Age old question… should I or shouldn’t I exercise? And why?
The majority of people do it as a mean to reduce weight.
But in a recent study, researchers took a group of sedentary, overweight men and women over an 18 months period, and trained them to run a marathon. The men lost just a few pounds, and the women in the study, averaged no change to their weight. One reason may be that people tend to increase their caloric intake as they increase their exercise. Proper diet and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to weight loss. Do not think that because you just ran 5 miles, you can sit on the couch, eat an entire deep dish pizza and wash it down with a large milkshake. This will not promote weight loss.
But exercise by itself has tremendous benefits, much more than just weight loss.
Here are a few:
· It increases your energy levels: the more energy you use, the more you have.
· It improves the quality of your sleep: exercise helps you get to sleep more quickly and to achieve a more restful sleep.
· It helps combat chronic disease: exercise helps improve your circulation, your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and has been linked with delayed onset of dementia.
· It improves your mood: it reduces the tension associated with anxiety and promotes relaxation. It also produces endorphins which allow you to feel a sense of power and control over yourselves that allows you to persist with activity for an extended time. Endorphins have been shown to control feelings of stress and frustration, and to reduce symptoms associated with eating disorders. Endorphins basically give you a natural high.
· Exercise leads to the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that alleviate pain, both physical and mental.
· It is a Powerful Anti-Cancer Strategy. More than 200 population-based studies have linked exercise to your risk for cancer. More recently, a 2009 study showed that men with stronger muscles from regular weight training are up to 40 percent less likely to die from cancer. These findings suggest that muscle strength is just as important as staying slim and eating healthy when it comes to offering protection against deadly tumors. One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risk. It's also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die.
· It helps to slow down the effects of aging. Exercise keeps your muscles strong, which can help you maintain mobility as you get older. Aerobic exercise also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults
· Exercise is an important way to manage diabetes. Not only can exercise help you achieve beneficial weight loss, but every time you exercise, it helps to lower your blood sugar and helps your cells accept insulin more efficiently.
· Numerous studies have shown that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay the onset of osteoporosis by increasing your bone density.
If none of this motivates you to take the first step toward implementing a regular fitness regimen, I don't know what.
If you don’t know where to start you can seek professional advice. But quit procrastinating. Get off that couch and get moving… it’s a great way to start. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at the time!
Be smart, stay healthy!!!