to reduce your risk of stroke by as much as 27%.

Mental Health Benefits

Of course, the benefits of exercise are not confined to physical ones. Exercising can also have a profound effect on your mental health, with a number of different facets working to improve your overall mood as well as the symptoms of mental illness.

Firstly, regular exercise of any kind can boost the release of endorphins in your brain, regulating your mood and rewarding you with a sense of happiness. Secondly, exercise forces you on your feet, and even out of the house – allowing you to get a little fresh air and perspective where you may have otherwise been stuck in a rut.

Exercise and Rehabilitation

Exercise can also form a crucial part of recovery, if you recently suffered an accident that wasn’t your fault or if your quality of life was affected by injury. Injuries, however localised they may be to specific areas, can have consequences for your body on a holistic level; a long-lasting leg injury can lead to poor balance and posture, affecting your spine health. Also, injuries can inspire extended periods of reduced exercise and movement, whether due to physical discomfort or mental decline.

Entering into a recovery-oriented exercise regime can help you return to your former fitness levels, and manage your injury – both in terms of physical health, and any mental side-effects that may have resulted. Physiotherapy uses targeted exercises to restore function to parts of the body, and to build muscle back up after periods of wastage. The activity can boost endorphin levels, too, ensuring a safe and happy recovery process.