You probably have a vague sense that exercise is good for you, and you have probably heard you can reach a good, in health and in wellness status, by exercising. But, if you are like the majority of Americans, that’s not enough motivation to get you off the couch. It is estimated that only 20% of Americans actually get the minimum 150 minutes a week of exercise recommended for overall muscle strength and cardiovascular activity. More than half of all baby boomers report doing absolutely no physical activity, and over eighty million Americans over age six, are entirely inactive.
First of all, let’s look at the official definition of physical exercise, according to Wikipedia: “Exercise is a physical activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness, and overall health and wellness. It is performed for various reasons, including increasing growth and development, preventing aging, strengthening muscles and cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss, or maintenance, and also for enjoyment. Many individuals choose to exercise publicly outdoors where they can congregate in groups, socialize, and enhance well being.” What a perfect definition for this article! For more information on physical exercise from Wikipedia, read this.
It’s pretty sad that most Americans are that sedimentary, but emerging evidence is suggesting there are plenty of compelling reasons to start to do something physical, at any age. Even if you are ill, or even if you are pregnant, scientific evidence is suggesting, along with eating and supplementing with nutritious food, are the two most important things you can do, because they both act as natural healers, much better than any pharmaceutical you could take. Let’s look at the most important benefits obtainable with a good regimen of daily exercise.
Body In Motion Means Brain In Motion
Exercises are linked to less depression, better memory, and quicker learning. Studies also show that exercise is, for now, the best way to prevent, or at least, delay the onset of Alzheipher’s disease. Yes, the one disease that scares most Americans. Scientists don’t fully understand why exercises changes the structure and operation of the brain, but it is an area of tremendous research.
Scientists do know that exercise improves oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain, nourishing the growth of new blood vessels and brain cells. A brain-derived protein is responsible for, and triggers the growth of new neurons, and helps to repair and protect brains cells from degeneration. This protein has also been associated with enhancing brain focus. So, if you want to increase your intelligence, increase your physical activity.
Happy With Endorphins
Need an emotional lift? Or, do you need to blow off some steam from a stressful day? Exercise or a brisk thirty-minute walk, is just the ticket. Numerous studies have revealed that many forms of exercise, such as walking or cycling, allows individuals to actually feel better, an almost a euphoric state occurs, and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise or any physical activity releases certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin, norepinepe, endorphins, and dopamine, and more importantly, inhibits the release of damaging cortisol.
Release of these amazing chemicals result in dulling pain, lightening mood, and relieving harmful stressors. Chief Science Executive of the American Council of Exercise, says “for years we focused on the physical benefits of exercise, and have really had ignored the psychological and emotional benefits of being regularly active.” So, take a dance class. Or take a walk on a wooded trail, or play tennis. Find a physical activity you enjoy and just do it.
Slow “Father Time” Down
Exercise has been shown to actually lengthen lifespan by as much as five years. A recent study revealed that moderate to intense exercise can slow down the aging process of cells. As humans age, cells divide many times, and the telumeres, which are the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, actually shorten. Researchers have found by taking muscle biopsies and blood samples from ten individuals before and after a forty-five-minute ride on a stationary bike, that there were increased levels of molecules that protect tetumeres, ultimately showing how quickly they shorten over time without physical activity. Even at the cellular level on chromosomes, exercise slows aging. If you want to be sixty, but look and feel like you are forty-five, get busy being active doing something physical.
Younger Looking Skin
Exercise speeds up the delivery of oxygen-rich blood to the skin cells, improving health and even healing wounds quicker. According to Anthoney Hackney, an exercise Physiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, individuals who have suffered injuries, should begin exercising as quickly as possible, to make sure there is blood flow to the skin. Not to mention, exercise also prevents muscle atrophy. He also stated that by exercising regularly, will add new blood vessels and tiny capillaries to the skin, too.
Our skin also acts as a release point for heat generated by muscles, which has to be expelled into the environment, so your body temperature doesn’t get too high. The heat in the muscles transfers in the blood, which is then transferred to the skin, for release out into the atmosphere. So, you want smooth velvety skin and reduce age lines and look younger, start an exercise regimen.
Remarkable Transformation In A Few Minutes
The latest research shows that it doesn’t take much movement to realize the many benefits of exercise. Martin Gibala, an exercise Psychologist at McMaster at the University in Ontario, wanted to test how effective a ten-minute exercise could compare to a typical fifty-minute exercise. So, he arranged a test of micro-workouts, which consisted of three exhausting twenty-seconds exercise intervals, in full-blown, hard-as-you-can, exercise, followed by brief rests.
