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Exercise Is Truly To Your Benefit

People make the decision to exercise for a variety of reasons including weight loss, health factors, sports training and participation, injury rehabilitation, and many times just for fun. For some people, exercise just comes easy and is a natural part of their daily life. These people can’t imagine their lives without exercising as it gives them energy, vitality, increased self esteem, and overall just makes them feel great. For other people, exercising is not so easy or natural and is considered a chore or something they wouldn’t normally choose to do.

The benefits of exercise are truly extraordinary. If you are someone who has a tough time motivating yourself to exercise, you might be surprised to know that just thirty minutes of modest, regular physical activity such as brisk walking most days of the week provides the following benefits:

  • Increases heart strength thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Burns calories and helps to control weight. Exercise is essential for keeping off lost weight.
  • Decreases inflammatory markers in your body
  • Helps to relieve the pain of arthritis
  • Controls blood sugar thus managing or preventing diabetes
  • Improves circulation which has many beneficial health effects
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Increases your cognitive ability including improved concentration and alertness
  • Exercising before or after a meal decreases the levels of potentially harmful triglycerides in your body
  • Decreases your risk for metabolic syndrome
  • Decreases levels of bad “LDL” cholesterol and increases levels of good “HDL” cholesterol
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces, controls, and prevents back pain
  • Lowers your risk for upper respiratory infections
  • Lowers your risk of dying prematurely
  • Makes you stronger and more flexible
  • Increases bone strength- particularly weight bearing exercise
  • Increases your levels of endorphins (brain chemicals that improve your sense of well-being) thus decreasing depression, anxiety and improving mood
  • Reduces the frailty of old age and reduces falls among older adults
  • Helps prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration
  • Exercise is associated with fewer doctor visits, hospitalizations and medications

Exercise can prevent and/or improve the following diseases and conditions:

Coronary artery disease, heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, type II diabetes, depression, dementia, cataracts and macular degeneration, chronic lung disease, arthritis, disability, balance and vestibular impairments, multiple orthopedic injuries and neurological conditions.

If you are already exercising on a regular basis, congratulations! Look at all the nice things you are doing for your body and your life long health. If you are not currently exercising, try starting with a ten minute walk. Any exercise is better than no exercise. Also, remember that exercise is cumulative. Breaking exercise up throughout your day is an excellent way to fit it into a busy schedule. Try a ten minute walk before or to work, ten minutes walking after lunch to improve digestion and increase your energy for the afternoon, and ten minutes later in the day. You will thank yourself now and far into your future.

Kristine Battey is a licensed physical therapist, a certified athletic trainer, a certified strength and conditioning specialist (personal trainer) and a holistic lifestyle coach. She owns Divine Health & Fitness, www.divinehf.com, and can be reached at (208) 946-7072.

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