Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Breaking News...Exercise improves health!

I know, I know you've probably already heard this before.  But, some of those who have heard this still find it difficult, or choose not to, engage in regular exercise.

By just thinking about exercising you won;t reap the same benefits as those who make the effort to move the body in various movements and lift weights.  Sure their are some benefits to visually seeing yourself walking in a park, or running on a trail, or even lifting heavy weights.  However, if you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve your cardiovascular system, you have to move the body.

Research has shown that by engaging in exercise 3 days a week for only 30 min each session you can maintain or even improve your health.  Now if you are limited on time or motivation and can only exercise 3 days a week for those 30 min, you'll want to crank up the intensity to around 85% of your max effort.  The easiest way to do this is by including in your workouts some supersets (pairing two exercises together where you move from one to the next without any rest and repeat each for 2-4 sets.  Another way would be to include some high intensity interval training (HIIT) such as a Tabata format.  Tabata's are not for everyone, but certainly can be effective in burning fat in a short period of time.  You can complete 1 round of a Tabata workout in just 4 minutes.  Now with a proper warm up (10-15 min.) and a cool down (5-10 min.) you could easily do 1-2 Tabata workouts and be done in 30 min.

Exercise has many other benefits that you may not think about.  By regularly exercising and moving your body, you can reduce the pain and stiffness in knees, shoulders, and back.   Movement eases stiff, achy joints.  By exercising, your body will release endorphins (the body's natural pain reliever) which may help protect against tiny tears in tendons and muscles.

Regular exercise can also boost the fatigue-fighting brain chemicals dopamine, and norepinephrine making you feel more energetic, as well as serotonin which can help improve your mood.

Other improvements from regular exercise includes better sleep, reduced risk of diabetes, and improved vision.  Yes, even your eyes can benefit.  The benefit of exercise on the eyes is the same as that of the heart;  improvement of blood flow and reduced blood pressure.

So take the time to at least get in 30 min. of exercise 3 times a week, and more if you can.  Before you know it your health will improve and you may even find exercise to be fun.

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