In the three-month study, he compared the micro-workouts to the standard fifty-minutes workouts, to see which one was better. The results were completely surprising, because the results were identical in improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one exercise was five times longer and more energy draining than the other. Gibala said that if an individual could push really hard for short periods of time, that individual could get away with exercising, with very little time involved, still getting the same results. If you have been using the excuse of not having enough time in the day to exercise, you don’t have it anymore. All you have to do is implement micro-workouts.
Recovering From Major Illness
Even very vigorous exercise, like the short, full-out workout Gibala studied, can even be appropriate for persons with different chronic conditions, from type 2 diabetes to heart failure. That thinking is revolutionary, because conventional wisdom always said that individuals with certain disease were always advised to not exercise. Scientists now know that most people, in all situations, can and should have physical activity. A recent analysis of more than three hundred clinical trials showed that individuals recovering from stroke, exercise was the most effective activity responsible for there rehabilitation.
Dr. Robert Sallis, a family Physician at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in California, has prescribed an exercise program to his patients since the 1990s in hopes of prescribing less medication, especially, anti-depressants. “It really worked remarkably, particularly in my very sickest patients,” said Dr. Sallis. “If I could get them to exercise on a regular basis, even just walking, anything, just to get thier heart rate up a little, I would see dramatic improvements in there chronic disease, not to mention, eliminating other harmful experiences like anxiety, fatigue, and depression,” said the Doctor. So, if you know someone who is recovering from major surgery or a disease, encourage them to participate in this in health and in wellness program.
Disappearing Fat Cells
The body uses both carbs and fats as energy sources. But, after consistent aerobic exercise, the body actually improves in the ability of burning fat, which requires a lot of oxygen to convert fat into energy. “One of the benefits of exercise is that our cardiovascular system gets stronger and better at delivering oxygen, so we are able to metabolize more fat as an energy source,” Hackney said. “As a result, your fat cells, which provide the substances responsible for chronic low-grade inflammation, actually shrink, and so does inflammation.” said Hackney. Do you experience pain and soreness in your muscles or joints? That’s low-grade inflammation at work. To rid yourself of this pain and soreness, try exercising, it will help.
For Restful Beneficial Sleep
In studies that have been preformed, it suggest that exercise significantly improved the sleep of the participants, particularly, those with chronic insomnia. Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, there are many possibilities for how exercise may reduce insomnia severity. One way seems to be by body-heating effects of exercising, especially when performed in the late afternoon.
Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature, and may promote falling asleep easier. Exercise, as already stated earlier in this article, is beneficial in reducing stress, anxiety, or depression symptoms. Trouble sleeping is commonly linked with elevated moods of arousal, anxiety, and depression. Outcome of studies reveal after four to twenty-four weeks of exercise, adults with insomnia or sleeping problems, fell asleep more quickly, sleep slightly longer, and had better uninterrupted quality sleep, than before they started exercising. How is your sleep? If it’s restless, you can always begin doing physical activity, that will help you sleep better.
Assist Your MoJo
“Exercise gets blood flowing to all your body parts including your sex organs, which keeps them, healthy, active, and lubricated,” says Antonia Hall, MA, a Psychologist. “Maintaining a healthy sex drive requires proper blood flow, which will boost your libido.” Studies have shown that individuals are most in the mood after exercise, because your body is dumping out your-feel good chemicals, like endorphins, while reducing the release of bodily stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol,” says Hall.
This is particularly true for men, because testosterone levels peak after exercising. With regular exercise, you’re likely to be more comfortable and pleased with the appearance of your body, because you are fitter and trimmer, which reduces your anxiety and increases you confidence about how you look. I’ll let your own imagination work here.
Physical activity and having the proper well-balanced nutritious diet are paramount in maintaining your overall health and wellness, but there are other simple daily activities you can also implement into your life that will promote better health and wellness. For a complete explanation of those activities, read this article, “What Is Natural Health?”
Where Does The Energy Come From To Begin Physical Activity?
If you are not eating the proper healthy nutritious foods, you will not have the energy to initiate an exercise program. Studies have shown that your energy levels will increase with exercise, that’s a given, however, you have to have at least some energy to get started. Eating the proper fresh, well-balanced nutritious foods, will nourish your body and provide the necessary energy to participate in physical activity. So, what should you eat? First, your fruits and veggies you buy should be fresh as possible, and organic, and non-GMOs, by buying from a small farmer. Then you should buy lean grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and fresh fish and seafood, Reduce the intake of fatty foods, processed sugars, pre-processed foods, pre-packaged foods, and pre-cooked foods, and definitely, fast foods. Cook at least one major well-balanced meal of a meat or fish and veggies, each day for you and your family,
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Now that you know what in health and in wellness means, and how to achieve it, are you ready to take action? Let me know your thoughts, or should you have any question, please ask them below.