Hello friends, and welcome! Last week I started a (several week long) series where I wrote about exercise and it’s health benefits. We began with the ways that it can help you mentally. I enjoyed learning more about the things that I already naturally feel when I exercise, and I hope you did as well! This week I would like to add on to that by diving into the physical and more importantly, medical health benefits you can obtain. We all know by now that exercise can help you feel better, boost your self esteem and relax you from the stresses you experience in every day life, but what can it do to assist in sustaining your life physically?
Obesity is probably the most well known issue that physical activity can help you with. When you are overweight, you put your body at risk for an abundance of critical and life altering diseases. Many of these can even change the way you function day to day and can keep you from enjoying the simple things. Moving your body on a regular basis will obviously help burn calories. Your metabolism (or basal metabolic rate) is the way that your body uses calories to create energy, and takes up approximately 70% of the calories you consume on a daily basis. This energy is then used to assist with basic functions such as blood circulation, breathing and make adjustments to your hormone levels. The ways that your body processes food, and your physical activity accounts for the other 30% of your calories.
Each person is different but the way your metabolism works is based off of a few simple things including gender, age and the size of your body. Having more muscle burns more calories overall, even when you are resting. Fat slows down your metabolism, and can make it much more difficult to lose weight, because you won’t have as much energy. So, the more you lose and the harder you work out to burn calories, the easier it will be to maintain that ideal weight and level of health.
Another well known issue that can be avoided by exercising is heart disease. When your heart functions more powerfully, and the blood flow throughout your body is improved you can expect to reduce the possibility of high blood pressure and stroke. Your good and bad cholesterol levels are evened out to normal levels, and your heart remains strong overall, which is very important! According to analysts at Duke University, your cholesterol is best effected and maintained by the amount of exercise you do, and not the magnitude. (A good thing to keep in mind if you are older or suffer from other ailments that may not be readily controlled, and rigorous exercise is not always easy for you.)
Osteoporosis is another important ailment worth discussing, that can be prevented by regular exercise. Often times, there are no symptoms for this, and most people don’t even know they have it until they become injured or break a bone. This can happen much more frequently, and be even more severe due to the fact that when you have Osteoporosis, your body can’t effectively create new bone mass to replace the old tissue. Our bodies naturally reproduce this tissue, due to the fact that it is constantly being absorbed. Walking, jogging, dancing and any aerobics related activities are good ‘weight bearing’ suggestions that will help strengthen your bones and prevent bone loss that is more common in women, especially those who have gone through or are going through menopause. Smoking and some medications are also contributing factors to consider.
There are, of course many other ailments and diseases that can be prevented by regular physical activity, I chose to go over some of the more significant ones. However you accomplish it, get out there and keep moving! Enjoy yourself and know that you are potentially adding years to your life!
Come back next week, when we will go over some of the basic exercises that just about anyone can do! As always, thank you so much for joining me this week! Don’t forget to stay positive and LOVE YOUR LIFE!
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Written By: Heather