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The Benefits of Exercise

Date Published 09.12.2016
Topic Lifestyle Insurance

The Benefits of Exercise

AIG exercise ambassador, sports physiotherapist and ex-Dublin GAA player Joey Boland brings us through the benefits of exercise. 


As human beings, it’s in our nature to want to be happier, to look better and to feel better. It’s no secret that exercise, and lots of it, is the key to achieving this – but what exactly are the benefits we can expect from regular exercise? Internationally accepted guidelines suggest adults should aim to get about 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise across the week, and if you’re really stuck for time, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise. But what rewards can we expect to see from this time spent being active?

  • Exercise is a key factor in reducing our risk of developing health conditions and diseases. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in Ireland, but achieving the recommended guideline of 150 minutes exercise per week can go a long way in helping to reduce the risk of these diseases. Regular physical activity is helpful in lowering and keeping high blood pressure under control, while it can also have a beneficial effect on our cholesterol levels. 
  • Exercise not only provides you with physical benefits, but can also have a positive influence on your mental wellbeing. Individuals that partake in regular physical activity throughout the week see a spike in their overall wellbeing, as exercise can help boost energy, manage stress, and improve their sleeping habits. Recent research has identified the positive effects physical activity can have on the symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress. The release of endorphins can have an immediate effect on mood, whilst the distraction of activity can allow a break from a busy and often stressful work lifestyle.
park exercise
  • Regular physical activity, coupled with a healthy and nutritious diet, can help in preventing excessive weight gain, and help to maintain a healthy weight. Apps like MyFitnessPal are handy for tracking your calories burned through exercise versus your calorie intake through food – allowing you to take control of your own healthy lifestyle. You’ll find this easy to use app on the Apple App Store or Android PlayStore.
  • About 80% of adults’ experience low back pain, among other chronic pain conditions, over the course of their lifetime, and it’s no secret that physical activity is hugely beneficial to keep this under control. Stepping into a gym environment may be a little daunting at first, but under the guidance of a Chartered Physiotherapist, exercise can be the self-empowering medicine you have in the cabinet to be physically active and feeling great.


It's never too late to start exercising on a regular basis. With the correct guidance, support and environment, exercise can add massive benefits to a busy lifestyle with hard work rewarded in many ways. 


Read more: Can Exercise Prevent Cancer? 

Meet Joey Boland...

AIG exercise ambassador Joey Boland is the owner of Sports Physio Ireland and previously a Senior Dublin hurler (2008-2016). He is chartered physiotherapist (2010) who is currently completing a master in Sports and Exercise medicine who specialises in ACL rehabilitation and chronic lowback and hip injury rehabilitation.

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