Benefits of exercise
We all know exercise is good. But is it just because it makes me look good? The answer is No, exercise increases circulation too many areas including muscles, bones and yes even the brain (see below)!! Here is a short list of the benefits:
- Decrease in the incidence of degenerative brain diseases.
- Increase in self esteem
- Can help manage depression
- Decrease in incidence of heart disease, cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
- Improves flexibility
- Increases stamina
- Strengthens and tones
- Maintains/Controls weight, improves digestion.
- Improves quality of sleep
- Increases bone density.
The Active Brain!
Many recent studies have found the cardio vascular activity, increases cognitive function thereby increase quality of life.
Studies predict that by 2050 the number of people with Alzheimer’s (Currently the 5th leading cause of death in the United States) could TRIPLE!!!
People who are physically active (cardio vascular) are 38% less likely to develop degenerative brain disease than their non-physically active counter parts.
Activity slows down the progression of degenerative brain disease (Dementia, Alzheimer’s).
Fitness and self esteem!
Intuitively we all know, exercise makes us feel good.– Just watch a season of “The Biggest Loser” and watch to see how the participants become more positive and confident as the season progresses. Studies show exercise elevate endorphins (mood elevator hormone) and alter cortisol (stress related hormone)-chemicals that effect mood and stress levels.
Exercise can also improve our physical appearance (by controlling our weight, developing and toning muscles) which can directly improve how we perceive ourselves.
So, armed with all this knowledge…, How do I get off the couch?
Grab a friend and walk with energy, to the nearest coffee shop.
Have you ever heard the expression “use it or lose it”? It’s true! If you don’t use your body, you will lose it. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. While at the coffee shop grab something healthy, fruit and tea.
Get a personal trainer
Personal trainers are great motivators and they will incorporate all types of fitness, flexibility, strength and endurance. Best of all a great coach will push you (within your abilities, and they will watch your form to ensure proper technique – which will reduce the risk of injury (re-injury))
Register for a “3k” run or a “Tri a triathlon”
The Running Room, Gord’s running room and the Tech shop are just a few places with learn to run, walk programs. Call and register for a program, commit a friend to doing it with you, and hold each other accountable.
Fitness/Dance/Martial Arts Classes
Check out your local gym for a fitness class you’ve always wanted to do. There are now so many types of classes, from dance like, to boot camps, martial arts, and yoga. Start with something you think is fun, and you are more likely to stick with the program.
An excuse I frequently hear is…”It’s all good but it sounds expensive.” Consider the expense of illness, days off work, medication to help manage illness, the personal cost of being “too tired to do the things you want to do!” Some health benefits will cover the cost of things like treadmills, gym memberships etc.!! People should spend their money on their health, because you live in your body for a lifetime, things like cars are only around for a few years before you replace them!!
Dr. Jamila Abdulla
Tri athlete/Ironman Canada finisher