We all know that exercise is beneficial for health reasons so why aren’t we doing more of it. It is well known that exercise helps to control weight by burning calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories are burned per half hour.
Exercise helps to combat heart disease. It helps to increase your HDL (good fats) and to lower triglycerides (sticky fats). Regular physical activity can help with lowering blood pressure, controlling blood sugar and diabetes, preventing cancer, arthritis, and metabolic syndrome.
Exercise also helps to give us an emotional lift. When we exercise, we produce endorphins, “feel-good” hormones, boosting self-confidence and self-esteem. Regular physical activity can boost your endurance and strengthen your muscles. Exercise allows for the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to your cells, resulting in increased energy and wellbeing.
Exercise has also been shown to aid sleep. It will help you fall asleep and promote deeper sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime as you will release those endorphins that may energize and keep you awake.
Regular exercise can help increase libido. In women, it can lead to enhanced arousal. Men who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction.
One doesn’t need to have a gym membership to get exercise. Going for a bike ride, playing ball with your kids, or taking a nice hike in the woods are all ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. There are plenty of online exercise classes available also, that allow you to participate in the exercise from the comfort of your own home. You can also boost your daily exercise by parking further away, taking the stairs at work or home, or doing yard work.
As a general rule, it is recommended to engage in 30 minutes of physical activity daily. If your goals include weight loss, you may need to exercise more. A combination of cardiovascular exercise and weight bearing exercise is particularly effective. It is always best to check with your doctor before engaging in intense physical activity, especially if you have preexisting health concerns.
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.
Dr. Alene Falomo ND, RAc
The information above is intended for informational purposes only. Always consult with your health care provider if this is suitable for you.