Why is Physical Activity Important?

Why is Physical Activity Important?

Need a little boost to get yourself out there and exercise on a regular basis?  I know that sometimes I do.  Here are some things to consider when you start making excuses.  Don’t you owe it to yourself and your one and only body to keep active?

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1 → Controls Weight and Boosts Metabolism
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, maintain your weight, or even gain weight if that is what you need to do… then you need to look at exercising.  Losing weight is not only about dieting or eating healthy foods, although that is a major part of it.  You need to be speeding up your metabolism and burning off any stored fat that your body may be clinging onto.  If you are looking to maintain your weight, you need to ‘maintain’ that focus on your activity level as well.  Slacking on maintaining your toned body can lead to an unexpected weight gain (or loss).  I mentioned gaining weight, and I briefly want to address that.  You may have orders from your physician that you are underweight and to be a healthier person, you could use some more meat on your bones.  Depending on what your situation is, exercising can be beneficial.  If you don’t feel hungry enough to eat more, maybe working out regularly can boost your metabolism and make you realize how much more nutrients your body is craving.  Exercising in order to gain weight is also ideal for those who want to increase muscle mass.  While you are burning off the excess fat, you are gaining muscle, which is a good thing!  And always keep that in mind when you begin a workout regimen for weight loss… to not always measure by pounds because you could be creating a more muscular build!

2 → Boosts Energy
Think about how beneficial it would be to have more energy throughout the day.  If you get winded easily or find yourself exhausted at all waking hours of the day, maybe being even just a tad more active could be helpful.  Exercise will help with muscle strength and even encourage oxygen to flow more readily through your heart and lungs, creating your body to feel that it has more energy and stamina to take on your daily tasks.

3 → Improves Mood
Who ever regrets a workout?  No one that I know of.  When it comes to exercising, the only time you should be upset with yourself is if you convinced yourself that you didn’t need it.  Even if you only do some sort of exercising for a few minutes or taking a walk for a short 30 minutes, it is still better than nothing.  Physical activity causes the release of neurotransmitters in your brain that make you feel good and help you to relax.  Some of these known neurotransmitters are endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, all of which play an important role in maintaining a positive mood.  They are often referred to as the “feel-good” chemicals because they can be released in high amounts when we do pleasing things (such as eating a nice big chocolate bar!)  In addition to the science of it, there is also a ton of emotional ties in there.  If you exercise regularly, you’ll feel better about yourself in the sense that you look better (slimmer, muscular, toned) and feel accomplished that you took some time and dedicated it to improving your well-being.

4 → Promotes Better Sleep
When you exercise regularly, you are rewarded with better quality sleep.  This can be as simple as working out can make you more tired at an earlier time, resulting in sound sleep that night.  It can also dig a little deeper when dealing with people who hold onto stress.  If you lie awake at night, contemplating your tomorrow or worrying about events of the past, you could be up for hours and not feel tired at all because you have your adrenaline rushing.  Exercising can help reduce your stress response, which can lead to an easier time falling asleep at night.

5 → Fights Diseases and Health Issues
(Examples include: Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and Heart Disease)
Some of the biggest health issues that we have in America today is stemmed from obesity.  Exercising on a regular basis in addition to eating the right foods can reduce your risk for becoming overweight.  If you’re already overweight, you can always reverse it – it is never too late to start.  Obesity can also contribute to all of the above-mentioned examples that I wanted to talk about.  Having excess fat leads to having more “bad” cholesterol, leading to a number of heart issues.  In addition to heart issues, being overweight can only add to the stress of controlling Type II Diabetes.  Your body has an issue maintaining insulin levels, and fitness can help to maintain healthy blood-glucose levels.  However, you must consult your physician to be sure what is the right balance for exercise, insulin and food intake for your own personal needs!



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