13 Reasons why Exercise is About Far More than a Nice Bod (but that too)

Sweet rest day calls for some sweet exercise info!  There are plenty of reasons to exercise besides just to get in shape- lots of good and- depending on your opinion- more important reasons!  Remember, there’s a lot of stuff going on inside our bodies that we can’t see.  A person may be thin, but if they’re not active, they can still be at as much risk in the future as the big guy- exercise is important for ALL OF US. 

My exercise of choice is obviously running, but there are a million different ways to get yourself moving- from walking to basketball to fencing to twirling around the yard.  Find something you enjoy, can do, and commit to it- it’s for your own good.  Really…

1.Longevity. People who are physically active live longer.

2. New brain cell development, improved cognition, and memory. Exercise stimulates the formation of new brain cells. Research has found that the areas of the brain that are stimulated through exercise are responsible for memory and learning. For instance, older adults who engage in regular physical activity have better performances in tests implying decision-making process, memory, and problem solving.

3. Improved sexual function and better sex life. Regular exercise maintains or improves sex life. Physical improvements in muscle strength and tone, endurance, body composition and cardiovascular function can all enhance sexual functioning in both men and women. Researchers show that men who exercise regularly are less likely to have erectile dysfunction and impotence than are men who don’t exercise.

4. Exercise is a powerful antidepressant.  Exercise promotes mental health and reduces symptoms of depression. The antidepressant effect of regular physical exercise is comparable to the potent antidepressants like Zoloft. It may take at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for at least three to five days a week to significantly improve symptoms of depression.

5. Cardiovascular health. Lack of physical activity is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.  Regular exercising makes your heart, like any other muscle, stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort.

6. Cholesterol lowering effect. Exercise itself does not burn off cholesterol like it does with fat, however, exercise influences blood cholesterol levels by decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.

Pair with these foods!

7. Prevention and control of diabetes. There is strong evidence from high quality studies that moderate physical activity combined with weight loss and balanced diet can confer a 50-60% reduction in risk of developing diabetes.

8. Blood pressure lowering. The way in which exercise can cause a reduction in blood pressure is unclear, but all forms of exercise seem to be effective in reducing blood pressure.  Aerobic exercise appears to have a slightly greater effect on blood pressure in hypertensive individuals than in individuals without hypertension.

9. Reduced risk of stroke.  Research indicatesthat moderate and high levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic strokes.

10. Weight control. Regular exercise helps to reach and maintain a healthy weight. If you take in more calories than needed in a day, exercise offsets a caloric overload and controls body weight. It speeds the rate of energy use, resulting in increased metabolism. When metabolism increases through exercise, you will maintain the faster rate for longer periods of a day.

11. Muscle strength. Health studies show that strength training increases muscle strength and mass and decreases fat tissue.

12. Bone strength. An active lifestyle benefits bone density. Regular weight-bearing exercise promotes bone formation, delays bone loss, and may protect against osteoperosis – form of bone loss associated with aging.

13. Better night sleep. If you suffer from poor sleep, daily exercise can make the difference. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after exercise may help you to fall asleep.

(From dumblittleman.com)

I can vouge for all of these as being absolutely and magically true!!  What better time to start than the Fall season- jump start those New Year’s resolutions!  Invite everyone out for a nice fall foliage hike this weekend- and then enjoy a great night of sleep! Happy Exercising:)

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