Tim Etherington-Judge is the founder of Healthy Hospo, former global brand ambassador, cyclist, runner, and born again bartender. Here he writes about why regular exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle.

You don’t have to be an expert to link the benefits of regular exercise to positive health. There are numerous studies that link as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 3 to 5 times a week can improve mental health, reduce your chances of getting serious illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, strokes and even cancer, help control weight, increase energy levels and according to research at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas will add six years to your life.

Depressed adults that took part in a study showed that aerobic exercise can have a significant and long-lasting beneficial effect on depression, anxiety, and self-concern. But it’s not just walking, running and cycling that can improve mood, resistance training has also been shown to improve mood, strength, and quality of life.

Exercise elevates your level of immunoglobulins, which are proteins that help bolster your immune system and ward off infection. “Every sweat session you do can help strengthen your immune function for about 24 hours,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD.

Mood-enhancing chemicals, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, flood your brain for a couple of hours post-exercise, reducing stress, depression, and anxiety. While blood pressure lowers for up to 16 hours and proteins are released that can help with brain cell growth.

There have been some fantastic bartender led initiatives started recently aimed at getting bartenders to not only work up a sweat but build a community outside of their usual haunts of cocktail dens and dive bars. Raj Nagra’s Bartenders Boxing Organization and the cycling-focused Bartenders on Bikes are two great examples of bringing people together around shared passions.

Leading industry figures, such as Claire Warner of Moet Hennessy and Jack McGarry from Dead Rabbit and Blacktail are leading the pack when it comes to incorporating fitness into their busy schedules. Claire, despite her globe-trotting life, manages to squeeze a little #runstreak into every day and Jack is busy running ultra-marathons when not running two of the most high profile bars in New York.

You don’t have to become a gym junkie, cross-fit hero or ultra endurance rabbit. A small amount of exercise daily,  which could be cycling to work, or a gentle run a few times a week can really make a difference to your health. You really don’t have any excuse not to.

Thanks to Dean Callan, Grant Neave and Roots Manuva for the title of this post.

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